Internet of Things (IoT), is a phenomenon which describes the connectedness of “things” to the Internet via the use of sensors and wireless technology, which can then be used to collect data. For manufacturers, IoT is the future – where “smart” factories will emerge and improve the efficiency of operations through the transformation of data into meaningful information. In fact, according to Market Research Hub, from 2016-2020 the CAGR for the big data market will be 16.7% and projected to be $76 billion USD in 2020.
In order to stay competitive in the manufacturing industry, it is advantageous to invest in a software solution that utilizes IoT as an enabler to harness the benefits of big data. There are many reasons to implement the use of IoT technologies in manufacturing, but here are two main ones:
More visibility of your factory
One benefit of the “smart” factory is the view a manufacturer can have over its processes – the ability to glean information from data produced from machines, inventory and the workers themselves. In brief, this is achieved through the use of sensors attached to machines in key stages of the production line. These sensors detect the process in action (e.g. the movement of materials) and the information is then relayed to a software platform which collates the data and presents it in a meaningful and analytical way. Think of it as information available at your fingertips, ready to be accessed any time of the day.
More insight on the future
Another aspect of control is the insights that data can bring to the future. While the future can never be really be determined, the use of predictive analytics can offer some clues of what might happen. Predictive analytics uses quantitative techniques to make use of the troves of historical data from an organization in order to determine patterns that show the likelihood of events, e.g. the percentage of chance that an item will come out faulty in the next batch. These nuggets of information would be beneficial for decision making, whether it is to upgrade a machine, reshuffle some steps, or reallocate product onto other lines.
There are many benefits to implementing big data analysis into your process, such as cutting down the number of errors, producing better quality products, higher efficiency, and less wasted time. Big data can also help management to figure out where some equipment or employees are falling short and use this information to act accordingly, and ultimately save money. Employing big data analytics is a cost-effective method that allows firms to stay competitive in the increasingly data-centric world we live in.