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IoT: The Conveyor Belt to Manufacturing Efficiency

Nicola Allen, Internet of Things World

According to the American Society for Quality, 87 percent of U.S. manufacturers in 2014 were not using smart manufacturing technologies (from a 2015 Ovum report by Stuart Ravens).

This comes as surprising news as many experts predict that manufacturing offers one of the biggest opportunities for IoT, particularly when it comes to improving efficiency on the production line and far beyond. With sensor adoption being old news, in what ways should the manufacturing industry be taking IoT to the next level?

IoT offers manufacturers a wealth of data and information that can provide insights into operational planning, quality control, energy saving and machinery efficiencies, to name a few. From a consumer perspective, product quality improves and remains more consistent, and products are produced and delivered faster with less scope for human error, theft or fraud. And despite considerable worries from staff across the industry with regards to job losses, IoT can even benefit them in relation to heightened health and safety in the workplace.

“So why isn’t everyone in manufacturing adopting IoT?” we hear you say.  A lack of capital investment is the most obvious and greatest barrier to adoption at present. Of course you have heard countless times that IoT has been billed as the fourth industrial revolution, but revolutions of course don’t happen overnight. Change involves strategizing, design, implementation, testing and reinforcement (most likely a number of times) before it can be adopted at an organizational level. Many companies still also appear to be reluctant to take their business down the automation route, and a new skills set means either lots of training or lots of staff change.

Despite these barriers, manufacturing has never been more in the spotlight. Increasing efficiency in the workplace, no matter what industry your business operates in, is in management’s list of top priorities.

At CES in January in Las Vegas, Nev., a dedicated SuperSession titled IoT Business Strategies: Partnerships for the Sharing Economy will discover in what ways IoT can help improve efficiency, improve innovation and drive real business transformation in any industry sector. The SuperSession features a stellar speaker lineup including Mike Troiano, VP, Industrial IoT Solutions at AT&T; Jason Johnson, Co-Founder & CEO, August; Carla Archambault, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Product & Experience at Zipcar and Mike Soucie, Product Partnership Lead at Nest; plus representatives from Honeywell, Ovum, and Docapost – Groupe La Poste. Check out the full details.