Pairing physical assets with intelligent sensors to gather, analyze, and communicate data is driving enormous new efficiencies in manufacturing and business operations. Just as in the consumer markets, where the first generation of personal fitness monitors and smart home devices leverage data sets to influence and shape events in the physical world, so too are operational efficiencies borne by the Internet of Things (IoT) generating new returns in manufacturing.
According to McKinsey in 2014, “business-to-business applications will account for nearly 70 percent of the value...from IoT in the next ten years.” The firm estimates that of the nearly $11 trillion a year in economic value generated globally, ‘nearly $5 trillion [will] be generated almost exclusively in B2B settings, including factories, such as those in manufacturing, agriculture, and even healthcare environments; work sites across mining, oil and gas, and construction; and, finally, offices.’
More informed decision-making and cost-optimized operations across the extended supply chain are only some of the benefits. Wireless sensors, whether measuring hydrogen levels in soil or temperature variables on the production line, are eliminating blind spots in traditional manufacturing processes and delivering a constant flow of usable data. And while manufacturers have leveraged data in discrete applications for Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence (EMI) systems for years, the growth of sensors, real-time dashboards, cloud-applications, and mobile technologies are delivering new degrees of actionable intelligence to precise locations at precise times for improving productivity and reducing costs.