The Internet of Things (IoT) has already created prominent benchmarks in the recent past and is becoming an integral part of every company now.
Nowhere will IoT be more disruptive than in the industrial sector. To get some more insights on how the future of IoT will affect the broad and crucial industrial sector lets have a look at its effects on the global economy.
Today, industrial IoT (IIoT) is powering the next industrial revolution.
As we know, in the first industrial revolution, we went from man-made goods to machine-made goods. Then the inception of electricity came into being and brought factories and machines to life. Now, its time to convert every asset into a smart connected asset.
We all have seen in the past that companies would take a lot of pain sending an army of their employees out into the field for performing regular maintenance on every equipment, and when the equipment would fail the hassle would be of the top level.
But with IoT, the scenario has changed a lot, machines not only send information about their activity but also about their health and location, generating more in-depth insights in just a single model for service. This scenario is alone a game changer. But there’s plenty more.
IIoT and its effect on product development
Working principle of IIoT revolves around learning through analogies.
Let’s take an example of product development with IIoT.
In any case, when a product is being developed and deployed, the data consumed is fed right back into the product development process to make subsequent improvement possible with the product for the new product design.
There are so many parallels, and one of the best ways to learn is through analogies. When promoting a product, Amazon conducts A/B and multivariate testing, where they have one product and run multiple different ads to see which performs the best.
By this, now manufacturers are capable of developing smarter, more reliable and more effective products based on how the products are actually being used.
IIoT and other emerging technologies?
Today, AI is one of the trending technologies and the idea is selling like hot cakes. It’s already in the path of massive development and can bring the next industrial revolution. Also, AR is another aspect that is ready to amalgamate with AI to help it reach greater heights.
Augmented Reality (AR) is surely going to be very important, and there are many opportunities to come for collaboration in the future.
Let’s envision a scenario in the future where AR might be used to assist a technician in any service company’s portfolio. In this situation, the maintenance technician would show up in the work site, scan the designated IoT device and fetch the requisite report on their device and decide to repair or swap any specific part of a machinery, and then AR would help them to repair the specific part.
IIoT would bring all these technologies under one roof. How we manufacture, and service products will get a new dimension.
What’s the “killer application” for industrial IoT?
IIoT can be a turning point for the entire manufacturing sector. In future, there is every possibility that the combination of AI, software, and robotics would take us to an era of fully automated manufacturing facility without any human intervention. Taking things to fast forward 10 to 20 years, we can easily envision manufacturing-as-a-service as a common term.
Just like today, it doesn’t make any sense for most of the companies to open their own data center today because there is a plethora of cloud-based options. Similarly, in the future, it may not make sense for manufacturing industry players to open their own factory as there would be manufacturing-as-a-service facilities.
In that environment, OEMs would have access to plants that are highly reconfigurable, capable of supporting many different customers. It would enable distributed manufacturing. In that sense, we are again going back to localization from globalization.
Thus, companies would look forward to manufacture in their local economies, and AI, software, and robotics would help the manufacturers bring new, modular facilities online without the massive challenges they face today.
With IoT, the future of IIoT seems to be bright, but it resembles there is still much work to be done.
Given the size of the industry, how massive it is! and projections moving forward, IoT has the potential to create a lot of value for organizations that embrace it.