Smart Manufacturing (Part 1 of 3).
What has been the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) evolution to smart manufacturing? Over the next decade, manufacturers could stand to capture about $4 trillion of value from the IIoT through increased revenues and lower costs, according to ARC Advisory group.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is not about ripping out current automation systems in order to replace them with new ones. The potential lies in the ability to link automation systems with enterprise planning, scheduling and product lifecycle systems.
According to PWC survey, manufacturers fall roughly into one of three groups: early adopters, sideliners (doing little or nothing), and thinkers (analyze all angles before start). One of the challenges in understanding the potential of IIoT is the very large scope of applications.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is an evolution that has its origins in technologies and functionalities developed by visionary automation suppliers more than 15 years ago. As global standards mature, it may well take another 15 years to realize the full potential of IIoT. Over this period of time the changes to the industry will be far reaching.
Introducing IIoT solutions using a “wrap & re-use” approach, rather than a “rip & replace” approach will enable greater business control. In addition, this measured approach will drive the evolution towards a smart manufacturing enterprise that is more efficient, safer, and sustainable.
Smart Manufacturing Vision
The IIoT vision of the world is one where smart connected assets (the things) operate as part of a larger system or systems of systems that make up the smart manufacturing enterprise. The “things” possess varying levels of intelligent functionality, ranging from simple sensing and actuating, to control, optimization and full autonomous operation.
The smart manufacturing enterprise is made up of smart machines, plants and operations all of which have higher levels of intelligence embedded at the core. The linked systems are based on open and standard Internet and cloud technologies that enable secure access to devices and information. This allows “big data” to be processed with new, advanced analytics tools and for mobile technologies to drive greater business value.
PWC survey shows:
- Thirty-five percent of manufacturers are currently collecting and using data generated by smart sensors to enhance manufacturing & operating processes; 17% plan to do so in the next three years, with another 24% with plans, but no timeline.
- Thirty-four percent of manufacturers believe it is “extremely critical” that US manufacturers adopt an Internet of Things (IoT) strategy in their operations; 60% believe it’s “moderately or slightly critical.”
- Thirty-eight percent of manufacturers currently embed sensors in products that enable end-users & customers to collect sensor-generated data; 31% have no plans to do so, and the balance plan to do so in the future.
Smart Manufacturing Operational Environments
Three distinct operational environments will set the stage for the smart manufacturing enterprise to emerge.
- Smart Enterprise Control
Tighter integration will allow enterprises to not only be more efficient, but also more profitable thanks to greater flexibility and responsiveness to volatile market conditions. Benefits will include the ability to enhance protection against cyber threats, more innovation, and the ability to better manage safety, performance and environmental impact.
Today these systems are managed somewhat independently of each other, which prohibits a holistic view of the enterprise. It is believed such a holistic approach could facilitate an enormous efficiency gain of up to 26% for enterprises.
One of the biggest potential benefits of next generation IIoT systems is the breakdown of enterprise silos. The technologies will allow for closer integration of production systems and ERP systems, Product Lifecycle Management systems, Supply Chain Management and Customer Relationship Management.
- Asset Performance Management
Asset performance management applications such as energy management and predictive maintenance are not new to industry, but have had limited uptake due to the cost of implementation.
- Augmented Operators
The use of mobile Human Machine Interface (HMI) technologies such as smart-phones, tablets and wearables, combined with IP-access to data and information (analytics and augmented reality) will transform the way operators work. Portable wireless devices will expand their capabilities and technologies such as dynamic QR codes will improve the operator experience and render the “augmented” operator more productive.
While the interest in IIoT has reached fever pitch, there are several reasons IIoT should be seen as an evolution, not a revolution. End users have invested hundreds of millions in industrial automation and control systems and are absolutely unwilling to invest hundreds of millions more to replace those systems with new technologies.
In part 2, I will be explaining about barriers and automation impact.
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