The benefits of Internet of Things in the manufacturing industry

We are in the middle of a meaningful change in the way products are produced, thanks to the digitalization of manufacturing. This change is so significant that it is called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a key part of this revolution, and its benefits are remarkable.  

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industry 4.0

What is Industry 4.0?

The term Industry 4.0 refers to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In the first industrial revolution, steam engines were used in production, in the second mass production and assembly lines, and in the third, digitalization.  

The fourth industrial revolution continues where the third left off by increasing automation and systems intelligence with the help of data and machine learning. The Internet of Things, or IoT, plays a significant role in automating production. Modern technology allows devices to communicate with each other and with software. With the help of the generated data, the system can make alarm, control the operation of the machines, and diagnose problems. The network of connected machines creates and shares information. This is the real power of Industry 4.0.  

The benefits of the Internet of Things for industry

  1. Informed decisions
  2. Availability of production data
  3. Cost savings
  4. Occupational safety

1. Real-time data helps in decision making

It is said that data is the new oil. A better metaphor for the data would be crude oil. Crude data is like crude oil, because the value of data, like the value of oil, is only realized in refining.  

Whether it is the manufacture of any product, data is always generated in the process. By processing this data, a company can achieve significant benefits. The processed data enables both the reduction of operational costs and the increase of revenue. Data-based real-time or near-real-time prospects for production, marketing and sales help company management make better, more informed decisions.  

A complete and real-time view of the company´s entire manufacturing process gives management a good overall picture of the company´s operations. Better understanding, on the other hand, gives rise to new insights that would not have even come to mind without the data.  

2. Production data available to everyone

In operational activities, information may well be at the forefront of the authors and management. Instead, senior management is more distant about doing, and the same knowledge often does not reach them. Much information is generated in production, which would also be available to senior management. For example, information about production disruptions or quality problems should also go at once to sales and marketing because they have an impact on their work. With IoT, information can be made available to anyone who needs it, and no one needs to be in the dark.  

In addition to decision-making, data from production can also be used to anticipate problems and optimize production. Sensors can be used to monitor equipment performance and alert you to problems. When problems can be detected and rectified in time, costly production downtime or machine breakdowns are avoided. The Internet of Things allows remote monitoring of manufacturing 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world.  

3. Cost savings from energy efficiency and preventive maintenance

Much of the cost to industry comes from the energy used to manufacture and transport it. Reducing energy costs is difficult than by improving efficiency. IoT can be used to optimize the production process and thus reduce energy consumption. In addition to costs, lower energy consumption also saves the environment.  

Another benefit of the Internet of Things arises from a higher level of automation. Automation reduces the number of human errors, making production more efficient and accurate. The machine is a tireless and systematic quality controller.  

The third cost-saving benefit of IoT is preventive maintenance. Physical machines can be connected to software using sensors that constantly monitor the performance of the machines. This gives the company better idea of the performance of both individual devices and entire departments and allows problems to be anticipated. Preventive maintenance reduces unnecessary downtime.  

All the benefits of IoT above – proactive maintenance, fewer errors, better quality control and maximized efficiency – reduce costs

4. IoT for better occupational safety

Sensors and data can also be used to improve occupational safety. Integrated safety systems can protect workers from a variety of injuries, such as chemical exposure, noise, equipment damage, the effects of fatigue, excessive heat, or falls. The sensors may be located in factory premises, equipment, or they may be wearable technology such as wristbands, helmets, or vests. 

The system can alert workers to dangerous changes in working conditions. In case of an accident, all persons on the premises can be warned, operations can be stopped, and management can intervene at once. In the future, similar data can be used to prevent similar situations in advance.  

Download free e-book

Although Industry 4.0 is still evolving and not all its benefits can be yet reaped in practice, the modern technology is already bringing many improvements to the manufacturing industry. You can read more about Industry 4.0 and the use of IoT in industry in an e-book published by Intel. 

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