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Digital Industrial Transformation with the Internet of Things (for Manufacturing)

Digital Industrial Transformation with the Internet of Things
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Digital Industrial Transformation with the Internet of Things (for Manufacturing)

Digital industrial transformation – as many think this is not just a buzzword but really got something that can transform the overall way an industry functions. While a lot is stressed on improving cost reduction, it is a must for an industry like Manufacturing to garner insights from a massive volume of data from every process to deliver a flawless customer service and experience.  

To achieve that re-inventing/adjusting the existing processes, systems, business models, product development strategies using digital solutions matters. Remember, even 1% of profit can do wonders to a manufacturing company and imagine what if your business can experience 10-20% of gains with the right strategy and digital transformation solutions. Sounds crazy right? 

In this post, I am going to discuss what digital industrial transformation using IoT is and how it impacts and improves Manufacturing operations, product and business development. 

Let’s get started. 

What the heck digital industrial transformation for manufacturing is all about

Legacy systems, soiled data, lack of data insights for faster decision making are three major roadblocks that impact the performance and service of any manufacturer. What if you have tons of data that cannot provide any insight? Well, you might be losing potential customers fast to your digitally enabled competitors.   

Digital industrial transformation – as the name suggests helps manufacturers to leverage the power of advanced digital technologies like IoT, AI, RPA, ML, Mobile Applications, and Cloud to modernize existing eco systems by interconnecting processes and capitalizing on manufacturing data insights. 

And, as per different reports, most manufacturing companies are adding the Internet of Things to their core to improve the way their business operates and they are rightly doing so. 

Digital industrial transformation impacts manufacturing in 5 ways.

  • Improves operations
  • Bolsters existing product development techniques
  • Provides opportunity for innovative product development
  • Interconnects all machines, humans and processes
  • Provides real-time data instantly to make faster decisions

Digitalization is transforming manufacturing. Why waiting? Go smart. Discover 6 ways IoT is transforming manufacturing processes and product quality. 

IoT for operational efficiency

There is a multitude of ways that IoT in manufacturing can supercharge efficiency. Listed below are a few areas that benefit the most.

Inventory Management 

By interconnecting the warehouse shelves and racks with RFID sensors, IoT devices, manufacturers can easily set up communication and maintain a real-time view of inventory. Stock-in, stock-outs, product identification within a large warehouse will be simplified for manufacturers. This paves way for lean inventory and reduces waste to a great extent contributing to better efficiency. 

Asset Maintenance  

Using RFID and sensors coupled with IoT, monitoring tools, raw materials, work in progress products and evaluating their health, scheduling maintenance based on usage is effective for manufacturing staff. Locating any product within a production zone or any part of the manufacturing unit is absolutely seamless. The instant data gained on assets helps manufacturers with faster decision making and reduces unnecessary spend on assets. 

IoT for Machine Maintenance

Alert-driven systems created through IoT devices provide real-time insights into potential machine problems. This warrants repair or replacement of machines or spares without any real need. Also, IoT sensors attached to machines can provide meticulous data based on their movements: for instance, measuring the speed of a piston is easy and monitoring temperature when it’s performing at its peak is simple. Just imagine how much this helps. 

By this way manufacturers can improve asset utilization and prevent abrupt downtime caused by equipment failures or missing/lost assets and use the assets to their fullest. 

Workforce Management 

IoT coupled with mobile applications helps the manufacturing supervisors and managers to collect instant data from machines, assets through mobile and web dashboards to gauge on employee’s efficiency and productivity. This prevents managers from walking into the productivity zones and helps make adjustments based on data gained from their cabin without any hassle. This again saves time and improves operational efficiency. 

IoT for product quality improvement

Without accurate data measuring current product manufacturing and comparing performances won’t make any sense. Not every product development process can be improved with simple observation. Remember, it needs to be understood that defective products or returns add significant costs in addition to damaging the brand of the company.

Sometimes, a deep dive into the data is required to improve the quality of process. And IoT plays a major role to provide the much needed accurate data for manufacturers. 

Costs associated with poor quality products come in many forms including: cost of testing and detecting defective product, repairing, replacing products, machine maintenance costs for developing products that are defective, contributes to loss of customers and debranding. 

Every company is concerned about quality, but leading companies leverage automated systems powered by Industry 4.0 solutions like IoT, AI, ML, Applications to garner accurate data to test their products and improve quality remarkably.

IoT for new product development through innovation

Sample data of customer groups collected through interviews, surveys may come in handy but they won’t reveal how customers use the product. Understanding this would help manufacturers create user segments and developing products based on the insights gained will open ways for increasing customer loyalty and making good gains. With IoT embedded sensors on products, identifying how users interact and use the product becomes easier and the data then can be used to develop new products that match with the exact expectation of customers. 

IoT for developing new business opportunities 

What do you think connected machines can do for your manufacturing company? Yes, it could offer quite a lot of benefits. Sensors can help in creating new revenue streams for manufacturers. It is easier to uncover how a product is used by a user and how a process can be improved to accelerate productivity and product quality. 

With the real-time insights gained offering new value-added services for customers helps improve customer engagement and retention.

Using the IoT in manufacturers are unlocking new levels of efficiency and productivity. With real-time data from connected assets, many manufacturing companies have started to accelerate their lean manufacturing initiatives at reduced costs.

Conclusion

IoT is a key driver in digital industrial transformation for manufacturing as more and more companies have started to add the emerging technology to their business strategy. Companies realizing the power of Industry 4.0 solutions are thriving in the market while others falter. If you are a manufacturer, consider digital industrial transformation seriously and create strategies to take your business to the next level. Struggling to get started? Talk to us. We have already enabled a lot of manufacturing companies with enterprise IoT solutions to accelerate their processes and performances. 

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