Top 7 use cases of IIoT: Advance automation, boost production performance and skyrocket growth

Use cases of IIoT
Digital Transformation / IoT / Smart Factory

Top 7 use cases of IIoT: Advance automation, boost production performance and skyrocket growth

The industrial internet of things (IIoT) is quite simply the application of instrumentation, connected sensors, and data analytics to industrial machines and processes. 

IIoT leverages futuristic technologies such as machine-to-machine communication, edge computing, distributed ledger technology (DLT), robotics, and AI to achieve unimagined levels of automation and actionable intelligence. 

By pairing disruptive technologies with data, IIoT is optimizing industrial equipment and processes, resulting in better productivity, reliability, and profitability.

The goal of IIoT is to create environments capable of monitoring, collecting information, analyzing data, and making decisions immediately in a very effective way using hyper-connected networks

IIoT solutions have already been adopted by thousands of production plants across the globe in a wide variety of sectors such as retail, healthcare, energy, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, and automotive sectors.

That being said, let’s explore 5 specific use cases to understand how asset-intensive industries are harnessing IIoT to redesign business operations and boost efficiency.

Use Case 1: Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is one of the most popular use cases of IIoT. Organizations use wireless IIoT sensor data to predict and alert workers when a machine will need maintenance. This prevents costly breakdowns and unnecessary repairs and improves machine uptime.

Any organization that relies on expensive machines such as manufacturers, trucking companies, or construction firms can realize substantial savings by leveraging IIoT.

For predictive maintenance to deliver these benefits, however, the underlying analytics must be robust. Finding and installing the necessary IoT equipment to collect accurate information and generate actionable insights can take time and come with high upfront costs. Smaller facilities may struggle to adopt IIoT due to these challenges. 

Use Case 2: Asset Tracking and Inventory Management

By deploying IoT-enabled asset tracking sensors, manufacturers can remotely track equipment and transportation fleets in real-time. This enables companies to reduce risk, save money, and prevent theft.

Leveraging sensors improves manufacturing management and reduces the operational costs of a factory. By using tags and sensors to monitor facilities, organizations gain key insights on how to optimize space usage and production performance. 

IoT systems in manufacturing also lower inventory carrying costs and reduce inventory management errors. Embedded sensors and smart inventory management are catalysts for driving real-time visibility across inventory systems, warehousing, production cycles, and distribution centers. 

In addition, smart inventory management offers manufacturers intelligent actionable insights that can improve the allocation of raw materials, scheduling, transportation logistics, and ordering timelines.

                 Case study: Asset Management for Construction

Use Case 3: Workplace Safety and Security

Accidents and risk management within factories are key concerns for employers. IoT technologies such as video monitoring and remote monitoring can help improve employee safety and security. 

IoT devices can optimize worker safety and security by monitoring vital data indicators such as employee absences, property or vehicle damage, and any additional losses or damages that may occur during regular business operations. 

Sensors can also accurately monitor temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions that may cause harm to employees. Processes can be implemented to ensure that the data from worksite sensors deliver fast and accurate messages to emergency services in the case of a disaster.

        Also Read: EHS Management System for Work Place & Employee Safety

Use Case 4: Energy Optimization

The production, delivery, and use of energy are becoming more and more efficient thanks to IoT. Sensors and devices such as electric chargers, inverters, or switches, connected through IoT gateways and augmented with data analytics, generate a wealth of information that allows energy companies to dynamically manage assets, lower maintenance costs, and improve the security of energy production. 

Bringing IoT connectivity to industrial machines, HVAC systems or anything that uses a lot of power can reduce energy consumption. IoT sensors can detect peaks and valleys in energy use and automatically adjust operations to use as little electricity as possible.

Use Case 5: Digital Twins

Digital twins are realistic digital models that virtually showcase all features of a product or smart facility through the use of IIoT sensors and hyper-connectivity. 

These twins update in real-time to illustrate environmental changes that affect the real thing. Digital twins are widely used in auto manufacturing: the rich, comprehensive, and relevant insights that they generate makes it possible for engineers to test vehicles and different variables without having to be on-site with those vehicles.

Close with 2 more use cases and conclusion: supply chain optimization and quality control.

Use Case 6: Quality Improvements

Environmental sensors can continuously monitor conditions critical to quality and alert management when quality thresholds are crossed. For example, in a pharmaceutical operation, the temperature can be critical to quality. 

By using IoT-connected temperature and humidity sensors, managers can monitor those variables and be instantly alerted when they deviate from optimal levels. 

               Also Read: Leverage Computer Vision for Quality Control 

Use Case 7: Process Automation

Automating processes that would otherwise require human intervention, truck rolls, or inefficient manual labor is another common reason for deploying IIoT. Although a wide variety of processes can be automated using IIoT, the advantages ultimately boil down to increased efficiency, cost reduction, and lowered risk. 

Smart irrigation is an excellent example of how IIoT drives process automation: Today, farmers are adopting technology to monitor soil conditions and weather, among other factors, to determine when and where water is needed. 

Soil moisture sensors that are connected to wireless modules can relay sensor data to gateways and then the cloud, allowing farmers to monitor growing conditions. Farmers can then automate the watering process based on moisture readings to ensure that water resources are used efficiently. 

In a nutshell

There is no dearth of use cases and applications for IIoT. IIoT offers a plethora of opportunities to organizations to automate operations and optimize production performance.

Organizations that leverage IIoT are well-positioned to lead the economy of tomorrow. However, IIoT implementation can be challenging and difficult to navigate. 

Organizations often lack the know-how to build robust IIoT systems from scratch that can generate a good ROI. If you’re looking to ride the IIoT wave and drive growth for your business, choose Hakuna Matata.

With 16+ years of experience in IoT app development, Hakuna Matata is a trusted partner in all things IoT.  We build end-to-end industry 4.0 solutions using world-class platforms like Microsoft Azure IOT hub or PTC ThingWorx.

Designed to reduce operational costs and boost productivity, our scalable IIoT infrastructure setup guarantees complete control over critical business assets. Powered by advanced analytics, it empowers you with valuable data insights, resulting in better business decisions and improved customer experiences.