The Internet of Things Has Value for Prepared Manufacturers

by Max Manikian, on December 11, 2017

The IoT can illuminate the manufacturing world in ways that were previously impossible.
The IoT can illuminate the manufacturing world in ways that were previously impossible.

The tiny, mechanical actions transporting products from one stage of the manufacturing process to the next benefit from automation. Not only can machines cut down on the potential for human error, the way these systems communicate with one another can be faster and more direct than even the most effective worker.

Embracing this internet of things model of smart technology assets passing data among themselves requires assistance from supporting technology, such as barcode labeling. Manufacturers that invest in the means to digitize their processes can then reap value-adding benefits.

An Informational Lifeline

Automation World contributor Andrew Robling recently laid out the advantages that come along with the IoT when it is used correctly. For example, there are traceability and quality management benefits in having sensors and automatic logging at every step of the manufacturing and shipping processes. These checkpoints can validate large amounts of data about particular parts and use that info to make automatic decisions. Furthermore, IoT features linked to inventory allow companies to operate at a level of precision that was previously unthinkable.

SAP Global IoT and Digital Supply Chain President Tanja Rueckert spoke with Network World about the effects of improved data availability  via smart industrial assets. She suggested that with this new insight, manufacturers will be able to take a more collaborative approach to their operations. When organizations become comfortable with this type of real-time data sharing, they can increase efficiency further than if they kept everything within their own walls.

The Right Components

It's significant that SAP executives are among the industry insiders seeing the value of the IoT. SAP's popular enterprise resource planning systems are among the data-focused solutions that have to be connected to make the IoT flourish. Enterprise labeling products are another part of the equation, bringing digital data into the physical world via barcodes and other forms of machine-readable imagery.

For more on barcode labeling for manufacturing, check out our report Q&A on that topic.

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