How IoT Solutions are Changing the Manufacturing Industry

January 11, 2018

By 2020, experts predict that virtually all major factories will implement the Internet of Things to at least some degree. It’s easy to understand why: IoT solutions allow manufacturers to monitor and track every step of their processes, resulting in significantly higher efficiency overall.

Historically, human employees have performed these routine tasks – everything from tracking the availability of resources to monitoring the amount of items produced to identifying inefficiencies. Now thanks to the IoT,  human workers are no longer needed for these specific tasks, hence, priorities in the workplace have changed.

Transforming employee priorities

As a result of IoT development, employees can focus on more productive tasks. Because IoT devices are constantly “talking” to one another through sharing data, it also means it will be easier to glean insights and make adjustments that will allow businesses to manufacture items even more quickly.

Employees who once spent time collecting data and information about particular steps of the manufacturing process can allocate their time more wisely with the help of data to determine how to improve their operations. As a result, efficiency and productivity soars, all while getting the most from their human employees.

These developments are by no means far off. In fact, several major companies are already using IoT applications to facilitate smoother manufacturing processes.

Use cases of IoT development

Case in point: Harley-Davidson, one of the most well-known motorcycle brands on the planet, had a major problem a few years back before turning to the iOT for solutions. Despite being wildly popular, Harley-Davidson’s primary market consists of an aging population, and the company needed to make some changes if it wanted to keep up with the competition. So, Harley-Davidson decided to bring together  employees from both IT and operations to create a plant that could manufacture motorcycles far more efficiently than ever before.

By using IoT device management solutions to integrate systems, Harley-Davidson was able to cut the production schedule for new orders from 21 days down to a mere six hours.This reduced operating costs by approximately $200 million.

IoT development

General Electric is another organization taking advantage of IoT programming. In one New York GE battery plant, IoT-connected devices monitor a wide range of factory conditions, from the performance of its machines to the factory floor humidity levels.

The goal is to use the data to anticipate machine breakdowns before they occur, address performance issues to create more reliable products, and generally develop a better understanding of what can be done to optimize GE’s manufacturing capabilities.

Individual employees at major companies are even recognizing the value of IoT solutions in manufacturing. For instance, at a Hershey’s plant, a worker believed that creating an IoT network to monitor various steps in the process of creating Twizzler’s could help address efficiency issues. The result? A savings of “$500,000 for every 1 percent of improved efficiency.”

The bottom line on IoT development

Again, experts believe this is merely the beginning for IoT programming. Across a wide range of industries, companies are beginning to seek out Internet of Things development teams to help them boost the autonomy of their machinery, identify “blind spots” in the manufacturing process, and more.

Additionally, as with all technological innovations, IoT programming and IoT device management specialists are continuing to offer new and improved tools, from IoT-connected 3D printers that can predict the need for particular items, to trackers that calculate available inventory.

No matter what industry you work in, your factories will benefit from IoT solutions and applications. Now’s the time to start looking into how to implement them

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