In the last article of the ‘Fit for the Future’ series, we looked at the benefits of implementing a data historian to provide a repository of actionable information you can leverage to develop a greater awareness of your operation and undertake intelligent planning and optimisation. This month, we’re looking at the ‘Industrial Internet of Things’ (IIoT) which offers the opportunity to kick-start digital transformation through increased connectivity, improved visibility and greater operational efficiency.
The technology provides huge benefits to both digitally mature operations and businesses just setting out on their smart manufacturing journey.
IIoT takes operational awareness to the next level with real-time information from critical assets presented via a single, consolidated user interface. Machines, equipment, business systems and people can be brought together as you embark on the journey to make your entire operation much more efficient. An IIoT platform provides information in real-time and is accessible from anywhere, at any time and on any device to enable agile, informed decision making.
With a full 360-degree view of your entire operation, IIoT is your portal to taking control and reaping the rewards of every step you’ve taken towards smarter manufacturing. So, how is IIoT integrated with your operation?
The technology facilitates rapid and agile solution delivery by linking all your disparate systems. The result is an operation that is far greater than the sum of its parts. With a single, consolidated view of your entire operation, everyone in the organisation benefits from increased information flow, improved operational control and greater collaboration without the need to interact with each individual system. Additionally, linking your management and enterprise platforms with wider operational technology (OT) systems brings context to information regardless of its source. IIoT also provides the ability to roll up critical performance data into intelligible and relevant information, enabling visibility of business KPIs in real-time to ensure profitability and efficiency.
This evolution is critical to staying competitive as the manufacturing industry continues to strive towards digital transformation.
To date, many systems have existed as isolated islands of information with little or no meaningful data flow between them. IIoT consolidates these and provides a broad, all-encompassing platform for unparalleled vision and an ease of access for automation and control.
How does IoT benefit your operation? In answering that question, we can highlight how IIoT can provide great value to businesses with legacy equipment, platforms and machinery. Being able to wrap and extend your existing systems and infrastructure allows you to get more from your operation without the need for wholesale replacement. IIoT is a platform for the future, providing key insights which enable a flexible and agile approach to iterative upgrades aligned with an overall operational improvement strategy.
Additionally, once you have this platform in place, innovative solutions such as advanced analytics and augmented reality (AR) can be leveraged in due course as the application of these technologies opens up opportunities previously out of reach.
Connectivity provides value at every level. As an investment, IIoT provides fantastic returns and empowers communication, efficiency and flexibility across enterprise, management, production and operations.