We live in a vast tech riddled landscape known as the Internet of Things (IoT). In every area of daily life, the IoT and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are transforming norms and progressing industry. In no field is this more evident than in manufacturing. With an increasing demand for product customization and pinpointing challenges in international supply chains, adopting IIoT solutions is necessary for both maximizing profit and addressing cyber-security concerns.

As of 2017, a staggering 86 percent of major manufacturing firms had adopted IIoT solutions. Of that number 84 percent indicated that those solutions had been dynamic in revamping productivity, driving efficiency, and granting a major competitive advantage over industry peers. Each of these things lends itself to massive growth and spending in new IIoT technologies, a field that will be worth up to $12 billion by 2024. With that in mind, how will the IoT continue to change manufacturing as we know it?

#1 Cybersecurity and Workplace Safety

One of the top concerns of every major manufacturer is cybersecurity and employee workplace safety. Work-related accidents are prevalent in the manufacturing industry, with incidents occurring every 15 seconds. Similarly, manufacturing is also the most at-risk industry for cyber-security attacks. How can custom IoT development help?

Adopting new and custom IIoT and IoT platforms can greatly assist in both employee safety and cyber-security. For example, wearable devices can monitor health risks and collect important data on heart rate, location, and skin temperature. IoT development can also help to assess data loss and close security gaps that could jeopardize data.

#2 Reduced Costs

In no way is the IoT more imperative to manufacturing than in trimming overall costs in industrial processes. What IoT does is minimize machine letup, assist in inventory management processes, observe energy usage, and support supply chain management. All of these things lower manufacturing costs and cut down on overall product cycle time. It is estimated that the use of IoT in manufacturing can add an economic value of $1.2 trillion dollars before 2025.

#3 Greater Supply Chain Visibility

IoT technologies are helping to provide clarity into the manufacturing supply chain, giving a peek into field operations and filling the gaps that ERP and popular MES systems cannot due to a need for standard data output. Using custom IoT development and incorporating new technologies into the overall supply chain grants detailed data about products including transit location, production date, stock, overall shelf-life, and relevant properties.

#4 Asset Management

In manufacturing, asset management is the key to streamlined processes and increased profit margins. IoT applications can assist in asset management by including tracking numbers, managing inventory, and offering prognostic preservation practices. This improves the comprehensive reliability of equipment and offers up a stronger return on investments. A recent study by Zebra found that smart tracking will save between 20 to 50 percent on inventory carrying costs in all manufacturing sectors.

#5 Discrete Manufacturing

Discrete manufacturing (the production of discrete items) is set to outpace process manufacturing by 2020 and will account for the largest share of IIoT spending. Adopting new IoT technologies provides these manufacturers with the data they need to innovate and better manage production cycles. This contributes to improved manufacturing operations and reduced production cycles, allowing manufacturers the ability to offer short-notice manufacturing runs on in-demand items.

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