In our modern age, Connectivity is essential for company success - would you agree? The term "Internet of Things" (IoT) is a new, commonly used industry term that's altering the world with a wave of transformation for manufacturers, engineers and designers especially.
However, the end goal is unanimous: to create and use data from programs, machinery and equipment to improve product development systems, overall manufacturing performance, efficiency, more up-time and lower costs.
In theory, IoT offers advanced connectivity of systems, devices and services that goes well beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M). IoT covers a variety of protocols, domains and applications. Software, sensors, and IP-enabled connectivity are increasingly embedded into the product design and build. The interconnection of these embedded devices (including smart objects), is expected to provide automation in nearly all fields, while also enabling advanced applications, and expanding to the areas such as smart cities.
Wikpedia defines the Internet of Things (IoT) as:
"The network of physical objects or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data. IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration between the physical world and computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit; when IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems, which also encompasses technologies such as smart grids, smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020."
Jim Heppelmann, CEO of PTC reported: “What makes smart, connected products fundamentally different is not the Internet, but the changing nature of the ‘things." He added, "It is the expanded capabilities of smart, connected products and the data they generate that are ushering in a new era of competition.”
The question on the forefront as we have entered 2016 is this: Why is there a large number of manufacturing companies that have not taken advantage of connecting their enterprises? Why aren't all manufacturing facilities and businesses not as connected and automated as they could be? Is change and adaptation too scary for some? Possibly, but the awareness should be this. Change is inevitable, so adapting smarter systems and procedures to improve all efforts, should be the focus as technology advances and times goes on.
Obviously, IoT varies per industry, per company, per need. However, the benefits are essentially the same across the board:
- Improved Maintenance
- Increased Automation
- Improved Remote Diagnostics
- Adaptive Processes
- Connected Supply Chain
Take note: These evolutionary steps define a fundamental shift in how value is created for individual consumers, and across the entire global economy. Are you on board with the latest and greatest, to help you save time and money? If not, please let TriStar know what your questions are. A quick assessment might help to clarify what your problems and needs are. Where there's a problem, there's a solution, but the best news is, adopting newer practices will only save time and money!