We will discuss how businesses can prepare themselves for the IIoT and how to maximize its potential. Here are the top IIoT trends of 2021 and how they are shaping the future of industries.
A mix of Cloud and Edge Computing
As emphasized by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), one of the most significant benefits of industrial IoT is the ability to create a common data model from any connected data source.
In short, edge computing enables companies to process sensor and device data locally and in real-time. Edge computing is evolving as a solution to common latency problems in Cloud-based solutions. This allows companies to avoid lag time and delays that lead to production hiccups, safety issues, and open the doors to security threats.
On the other hand, the Cloud offers companies cost-effective and scalable solutions for long-term data storage. It is also ideal for historical analysis in activities such as supply chain management, demand forecasting, and production optimization.
Additionally, Cloud-based solutions that process large data sets enable companies to create an in-depth learning model that can be applied to the edge. Artificial intelligence can be trained, for example, to recognize patterns and identify threats in the Cloud. Later, that model can be embedded into the production process to capture insights and respond to threats in real-time.
Location Tracking – Tools, Equipment, and Inventory
The location-tracking trend also offers a glimpse of the future of IIoT. Although the geo-tracking industry has been around for a long time, it is continually evolving. In the past, the majority of location tracking was done through GPS that is inefficient and does not work indoors.
Several tools exist today that allow companies to track their inventory location, such as RFID tags, capable of tracking inventory movement at the shelf level and connecting with their ERP system. Chargers that monitor assets remotely and make charging more efficient are also available.
A location-tracking solution can also be combined with other technologies. Companies in the manufacturing industry, for example, can use sensor technology and AI to track environmental and security factors to manage their physical assets through location monitoring.
Using IIoT data for predictive maintenance is another trend that continues to grow. It’s no secret that early adopters have used IoT solutions for asset management tasks. Thanks to AI applications, AR, and digital twins, this application is rapidly expanding.
By using sensors in line with analysis software and machine learning algorithms, predictive analysis can be performed to predict problem areas and identify necessary repairs before a failure occurs. We can quickly identify the errors by measuring variables such as the vibration, temperature, ultrasound, and electromagnetic emissions from the machines, product flow, and other important components in real-time.
The concept of a digital twin is to envision a physical asset, such as equipment, a device, process, or product, as a virtual representation. Although digital twin technology has been available for quite some time, it is continually evolving.
The implementation of digital twins allows organizations to create real-time, online representations of what’s happening. By monitoring and controlling assets remotely, organizations can analyze a wide range of scenarios without any physical contact and take advantage of insights generated from this data.
Repair jobs could become safer and accurate using AR and the IoT. A cyber-physical connection is built by connecting the IIoT data from a particular asset with digitized instructions and AR applications. That way, the front-line workers can use the capabilities of connectivity.
Private 5G Networks
Private 5G networks are a major factor in the development of the IIoT. Many manufacturers are already building private 5G networks on top of their smart factory floors, in collaboration with the telecommunications companies.
For instance, a leading mobile telecommunications company partnered with a 5G service provider to automate factory-grade precision screwdrivers that require routine calibration and lubrication over time. With IIoT devices connected over 5G, the company was able to replace an inefficient, manual process, and cut the overall workload by 50%. A real-time motion sensor was fitted to each precision tool and connected to an NB-IoT module. This data is transmitted via the company’s cellular IoT network that is connected to the company’s private Cloud and back-end servers that automatically calculate trends and perform intelligent analyses.
IIoT Manufacturing as a Service (IoTaaS)
It’s no surprise that IoTaaS is an emergent trend among modern businesses, thanks to the Cloud. IoTaaS refers to the methods and services that are used to manage, control, and deliver connected devices. Platforms that provide IoTaaS can provide access to APIs for a range of devices, sensors, and actuators, facilitating the rapid setup of a heterogeneous ecosystem of “things” and gathering of the insights from these connected sources right away.
Near and Long-Term Industrial Automation
COVID-19 has increased the demand for industrial automation and digitization processes that have long-term effects on the way companies operate. According to Grand View Research, the global IIoT market size was valued at USD 216.13 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22.8% from 2021 to 2028. In light of the current events, the focus of manufacturers has shifted from simplifying and creating more efficiency in the supply chain to integrating IT and OT systems to maintain basic levels of operation. Intelligence and insight are essential to anticipate and mitigate future challenges and to achieve this we see manufacturers turning to technology and smart devices.
Is Your Business Ready for IIoT’s Future?
There is always a huge amount of data out there, and IIoT offers a way to simplify it in a safe but visible way. By learning new ways and developing technologies to incorporate them into your business as quickly as possible, you can gain a huge competitive advantage.
eInfochips experts can help you develop an industrial IoT strategy that meets your company’s goals. Customer interaction begins with a conversation that allows us to learn more about what you do, how it works, and the problems in IIoT applications. From there, we evaluate the existing systems and processes, identify your needs, and show you the path towards transformation. Contact us today for more information on industrial IoT solutions.