The Industrial Internet of Things Has Empowered Manufacturing
by Robert Bowden, on August 21, 2017
Manufacturers today have access to more precise and meaningful information than ever before, and they can harness this power to improve many different elements of their operations. Every piece of equipment on the assembly line - and potentially every product moving through that line, too - can become a source of raw information. In turn, that content is fuel for analytics. This is a more connected and intelligent manufacturing environment than has ever existed.
Power of the IoT
The promise of the IoT is that every object will be able to tell its own story, providing useful data. PSFK recently interviewed Microsoft's Bill Moffett about the progress this technology has made in improving manufacturing operations. He stated that when assets are providing real-time information, companies can think in terms of the future, using future-focused tactics such as predictive maintenance to keep the processes running.
Decisions are the key element affected by the IoT. As Network World pointed out, using an IoT platform in a commercial setting can lead to a cloud-based environment where information flows together to improve the way companies manage both people and equipment. Getting these processes in place opens up possibilities from increased automation to targeted process improvement.
Products Join the Data Ecosystem
While it's fairly clear how companies can begin collecting a stream of data from their equipment - either adding sensors or purchasing new assets with them built in - there is another part of the ecosystem that can provide information: the products themselves. With effective barcode labeling for manufacturing and scanning, following items through a factory and every subsequent element of the supply chain is possible.
Companies that want to improve their decision-making through advanced analytics need to think about where their information is coming from. Generating more data points through barcode labels or RFID tags could add an unprecedented level of visibility to the manufacturing process.
For more on labeling in the manufacturing space check out our recent QA on that topic.