There is no question that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is completely changing and enhancing the industrial manufacturing landscape. By leveraging the immense power of smart machines to collect data, the industrial IoT provides real-time predictive analytics to perform actions for many key industries today. Businesses use this technology to improve daily operations. They can predict when machines will breakdown to saving time locating misplaced items on the manufacturing floor through location-tracking technology.
In industries that struggle due to talent shortages and clunky, outdated processes, the IIoT revolutionizes businesses around the world. Let’s take a look at some of the leading industries impacted by the IIoT and what’s in store for this technology in the coming decade.
Heavy Equipment Businesses and IoT Tech
Industry leaders in heavy equipment like the Japanese manufacturer Komatsu use the IIoT in their production facilities to help managers stay up-to-date on international production operations as they occur, rather than after the fact. Another leading heavy-equipment creator, Caterpillar, utilizes IIoT technology and augmented reality (AR) in conjunction to provide machine operators with a status overview of anything from air filter cleanliness to low fuel levels.
When working with heavy machinery, it’s essential to be able to view these specs in real-time. This lets the workers address issues and keep the process running smoothly. It also helps heavy equipment companies save money on extremely costly repairs by being proactive rather than reactive. More IoT adoption in this industry also benefits equipment renters as well. Businesses renting the heavy equipment get more reliable machines which saves them money.
The Impact of the Industrial IoT on Warehousing
IoT implementation is completely changing the game of warehousing. In the distribution industry, companies are vulnerable to a variety of external threats, including natural disasters and economic instability. However, warehouses can also suffer because of simple internal mistakes. While many believe warehousing errors can be attributed to the workers who mess up while filling orders, the reality is that flawed processes and materials cause 85 percent of quality issues.
To increase efficiency, and make warehouse robots safer, companies like Amazon introduced the Industrial IoT to their operations with great success. Currently, Amazon tests the integration of human-machine collaboration and automation through Wi-Fi connected robots. These robots locate products and bring them to workers to package. With the help of the IoT, these robots can better recognize their human counterparts and avoid safety hazards.
What Will Scientists Discover Next?
Science news delivered weekly!
Automated Transportation and Logistics
Another sector that’s seeing improvements through the implementation of the IoT is the transportation and logistics industry. By integrating IoT sensors in shipment trucks, workers receive real-time data regarding other drivers whereabouts and specific route information. This can help them optimize their routes to avoid delays. With this data at their fingertips, there is less room for accidents or timely detours.
Additionally, the Industrial IoT demonstrates the potential for improving asset tracking, reducing pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, and managing highway traffic. Maersk even uses the IoT to control the temperature of their refrigerated transport containers to reduce the risk of spoilage.
How The Internet of Things Powers Factories
Manufacturers of smaller products like phones or computers see improvements after integrating the IoT into their factories as well. This technology allows them to lower their production costs. Machine sensors help factories become more environmentally sustainable by warning workers of water and energy waste. IoT sensors also trigger alerts when stock is running low or before equipment failure occurs.
In the past, machines operated in isolation, performing their specific functions regardless of the status of the others. Now with the IIoT, factories can collect meaningful data on the state of their machine ecosystem. Each business can centralize the control of their factories and easily keep track of all of their equipment for a more efficient manufacturing process.
The Future of The Internet of Things
Now that IoT devices are readily available for industrial businesses, and these companies are aware of its many benefits, the IIoT will continue to revolutionize these industries in the coming decade. While at the surface, the IoT is simply a bunch of networks, sensors, and data, this technology becomes so much more when paired with AR or artificial intelligence and utilized for specific industry issues. For example, in the transportation industry, experts predict that cars and trucks will only get smarter in the future through the development of driverless vehicles with IoT analytics capabilities.
Not only will the IoT revolutionize industrial industries, but the Industrial IoT will also change the job market. Demand for skilled workers with IoT knowledge will only increase as more businesses embrace this technology. Therefore, it’s time for colleges and universities to begin teaching IoT engineering to better meet these industry needs.
Industries that implement the IoT have only seen the beginning of the potential of this technology. The Industrial IoT will only continue to help businesses with more tech integrations and worker expertise.