The Internet of Things (IoT) is a complex system of interconnected devices such as computing devices, machines, both digital and mechanical, people and objects that possess unique identifiers and a capacity to transfer information without the need of human-to-human or human-to-computer communication.
The convergence of the internet, wireless technologies, micro services and micro-electromechanical systems has enabled the development of IoT, allowing machine-generated data to be examined and analyzed to find ways of making major improvements.
The benefits of IoT in general
The list of advantages of IoT in a general sense has been growing, as more and more industries decide to turn to this new technology to advance their business. There are so many benefits to consider when thinking about becoming a part of the IoT network.
To name a few, IoT offers you connected computing, marketing automation, ubiquitous networks and sensors, as well as process optimization, improved situational awareness and an immediate control of the intricate autonomous systems.
The benefits of IoT for manufacturing companies
IoT has become a core constituent of large-scale transformations in any field including the manufacturing industry. IoT is an established strategy that has brought innovation to the technology we use every day, allowing manufacturers to raise efficiency, improve productivity, increase their profits and reduce waste as well.
With the Internet of Things, any unwanted scenarios such as delayed work and dissatisfied clients can be diminished. The list of benefits and ways IoT can transform your manufacturing company are endless, and we will focus on some of the most important ones that can take the process of manufacturing to a whole new level that will surpass your expectations.
It will raise energy efficiency
Energy has to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, costs for manufacturing companies. Bills come weeks before the finish of the billing cycle and feature the overall amount of energy that has been used for the entire company.
The trouble is that bills add up to the total energy consumption and it is impossible to determine where particular inefficiencies lie. However, a large percentage of manufacturing companies reported getting energy utilization data from their month-to-month bills or energy monitoring devices, both of which have constrained points of data.
IoT enables understanding and collecting this data down to the level of a single device. If you have an underperforming device, IoT will help you to find out how to enhance its efficiency. Actually, any device or machine can be tracked down, so that the manufacturers can get an overall perception of the energy consumed.
This enables you to attain insights about potential issues or failures of the equipment, thus offering you many different saving opportunities.
It offers you the ability to effectively complete maintenance
Instead of planning schedules of maintenance, IoT offers you the option to receive real-time data in order to figure out maintenance needs. Thanks to sensors, you will know the exact needs of the machines, indicating if any parts require repair or replacement. If not, you won’t be wasting valuable resources, which is a major time and money saver!
For instance, IoT sensors can monitor the temperature of a key part of some manufacturing device and if it begins to increase, workers will be warned, so that they can prevent any potential disasters from happening on time. Detecting early signs of such failures can save you from many potential hardships.
It helps you improve product quality
Improving the quality of your products directly leads to numerous other advantages like decreased costs, increased sales, customer satisfaction and decreased waste. Accomplishing this goal is certainly not a piece of cake, but that is where an IoT development company can earn big.
One of the major reasons responsible for lower quality products is faulty machinery. Sometimes, manufacturers are not even aware that there is a problem with the equipment, which can contribute to poor quality. Quality issues can have widespread bad consequences such as customer dissatisfaction and distrust, and requests for product returns.
Customer requests are greater than ever and delivering a product that is below average can lead to long-term effects. Mistakes can be averted with the help of IoT, which can limit quality-control problems and recover the lost expenses.
It shortens downtime of the machines
Prompt, high-quality and precise production is the foundation of good profit. With the absence of effective production, manufacturing companies are at risk of losing money. If a machine breaks and stops working in the middle of the process, products may be a total waste in addition to downtime costs.
IoT prevents these losses from happening, as sensors will instantly detect any problems and alert the manufacturers. Thus, problems can be solved in real-time. IoT will minimize downtime and save you a lot of money.
It helps you make good decisions
With the use of IoT technology, manufacturers will never be unaware of the equipment malfunctions again. IoT unlocks basic information about performance and makes those insights accessible to the ones who need them the most.
Moreover, manufacturers are now able to change a reactive approach into a proactive approach, decreasing excessive stress and waste and raising visibility. Subsequently, they can make more efficient decisions and choices at the exact moment of relevance.
Enables you to stay competitive on the market
With the immense competitiveness among manufacturing companies, it is difficult to get ahead and stay relevant. Every manufacturing company has a goal to operate more efficiently and with bigger profitability and to make their customers stick around. IoT provides all the necessary tools to bring these advantages into being.
IoT leverages the existing data that was previously inaccessible. Consequently, manufacturers are able to transform time being spent on solving problems into a more efficient process, which enables them to develop new and advanced innovation strategies. When the machines are operating effectively, the quality of the products increases, which leads to better overall customer satisfaction and trust.
Potential risks to have in mind
While IoT makes the best of the production quality and efficiency, there are still some things to look out for. With the use of IoT in manufacturing companies came the danger of unauthorized access to the company’s data. Therefore, the manufacturers must be sure to put an emphasis on security.
Computer security is ignored as irrelevant at times, but more and more companies have been reported to have experienced some kind of a security incident, which eventually cost them more than 1 million dollars.
Interconnected devices provide access to the company’s network and its data, but there is also vulnerability that originates from unsecurely stored data in the manufacturers’ back end systems and from the likelihood of exposing communications among devices without a secure transmission protocol.
However, the greatest risks derive from the potential capability of hackers to access IoT devices and influence the system. Hackers who have the ability to access industrial control systems can modify manufacturing processes and make hazardous threats to general public safety.
IoT systems are hard to protect successfully, since they have constrained processing power that may not possess the capacity to utilize encryption. Updating such devices is troublesome because they are easily installed and small, so it is difficult to know exactly where they are located.
The most essential safety measure would be changing default passwords on devices. Manufacturing companies should also consider developing IoT policies that would be similar to the policies of mobile devices they use, so as to determine which devices are allowed and how they are permitted to be utilized.
Another important thing to do is to make sure you possess suitable network security with firewall settings that will guarantee the security of the connected equipment. Also have in mind that network monitoring can recognize any unpredictable IoT usage.
After you’ve considered the top ways IoT can be used to transform your manufacturing business, together with potential risks you may encounter, the decision is not difficult. Even though IoT has its pros and cons, the advantages far outweigh the potential risks. Any IoT application development company would do well to step up its operations and invest judiciously in IoT processes in the year ahead. It all comes down to digitalization and optimization of your manufacturing environment, which can ensure the success of your future operations.