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Posted on : Wednesday 17th June 2020 03:54 PM

Industry 4.0 IoT Is Key to the Smart Factory

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Industry 4.0. technologies are allowing manufacturers to digitize their factories. Among the most important of these technologies is Internet of Things (IoT). Powered by connectivity and sensors, it makes actionable, near real-time data insights about the condition of physical things in the factory and throughout the supply chain. This mixed with data analytics, new technologies and a fast network is helping manufacturers better maintain their assets and boost efficiency in production.


Manufacturers today deal with unprecedented pressure. They must manage evermore complex global supply chains and new logistics models, incorporate new ways of working, and handle the constant threat of cyberattacks. Customers are demanding more customized products. Yet, customer loyalty is more complicated to maintain as competition intensifies. Plus, all of this is playing out against the backdrop of a growing skilled-labor shortage.


To alleviate these pressures, more and more ambitious manufacturing companies are now utilizing faster networks, IoT and other technologies.


Here’s some of the ways IoT can help benefit manufacturing companies:


Workforce productivity: Manufacturers can use mobile IoT solutions to allow their employees. With near real-time factory floor insights, employees can rapidly locate and manage assets, monitor materials for quality, and enhance worker safety.


Predictive maintenance: Remotely monitoring equipment with IoT will help ensure machines are correctly calibrated for most effective use and high-quality output. It also implies predictive maintenance. This can help manufacturers save time and money by repairing or replacing equipment before it fails.


Supply chain management: Tracking the location of assets in transit permits manufacturers predict when shipments will arrive. Paired with near real-time analytics, fleet solutions can offer end-to-end visibility of goods throughout the supply chain.


Near real-time insights: With IoT sensors and other devices implemented on the factory floor and across the supply chain, manufacturers can obtain near real-time workable insights via data analytics. But this necessitates an IoT asset management platform that supports multiple devices, communication protocols, networks and cloud environments, and that combines with existing enterprise systems.


IoT in Action: Data and Insights on a Global Scale


One global manufacturer, for example, turned to IoT to boost performance in all these areas. As a leader in the design, production and servicing of commercial products, it integrated connectivity inside the goods and services it gives to market. This used together with a global mobility solution provided accessibility to near real-time information and insights for the company’s research and development teams and its service technicians in the field. Remote technicians were further backed with a fleet management solution that promoted safety and efficiency. 


Back on the factory floor, Wi-Fi coverage and end-to-end network services intended on-demand capabilities. This facilitate the company optimize operations and more easily scale capacity up or down to handle with business fluctuations.


As a whole, this combination of connectivity and data helped result in a complete view of the company’s assets including manufacturing equipment, inventory, vehicles, installed units and people, plus their individual ability and efficiency. Then finally, to ensure this information remained a competitive advantage, and not a liability, the complete network is secured through the cloud.


This manufacturer is both large and worldwide. It’s not unique in its need for greater insight into operations. IoT solutions can help manufacturing companies of any size to range and take action in near real-time to their operational and market challenges.


It doesn’t end with IoT. We could see other technologies being acquired to develop the manufacturing industry such as 5G, or 5th generation mobile networks.


Together with Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and Samsung Austin Semiconductor, LLC., we’re working towards the future of Industry 4.0 connected manufacturing. The idea is to provide insights into the future of a smart factory. We are working next to each other to explore use cases and technologies such as industrial IOT sensors that monitor for environmental and equipment conditions like vibration, temperature and speed as well as location services to help develop safety. 5G promises to someday have an important impact on manufacturing by helping to unlock new experiences in augmented reality, powerful machine learning and intelligent robotics.


The future of manufacturing is already here through IoT and on-demand, next-generation networking technologies. What makes the shift to Industry 4.0 a lot more exciting is that it goes far beyond manufacturing to transform not only how modern factories work, but likewise how things are designed, used and serviced.


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