The Internet of Things (IoT) is proliferating at a precipitous rate, with the number of businesses relying upon them increasing in lockstep. Industrial deployments, in particular, are witnessing somewhat of a paradigm change because of IoT devices, and companies intending to retain their competitive edge will have to fully embrace Industrial Deployments of IoT Devices (IIoT) technology in the next few years.
Because every industry is unique, with particular requirements, goals, and methodologies, the specific deployment and application of IoT devices varies dramatically. Providing IoT expertise requires a thorough understanding of the unique needs associated with each vertical and ensuring that the business is extracting maximum benefit from IoT devices, systems, and solutions. That includes not only establishing popular IoT deployments for the industry in question, but also identifying opportunities where more generalised IoT management processes can enhance the security and efficiency of the business.
What Is Industrial IoT (IIoT) and Why Is It Important?
Industrial IoT, or IIoT, applies to the process by which the business creates and delivers its goods and services with a focus on automation, optimisation, asset maintenance, and oversight, as well as opening new revenue streams.
Its importance is reflected in the bottom line. Businesses today either live or die by their capacity to be nimble and efficient. The aim of IIoT is to make production, storage, and distribution as quick and effective as possible: shortening production time, allowing more to be accomplished faster, and insulating the system against delays or mishaps.
When managed intelligently, IIoT yields several benefits beyond simply improved efficiency. It allows predictive maintenance and upgrades to keep the system functioning effectively, as well as providing additional avenues for an operation to expand. On a more general level, it addresses challenges confronting nearly every industry, making the practical operations of the business function with maximum efficiency.
Warehousing operations using IIoT systems can simplify and expedite several storage challenges.
Any industry dealing with material products must address questions of storage and warehousing… questions which IIoT can answer. RFID tags, for instance, contain far more data than older barcodes, allowing workers to triangulate and locate a particular product in large warehouses more quickly. They can also be used to monitor temperature and humidity levels,
keeping perishable goods or sensitive equipment in an optimum environment.
IIoT further allows workers to perform inventories simply by tapping a tablet, saving countless work hours on manual inventories. Automation allows for swift and accurate retrieval from any corner of the storage facility without expending unnecessary time.
IoT offers enhanced onsite security and oversight as well. Wearable devices enable managers to keep track of individual workers within the warehouse and provide easy identification and verification of employees accessing sensitive devices. IIoT can interconnect with security cameras and motion detectors to keep workers safe and products secure.
This is particularly important in long-term warehousing facilities or those that might be physically distant from the rest of a company’s operations. IoT provides transparency by allowing management access to any part of the operation within seconds. Worker safety features ensure a healthy environment and swift alerts should problems arise.
Shipping and Logistics
IIoT systems in shipping can track individual packages and ensure safe and efficient transfers upon arrival in port.
IIoT devices are revolutionising the shipping industry, ensuring the right product reaches its destination on schedule. The number of logistical issues that can be solved by proper IIoT implementation is surprisingly large. The same system of RFIDs allowing products to be tracked in a warehouse can also be used to track a product through the shipping process. Similar end-to-end supply chain solutions can be implemented across an entire shipping operation, providing security and location confirmation at every stage.
ROI figures are boosted thanks to processes such as improved container utilisation and online payment methods. IIoT applications can pinpoint sources of potential damage en route aiding in insurance claims, for example. Ships interconnected to ports can check for and schedule available berth space while also making real-time adjustments for variables such as draft weight and the weather. The data provided further allows for predictive modelling—anticipating and addressing potential problems down the road.
Automated manufacturing can maximise output while allowing for customisation and other features.
As with warehousing, automation can have a transformative effect on the manufacturing process. IIoT applications are designed to optimise any production operation, starting with instant data provided by devices at all stages of the manufacturing process. In manufacturing, this will:
- Enable managers to determine if production quotas are being met
- Pinpoint where slowdowns might be occurring
- Assess what variables might affect completion times
This will help to considerably reduce time-to-market margins, as well as bolstering both virtual security and the physical safety of the goods and workers themselves. IIoT also allows for increased customisation of products, with adjustments made smoothly and efficiently at the proper point in the process to create the required variation. RFID tracking and station sensors can monitor the customisation process: matching products to specific orders and allowing customers to make selections online that are instantly relayed to the point of manufacture.
Numbers can be easily adjusted to match existing orders, ensuring there is no excess product. This in turn frees up warehouse space and prevents the potential waste of manufacturing materials. Such systemic changes can dramatically change any manufacturing operation, freeing up time and resources for other areas of the business.
Securing the Full Promise of IoT
As global commerce moves forward apace, and IoT systems become entrenched and indispensable for business functionality and efficiency, CyAmast offers comprehensive IoT management and security that helps your organisation operate more securely.
Get in touch to schedule a personal Discovery Session and learn how CyAmast’s systems can provide infinitely greater convenience without compromising security.