According to John Greenough of Business Insider’s report, manufacturers are set to invest up to $70 billion in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) by 2020. However, actual investments could easily exceed these expectations. The development and deployment of autonomous vehicles, machine-to-machine communication abilities and preventative maintenance could all team up to result in even greater savings in 2016, which will further increase investments for the Industrial Internet of Things.
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Growth of the Industrial Internet of Things Continues
76 percent of manufacturers expect to launch Industrial Internet of Things applications and use of smart devices by the end of 2017. Growth of the IIoT will likely play out in four phases, reports Accenture Consulting. These phases include the following:
- Development of Operational Efficiency: Manufacturers will create the infrastructure to host IIoT applications through asset utilization, operational cost reductions, and worker productivity.
- Creation of New Products and Services: The Industrial Internet of Things will enable manufacturers to create new products and services, which will further drive the use and development of value-added services and a connected manufacturing-ecosystem.
- Tracking of Performance: New products and services will enable a new host of KPIs and real-time data.
- Autonomous Pull Economy: This phase will use performance measurement and management to create a supply chain that automatically adjusts and grows to meet demand without unnecessary, inefficient delays
IIoT’s Greatest Impacts on Manufacturing
Transportation costs are considerable for many manufacturers, and leveraging technology to make transportation more efficient, helps reduce overall costs. 27 percent of those expect the most significant changes from the Industrial Internet of Things will revolve around shipping, logistics, and transportation processes.
Additionally, 76 percent of manufacturers expect the IIoT’s biggest opportunity to focus customer satisfaction rates, and greater productivity and higher product-quality.
Future of IIoT Applications in Manufacturing
The manufacturing sector will gain $3.9 trillion due to use and implementation of the IIoT, and the IIoT will impact the supply chain in the following ways:
- Autonomous Vehicles Will Increase: Autonomous vehicles will help to reduce the impacts from the increasing driver shortage and improve the safety of transporters.
- Prevention of Out-of-Stock Issues: The IIoT will enable retailers to better manage inventory levels and adjust orders to meet the demands of customers from real-time data.
- Real-Time Tracking of Assets: A company’s worth is only as good as its current level and quality of assets. IIoT-connected devices will allow manufacturers to automatically track assets and work with more suppliers in a positive, collaborative relationship.
- Pre-Emptive Solutions to Problems: Problems will arise, but the IIoT will help manufacturers determine where problems may be more likely to occur before they actually occur. For example, pre-emptive maintenance may be used to reduce machine downtime in factories.
- Address Demand Changes in Real-Time: Sudden changes in demand can take weeks to trickle down to the factory in traditional supply chains, but the IIoT will enable manufacturers to recognize demand changes in real-time, further driving better warehouse management, asset allocation, and use of the transportation management system.
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Today’s manufacturing improvements represent a fraction of how the Industrial Internet of Things will transform the industry in 2016, and manufacturers are taking notice. The global trend towards connectivity is only going to grow stronger, and manufacturers must be willing to make the investments needed in order to thrive in the coming age of autonomous, connected manufacturing.