Industrial IOT

What are the motivators for Industrial IOT (IIOT)?

Enlisted below are key motivating factors for IIOT:

Making Money

This is possible by offering innovative products and services. Also by offering maintenance plans and performance based services. On a shop floor by offering predictive replenishment’s of consumables and spare parts.

Saving Money

On a shop floor by improving operational effectiveness, improved logistics which takes care of optimum usage of resources through feedback mechanism. Predictive maintenance of the machines based on the sensor data collected from these machines. This helps reduce the downtime and also wastes due to inefficient feedback mechanisms.

Increase compliance

Meet government regulations for factories producing pharmaceutical, medical, food and beverages, etc. through a smart process implementation using IoT platforms. Internal process controls to meet and exceed defined quality standards. And allow access based on role and improve audit functioning.


Industry transition phase from 1.0 to 4.0

First wave of industrialization started during the 1700’s when mechanical looms were introduced to produce goods (clothing’s). This phase was referred to as Mechanization and generally referred to as Industry 1.0. During this phase all the production was done in a silo. Mostly the factories were run using steam plants.

With the advent of electricity started the second wave of industrialization during the 1800’s when the products started moving over the conveyer belts. The phase of industrial production based on factory electrification is known as Industry 2.0. Again it was a silo based approach with limited ability to optimize the factory production based on forecast feedback received from markets.

As electronics industry started to produce semiconductors during 1960’s it gave birth to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s). This gave way to new and modern phase of automating the factories to run production based on automation and robotic processes. This helps increase productivity and produce high quality products. This phase of Industrial Automation referred to as Industry 3.0 was riddled with silo approach as in Industry 1.0 and 2.0.

Today we are in an era where semiconductor technology is helping achieve connect factories to their customers directly using smart connectivity based on IoT concept. And we are right in the middle of this Industrial revolution referred as Industry 4.0. This is possible using various networking technologies at the disposal of the companies. Industry 4.0 is about connected factories, connected products and connected customers to save money and make money.

As one can infer it took almost a century to bring a revolution from Industry 1.0 to 3.0 while it’s taking only 50 years to move from Industry 3.0 to Industry 4.0. This is being enabled with the support of semiconductor, connectivity, digital technologies.

Industry 3.0 Challenges

Industry 3.0 challenged with host of issues such as disconnected manufacturing assets, disconnected enterprise systems within same factory. This leads to complex heterogeneous systems to be managed within the factory running on different protocols, interfaces from different suppliers.

Consider for example a typical automotive factory, in the current context there are several manufacturing assets such as robots, PLCs, RFID readers, Bar code scanners, etc. They are connected to their own individual enterprise systems running on Oracle, SAP, Microsoft MSMQ, etc. Prima facie it appears the factory is automated whereas in actuality the systems work in disjointed fashion. In order to make the Bar code scanner talk to Robots or RFID scanners talk to PLC equipment’s it would require programming. This becomes a significant challenge. How do we overcome this?

Industry 4.0 Advantages

Industry 4.0 is a concept where in all the manufacturing assets would talk to each other within the same factory floor. The data generated from an RFID reader can be used to communicate with the assembly robot to either pace up the production of slow down. The cumulative data can be collected, monitored and transferred from the intermediate monitoring platform to the enterprise systems. The data collected over the enterprise management systems can be shared with the top management, vendors, supervisors, sales team and field service teams in some cases with the customer for actionable insights. This can happen over the cloud systems.

Over the Horizon Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is about connected factories for efficient production planning, inventory control and just in time deliveries. Industry 4.0 is about connected products to take care of the preventive maintenance, to complete R&D feedback loop and warranty tracking once the product reached customers hands. And most important it is about customer experience. Having connected customers to help in mapping products, run biometrics, provide training programs and help in anti-theft tracking.

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