IIoT in Industry 4.0

My guess is you are familiar with a Nest thermostat or a Ring doorbell.  Maybe your refrigerator lets you know when you are out of milk.  These devices are Internet of Things (IoT) devices.  IIoT devices will move beyond your home to the factory floor.

IIoT or the Industrial Internet of Things is another key enabler for your success in an Industry 4.0 world.  Relying upon 5G speeds within your factory, you can collect information from many sensors within your operations.  This will provide many real-time data analysis opportunities.

The data suggests by the end of 2018, over 50% of manufacturers will build IIoT technology into their products from day one.  This requires new thinking during the design phase.  Ask what services and revenue can be generated with this new product throughout its lifetime?  Industry Week 2018.

If you are a manufacturer of any kind of sensing, filtering, welding, torque or screwing equipment and a multitude of other items, your opportunity is to equip your tools and sensors with discrete performance information that can be collected during the manufacturing process.

Equipping components and machines with sensors and software will allow for almost real-time data collection and analysis to occur in a remote location.  Using Big Data to interpret the collected data points, device manufacturers can offer new service offerings based on predictive analytics.

Another scenario is a part will no longer have to travel through the entire manufacturing process before it is identified as defective.  Using point of use information gathering, analyzing the information collected for patterns and deploying predictive analytics, we can inform the operator that a defect was generated.  They can take immediate action to prevent additional defects.  We won’t have to wait until inspection occurs to know there is a defect.

IIoT data collection and analysis won’t happen the minute you deploy devices with sensors on the shop floor.  I want to provide you with a framework for a successful IIoT digital transformation.  Like many things that impact business, it will not happen overnight.  This is important to realize and develop a solid plan for your transformation.  Ensure that you have the proper resources available- time, money and people.

In order from low to a high level of complexity, the chart below shows a successful path for implementation.  These are steps to include when deploying IIoT devices in your shop and when designing new IIoT products.


Why should you investigate deploying IIoT devices within your business?  Here are five benefits:

1.  Reduced Maintenance costs and response time

Predictive analytics can provide a real-time picture of the state of your equipment.  This allows you to conduct maintenance only when the equipment needs it and not before.  Analyzing historical information means that you can have a better picture of maintenance parts to keep on hand to reduce response time.  Also, a great business value add.

2.  Condition monitoring on a real-time basis

IIoT will allow you to monitor off-site equipment.  Imagine being able to remotely monitor elevators and understand when the best time is for them to be taken out of service with minimal interruption to the customer.

3.  Predictive maintenance and improved TPM

Because you will have real-time monitoring this will let you know when the best time is to conduct preventive maintenance to minimize downtime.

4.  Increased visibility into asset performance

Lifetime analysis of an asset provides you with a picture of how that asset had performed over its lifetime.  Consistent repairs, outages, and trouble tracking can lead to better warranty claims and service.

5.  Increased asset life

If we do a better job of deploying preventive maintenance, generate a clearer picture of asset usage and breakdowns, we can make decisions that will lead to increased asset life.

Don’t ignore the fact that this will be imperative for your business regardless of your industry.  Your suppliers, customers, and competitors may be partnering within certain ecosystems that are beneficial for everyone.  You don’t want your lack of vision to leave you out of these very important partnerships.

As always, it is an honor to serve you and I hope that you and your company are getting better every day!

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