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IoT and IIoT have worked within the Manufacturing realm to simplify processes, through the usage of wireless connectivity and Narrowband Standard connectivity. Such use cases include event detectors, smart garbage bins, and smart metering, while also promoting more industrial tasks on the floor as well. As 5G is making its way through the country, there is hope that a new level of speed and efficiency will burst forth, assisting with performance levels on the job.
Visibility into Production Lines
When it comes to IoT and IIoT, these players work to connect production equipment such as machines, tools, and other assets together to better provide managers with more visibility into the production processes, and to combat issues and hurdles as they arise. These managers are able to gain real-time updates of where tools and operations are in their lifecycle. With better insights like this, whole manufacturers are able to leverage this information for greater results, leading to higher quality and more efficient production numbers.
If a malfunction were to take place while on the clock, and at the fault of a piece of equipment, the manufacturer could experience several losses, due to downtime and/or unexpected equipment repair costs. By deploying wireless sensors on machines throughout the factory, managers are able to detect when certain malfunctions start to occur and troubleshoot errors before they get worse. This feature could assist manufacturers in promoting a safer work environment.
Predictive Maintenance will likely evolve and consider data from not just one machine, but rather across multiple factory locations and various equipment pieces throughout the industry. Several AI-based algorithms are sure to be deployed on non real-time platforms, such as real-time systems like Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). Those who haven’t determined how they can monetize their respective business models in accordance with Predictive Maintenance, will fall behind in at a competitive disadvantage.
Improving the Quality of Products
A supply chain with an emerging IoT presence is able to better tackle emerging IoT capabilities to better assist their end-user. Such offerings allow companies to deliver access to real-time data through the tracking of assets such as trucks, shipping containers, and even individual products. Increased visibility is also achievable to provide accurate schedules for availability of materials and the shipment of products to customers. This type of analysis can provide major company-wide improvements across the logistics spectrum.
Introducing Digital Twins
IoT is directly responsible for the creation of Digital Twins, the virtual replicas of physical devices or products that manufacturers could use to run simulations before they actually build and deploy those devices out in the real world. Due to real-time data captured and provided by IoT, manufacturers are able to potentially craft out a digital twin of essentially any “breed”, so they can better detect flaws and predict most outcomes in a purer mode. With the benefit of centralized informational access and the real-time connectivity provided by the connected web of sensors within IoT, digital twins can now offer very real and attainable value to people and businesses, no matter where work is being done.
In the wake of COVID-19, many benefits have been found within the midst of utilizing Digital Twins and IIoT, no matter what the workplace looks like. Companies are now being thrown into a reality of employees working from their home offices to promote healthy and safe living practices. For many this could lead to a disastrous time, but this is how digital twins can come to assistance. Due to restricted travel bans and the social distancing mandates that come along with social distancing, a digital twin can add to property management and operations, while saving valuable time and resources.