There seems to be no limit to digital transformation and the way technology can reshape business as we know it—no matter the industry. And manufacturing is no exception. If there’s one thing the COVID-19 outbreak has taught businesses, it’s that only the smartest survive. Those looking to make their manufacturing (and supply chain at large) smarter, need look no further than Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology. An IIoT example is simply applying the connectivity and data capture of IoT to manufacturing companies’ processes, and it’s only going to become more common in the days, weeks and years ahead. Let’s take a look at 3 future technology trends in IIoT.
#1 - Smarter maintenance
Hardware maintenance is one of the biggest causes of downtime among industrial operations. IIoT technology uses sensors to monitor key components and equipment and connect that data to a factory’s network. This means hardware upgrades and updates can be done automatically and according to a schedule that minimizes downtime. IIoT sensors can also help predict when hardware is at high risk for failure, alerting technicians to preemptively replace faulty parts before they cause a problem.
#2 - Moving to the edge
Speed is everything in manufacturing, and any latency caused by relying on cloud resources for processing power is unacceptable for modern manufacturing operations. The solution is to leverage edge resources that are physically closer to a factory and thereby eliminate latency as an issue. This added reliability means onsite development of applications that govern the manufacturing process can occur more quickly. These include everything from apps governing semi-autonomous robots to apps providing the framework for wearables that aid factory workers.
#3 - Industrial AI
IIoT can help manufacturers understand and improve processes through app integration and data analysis. Artificial intelligence can play a significant role in those efforts, but another area where AI truly shines is in its ability to solve problems faster than a human technician ever could. The way AI and IIoT are helping manufacturers do this all starts with an in-depth understanding of the needs and requirements of any manufacturing system. That understanding combined with the right engineering can allow AI to help solve issues quicker when they arise, which hopefully translates to less downtime.
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