How can the Industrial Internet of Things help your Manufacturing Business?

We explore just some advantages of leveraging IIoT technologies

About the Industrial Internet of Things

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) helps your machines, processes or manufactured products to become ‘smart’ by using a blend of embedded electronics, software, sensors, wired or wireless connectivity. All of this enables the collection and interpretation of data to deliver new insights along with the ability to remotely control or automate parts of your operation.  

The right Industrial IoT solution can help your organisation achieve better asset utilisation, increase productivity, accelerate time to market and make huge cost savings. With its many wide-ranging benefits, it is no surprise that more and more manufacturers are leveraging IIoT technologies.  

It’s important to note that IIoT implementation does not come at the expense of a brand new manufacturing facility or through installing new production lines or individual pieces of equipment. According to McKinsey, most of IIoT’s value comes from retrofitting existing sites and machines. 

What’s more is that not all your machines have to become smart right away. Whilst properly planned IIoT projects start with a holistic overview of the manufacturer’s needs and challenges, the actual implementation may begin with the delivery of an IIoT proof-of-concept from connectivity with a single machine.

In this short article, we will explore how the Industrial Internet of Things can help your manufacturing business in critical areas. 

Let’s get right into it. 

Examples of IIoT applications in Manufacturing

There are many ways in which the Industrial Internet of Things can help your manufacturing business.

One way is by providing you with real-time data about your production process. This data can be used to improve efficiency and instantly address issues before they become problems. You can set your own ideal production parameters and receive alerts via your PC or smartphone the moment there is a deviation. Depending on the nature of remedial action required – it can be a manual intervention or automated intervention within the IIoT system.

Another way that IIoT can help your manufacturing business is by providing you with better visibility into your supply chain. By tracking the movement of goods and materials throughout your supply chain, you can identify potential bottlenecks and delays. You can also benefit from full traceability as raw materials and products move through manufacturing to the finished product. IIoT can also help you monitor the condition of your products and inventory, which can enable you to take proactive measures to prevent quality issues.

Lastly, IIoT can also help you improve your customer’s satisfaction and encourage repeat purchases by improving their ownership experience of your manufactured products. For instance, if you manufacture machinery or electronic goods, you can use IIoT to provide your customers with real-time data about how to optimise usage, take better care of the product and provide alerts of impending failure.

At the point of impending failure or in advance of a planned service interval, the IIoT system can also direct customers to schedule service bookings with your approved maintenance teams or partners. This type of IIoT enabled service provision helps reduce your cost of warranty claims, whilst enabling you to build closer relationships with your customers.

It can also be monetised, opening a new recurring revenue stream for your business. Given the new and detailed insights gained into exactly when, where and how your products are used, IIoT offers immense potential as a marketing and product development tool.

The Benefits of IIoT in Manufacturing

As a manufacturing business operating in an industry in which a competitive edge is gained through ‘smart manufacturing’ methodologies, it is essential to understand how an IIoT provider can help you improve your operations and better serve your customers. 

The following are some of the benefits that you can expect to see by using an IIoT platform or solution in your manufacturing business: 

Asset Utilisation

By tracking the performance of your machines and equipment, you can identify underutilised assets and make appropriate changes to your production process. This information can also be used to prevent potential downtime and maximise the efficiency of your operations.

Reducing energy usage and costs

IIoT can help you track your factory floor energy consumption to a granular level within individual machines and their sub-components. This information can be used to identify production inefficiencies and dramatically reduce your energy bills. IIoT deployments across many applications frequently deliver numerous ways to avoid process failures and consequent re-starts. The savings in energy alone can deliver an IIoT return on investment even before the lost retail value of failed product and costs of excess raw materials/waste are considered. This is especially the case as manufacturers continue to endure rising energy costs.

Improving Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

IIoT can help you accurately track the availability, performance and output quality of your machines and equipment. Whilst benefiting from automated OEE calculations, you will gain new insights into your ‘hidden factory’ operation with real depth and accuracy into what areas contribute to your OEE and how they can be improved.

Reducing raw material consumption and waste

Naturally, increased production efficiencies lead to reduced raw material usage and waste. Additionally, IIoT can help you track the consumption of raw materials and monitor your production process for potential waste.

Improving quality

By tracking the performance of your machines and equipment, you can identify potential quality problems before they occur. Additionally, IIoT can help you to automate quality control processes to ensure that products meet pre-production, in-line and final QC requirements.

Reducing maintenance costs through preventative maintenance

IIoT devices and sensors can detect and alert you to tell-tale signs of impending machinery and equipment failure before they result in downtime.

Reducing carbon footprint

IIoT can help you track the carbon footprint of your operations by providing accurate carbon accounting from which you can begin to properly benchmark your greenhouse gas emissions and develop a meaningful, targeted plan to achieve net-zero.

Find out more about IIoT

If you have any questions relating to this IIoT article or would like to find out how SanCloud can help you with your next IoT project, please contact us and we will be happy to help.