Internet of Things or IoT is a disruptive phenomenon. It cannot be simplified as just technology because there is a plethora of developments underway and many smart systems are already available that cannot technically be categorized as any one type of product or service.
IoT will have ripple effects in most manufacturing operations and only one will be somewhat unpleasant. Internet of things will make some jobs in manufacturing obsolete or unnecessary. It will also create new jobs but only those who retrain or upgrade their skills will be able to sail through the tide.
IoT has already brought about many changes and it is going to transform manufacturing operations in dozens of ways. Here are five ways the internet of things will change the immediate future of various manufacturing sectors. It is not accurate to club all manufacturing into one category or sector so one must have a comprehensive understanding of the different kinds of implications of smart systems.
Internet of things will change the approach of manufacturers to compute costing estimates. The entire process will certainly be faster and more accurate. Estimates of cost are quintessential and they are quite complicated. If a company is into bespoke manufacturing, then the challenges are more daunting.
It is not always easy for product development and sales teams to be in perpetual sync when tenders are being dealt with or during interactions with potential clients. IoT can streamline the approach to estimating the costs and it can improve the accuracy of such assessments. There is very little room for error and that too will arise from interpretation of the analysis, not owing to any fault of big data.
Manufacturers will find it simpler and easier to analyze nonconformance reports. Every factory must be under constant monitoring and one of the pertinent issues is nonconformance. No factor floor is completely immune to such issues. Mistakes do happen and that can affect the product.
Nonconformance reports may not always be complex but real time assessment can save a lot of money and problems that will become inevitable later. Any delayed analysis of such reports and subsequently a late response to fix the problem can cost a company. Prompt response is only possible when big data is combined with real time analysis. It is possible to identify and even predict patterns or trends of nonconformance in some instances.
Internet of things can optimize plant load with large JD Edwards systems and other processes to keep throughput up and reduce down-time. Manufacturers are compelled to respond to demand to maintain optimum supply. Demand based manufacturing has already become a norm in many industries. Efficiency and optimized utilization of facilities are steep challenges in case of demand-based manufacturing.
Internet of things can establish a seamless synergy among various departments, from sales and business development to conceptualization, production and delivery. It is indeed possible to have diverse teams with distinctly different assignments to work in perfect harmony if the right systems are in place. Smart manufacturing facilities will facilitate that.
One of the most effective changes in manufacturing shall be operational management, including monitoring and maintenance. Upkeep of systems can be turned into proactive and preventive maintenance. Replacement of parts or components can be preempted and even automated. Real time data made available by sensors and compiled into big data can be analyzed immediately for managerial intervention.
Supervisors can use state of the art systems to improve efficiency on the floor, fix assembly lines without having to halt operations for hours and it is also possible to prevent errors since smart sensors can detect problems in the making. Companies prevent downtime and operational efficiency can get a significant boost.
Internet of things will also improve supply chain management. Most manufacturers rely heavily on the supply chain. Any chink in the armor can cause a chain reaction and there can be a serious financial fallout if the issues are not resolved immediately.
Internet of things provide real time access to all relevant information and developments in the supply chain, thereby making it easier to detect and understand issues, to mitigate risks and manage inventory efficiently, to reduce capital requirements and remain perpetually connected to all processes to maintain unhindered material flow.