‘Connected Manufacturing’ And Why It’s Driving Businesses


The Internet of Things (IoT) is causing a buzz around the world for multiple reasons, primarily for the benefits it is bringing along for the consumer. A not so prominent but equally promising sub-sector is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which stands to be beneficial for all industries, especially manufacturing, which could undergo massive changes through machine learning, big data, sensors, machine-to-machine (M2M), and other technologies associated with IIoT.

A recent report by O’Reilly, Data Science for Modern Manufacturing, detailed out specifics of Australian governments’ initiatives, and also big data and cloud technologies are driving it. Opening paragraph made it clear with the statement, “The world’s leading nations are standing at the precipice of the next great manufacturing revolution, and their success or failure at overhauling the way goods are produced will likely determine where they stand in the global economy for the next several decades.”   

IIoT is known to deliver several benefits like shorter production cycles, timely response mechanism, ability of predict consumer preference shifts, and also optimizing supply chains for new demands apart from quicker retooling for manufacturing design changes. According to examples cited in the Man Monthly Magazine, there are 2 broad-based application cases of IIoT, including Fuel efficiency: Fuel is typically the largest operating expense for any airline. Over the past 10 years, fuel costs have risen an average of 19% per year. Secondly, by introducing big data analytics and more flexible production techniques, manufacturers stand a chance to boost their overall company productivity by as much as 30%. There comes the concept of Predictive maintenance, which helps identify equipment issues for early and proactive action, creating better functioning equipment that lowers overall emissions.

In the prime example of GE (General Electric), banking on IIoT in a orchestrated manner, there have have been practical sightings on changes that it can bring about, such as saving up to 12% in scheduled repairs, reducing overall maintenance costs by up to 30%, and eliminating up to 70% of Connected manufacturing will not only create huge opportunities for growth, besides bringing in transformative changes in the IT and operational teams of the company.  

Having mentioned the above details, however, it should also be noted that there are no fixed formulas per say, to adopting IIoT. However a few pointers could be:

– Be prepared for the fact that preparing an organization for IIoT adoption, needs a very specialized set of skills, which will be in high-deficit in the times to come. There will be an increased demand for professionals in the area, which could be opportunities for a new batch of innovators.

– One of the main tasks of technology leaders, would be to create a right mix of talent, that would be able to collect data, analyze it the right manner, react to the data, and also know how to effectively put the data into actionable and tangible results.  

– Leaders will also need to look for a cohesion of data integration, IoT, big data solutions which are easy to adopt and implement, and knowing that the framework will be in the control of those who may not be qualified data scientists, as this very moment.

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