• September 16, 2016

Data Assembly Required: 5 Ways IoT Will Reshape Manufacturing

IoT is changing the way manufacturers operate.

In 1913, Henry Ford revolutionized the manufacturing industry when he introduced the assembly line to aid in the mass production of his Model T. The move cut the number of hours it took to build a single vehicle from more than 12 hours to just two and a half. More than a century later, the manufacturing industry is evolving again thanks to an equally important advancement that promises to have just as great of an impact on business productivity: The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT).

By using sensors and other metering devices to collect data right from the factory floor, the IoT is helping to make manufacturing a faster, smarter, and more effective process. And while only 35 percent of U.S. manufacturers collect and use the data generated by their sensors to enhance their manufacturing and operating processes, that’s a percentage that will surely rise. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Predictive maintenance. Imagine having your factory machines tell you when they need to be serviced, aren’t functioning at peak performance, or when a simple repair now could prevent a much more serious issue further down the road. With the IoT, this and more becomes possible, allowing you to take the measures necessary to keep your factories running smoothly.
  1. Easier supply chain management. By knowing precisely where individual raw materials are at all times and where specific products are in the manufacturing process, you can have greater control over the logistics of running your factory. That can save time and money by allowing you to manage your resources more efficiently.
  1. Remote accessibility. For manufacturers who need visibility into and control over what’s happening at remote locations, the IoT provides a solution. Thanks to data displayed in real-time on sophisticated dashboards, you’ll be able to see in great detail exactly where things stand, even when you don’t have boots on the ground to keep tabs on things.
  1. Increased safety. In the mining industry, the IoT is being used to create a “real-time view of all activities underground,” allowing workers to avoid areas where there may be potential safety hazards.
  1. Greater efficiency. The points above and other benefits all add up to the fact that when manufacturing plants are connected to the internet, they are able to work much more efficiently. That saves time and money, and allows them to go to market faster.

The IoT is changing the way manufacturers operate. Not surprisingly, they’re investing heavily in the technology. In fact, some estimate that global manufacturers will invest $70 billion on IoT solutions in 2020. That’s more than double the $29 billion they invested last year. Transformation of the manufacturing industry circa 21st century.

Like this story? Read a Q&A with HPE experts discussing the future of the automotive manufacturing industry.