Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) software
The IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) refers to any type of shop floor equipment that is connected to the internet as well as sensor technologies that collect and share vast amounts of data in real time by network connection. Integrating Intelligent, context-aware software, based on the IIoT represents dramatic opportunities, as new sensor technologies collect vast amounts of data in real time, allowing for continuous data collection, exchange, and analysis and enabling manufacturers to create and execute improvements in production, such as high quality, quality control and cost reductions and waste, while achieving a competitive advantage.
IIoT vs IoT: IoT was created to make products smart, while the IIoT was derived from it and refers to the same concept only focused to enhance industrial processes, such as manufacturing, helping manufacturers gaining better visibility into their processes and supply chain, by being able to track, trace and control a diverse range of devices and processes.
What is Industrial IoT software?
Industrial IoT software (IIoT) is a software that leverages the power of smart technology to allow manufacturers to optimize their industrial and manufacturing processes. Real-time data is aggregated from various data points in a centralized database for access by multiple users.
This kind of software includes Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It further leverages the power of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Big Data designed to improve operational efficiency in an organization.
Being a significant part of Industry 4.0, manufacturers are increasingly using IoT technology platforms. These platforms help garner insights about various factors such as production, quality control, resource usage, downtime, etc.
How IIoT platforms work
The basic premise behind IoT platforms is that smart technologies are better apt for real-time data gathering and analysis. Such data findings allow for better and faster communication. In turn, manufacturers can make proactive decisions regarding their business.
In an IIoT, smart devices connect via networks linked to a centralized database. These smart devices help in collecting, analyzing, monitoring, and communicating data
Globally, Allied Research forecasts that the IoT in the manufacturing market will reach $1495 billion in 2030, a 22.6% increase from the year 2021. The growth in manufacturing market size illustrates IoT’s paramount benefits to this sector.
Benefits of IIoT Software
The increasingly complex manufacturing sector demands innovative technologies to meet the changing landscape and resulting customer demands. Here are the numerous benefits that industrial IoT brings to the manufacturing industry:
Experts state that production downtime can cost manufacturers as much as $50 billion annually. Businesses can avoid significant losses if manufacturers have the technology to predict bottlenecks before or as they occur.
Through IoT, smart technologies can monitor manufacturing processes and machinery in real-time. This process allows manufacturers to identify potential bottlenecks as they occur. These bottlenecks range from labor shortages and supply chain disruptions to machine breakdowns.
Through IIoT software, these bottlenecks can be treated proactively, thereby minimizing downtime. In turn, automated processes, robotics, and smart machinery manufacturing processes can work more efficiently, which will in turn, boost levels of productivity.
Predictive and condition-based maintenance
IIoT platforms optimize industrial processes and aggregate them in a centralized system such as a cloud. Sensor technology is attached to machinery and manufacturing processes that help operators monitor and manage systems and machinery.
These actuators and sensors make monitoring status data and real-time usage easy. In turn, data is continually analyzed and streamlined for fault detection. In turn, condition-based maintenance allows for improvement in product quality and a reduction in maintenance costs.
McKinsey notes that IIoT has helped businesses reduce maintenance costs through predictive maintenance by as much as 40% and even helps reduce investment needed for capital equipment by as much as 5%.
Agile supply chain
Process optimization and automated technology lead to an overall agile supply chain. Beginning from the manufacturing phase, operational efficiencies lead to faster manufacturing production. Communication is fast and smooth from the basic level of production down to employees and optimal phases.
In turn, it results in faster decision-making in response to market fluctuations. Businesses encompass a connected supply chain network with suppliers, distributors, and customers. IIoT assets enable real-time tracking and insights about various aspects related to the supply chain.
Minimize errors and product defects
Once you leverage the power of IIoT, it becomes easier to implement automation in manufacturing processes. In turn, it minimizes any chances of human errors that otherwise result in product defects.
Moreover, since IIoT can handle all the computation, it minimizes the chance of cybersecurity breaches that are often a result of basic human errors. With minimal errors and lower product defects, productivity and profitability rise.
Gartner reveals that out of the organizations employing IIoT, 75% are using digital twins as part of their ecosystem. In IIoT, digital twins refer to the virtual replicas of machinery and other physical objects for process simulation, issues discovery, conducting experiments, and more.
Through the digital twins’ phenomenon, manufacturers can easily take a bird eye’s view of processes and systems for any potential bottlenecks or areas of improvement. In essence, digital twins are a benefit of IIoT that lets manufacturers achieve results without the risk of damage to the actual physical objects.
Reduction in costs
Industrial automation has already been helping businesses cut down their costs in manufacturing. Industrial IoT further accelerates this process by providing various IIoT tools that help them generate more revenue.
Businesses can significantly reduce costs through the combined benefits of IIoT, such as predictive maintenance, quality control, fewer errors, and an overall faster supply chain. Plus, they can also improve their bottom lines.
Challenges of Industrial IoT software platforms
While this software promises a change, it is also prone to some challenges. For instance, since the software connects to networks and networked devices, cybersecurity risks are involved.
Moreover, implementing this software requires comprehensive planning and assessment of related devices and networks. A lack of experience in this relatively new field further challenges effective implementation.
Furthermore, there is another challenge whereby manufacturers need to align their organizational KPIs with their business’s objectives. Therefore, successful implementation calls for consistent risk assessments and proper software program implementation.
Manufacturers increasingly realize the importance of IoT in streamlining their business operations. Therefore, such processes should incorporate IIoT to improve productivity and bottom lines proactively.
Proactive Intelligence In Manufacturing