GSMA Intelligence forecasts that total Internet of Things (IoT) connections will double between 2019 and 2025, reaching 24 billion. IoT technology is transforming many industries and workplaces, thus creating value for businesses and their customers. In a way, 5G has become a catalyst for the next generation of IoT products because of its ability to connect virtually everyone and everything, all around the world.
One of the major ways IoT and 5G is revolutionizing the world is by connecting factories to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). Workplaces can engage with smart ecosystems in various ways, including smartphones, mobile technology, connected cars, and so much more. Pairing devices and data within a factory's physical infrastructure can help cut costs, improve sustainability, and enhance data management. Here are some ways that IIoT is enabling smart factories.
IIoT sensors installed on factory floor machinery, monitor not only what’s happening around the machine, but also what’s going on inside it. This data helps to predict when the machine will need maintenance attention, and can alert workers to a problem before it’s obvious. Proactive maintenance efforts can greatly reduce downtime, saving the manufacturing company both time and money.
As factories become smarter and smarter with AI, machines will take care of themselves. With predictive maintenance, machines will be able to fix their own problems before there is a problem.
Smaller orders and specific demands are creating more complexity for manufacturers. They need to stay in closer communication with operators and workers on the floor to ensure that production timelines stay on track. That’s why many workers are given touchscreen devices to access a dashboard that relays process descriptions, materials, and specific instructions. These devices do not need to be ipads, they can be personal or company cell phones. The key is to choose vendors that have software and hardware that can easily integrate with factory infrastructure and be easily displayed on a touchscreen device.
Cutting Through the Wall
Throughout the manufacturing environment, IoT gets the right information to the right people at the right time. It cuts through the wall that separates designers, engineers, and executives from the factory they manage, and enables them to "see" what they're doing.
Many companies have factories and engineering headquarters in separate locations. If there is a problem at the plant, engineers had to fly from their headquarters to diagnose and fix it while production stalled. With IoT, engineers are able to see video footage of machines operating in real time. Combining that with data from the machines, they could suggest or even implement solutions from their desks.
Join Link Labs for the MWC Americas
This year’s theme is called Connected Impact. We will be displaying our asset tracking technology as a small step towards connecting everything to the internet. Feel free to come by our booth #1555, and maybe we can give a quick peek into the future of IoT.