Internet of Things is swiftly changing the manufacturing ecosystem around the world. Analysts now have a term for the new evolving industry dynamics as a result of the Internet of Things revolution: Industry 4.0. Every major factory in the world will see the effects of Internet of Things and its related marvels in the coming years. According to an estimate by TATA Consultancy Survey, manufacturers which use Internet of Things experienced a 29% rise in their revenues between 2013 and 2014. Business Insider estimates that big manufacturing companies will invest a whopping $70 billion on IoT solutions to revamp their production procedures by the end of 2020. Similarly, Aberdeen Group estimates that over 74% of the companies that used IoT, or Industry 4.0, actually saw better results and growth in revenues.
Cognitive IoT Solutions for Manufacturing
IBM Watson’s industrial solutions based on Internet of Things are the best examples of how IoT can really help in improving the manufacturing process. IBM Watson’s industry-specific solution makes sense of data and predicts failure. It reduces 47% of the unplanned downtime. The platform also helps in increasing the productivity by managing and monitoring workforce. Here is an excellent video showing the miracles in the manufacturing world made possible by Watson’s IoT.
Cobots (Collaborative Robots)
Cobots are transforming the factories around the world. Collaborative robots have the capability of self-learning. They work in collaboration with humans and have the ability to program themselves. For example, if you are working at a factory with a Cobot, just hold the hand of it and do a task. After two-three times, the robot will learn the pattern and will develop the ability to perform the task by itself. Cobots are being used at several manufacturing plants in Germany and China. Companies like SEW-Eurodrive have deployed thousands of Cobots at their plants to help their workers humans do difficult and repetitive tasks.
Tracking and Analytics
The biggest utility of Internet of Things in the manufacturing process is the tracking and analytics of assets. Companies use sensors, GPS-based connected devices and motion sensors to continuously track and monitor the movement and performance of their assets. This results in cost control and increased efficiency. Cyberphysical systems are getting popular. These systems are based on Internet of Things, and have the ability to tell the exact location and condition of different parts at any given time.
IoT Is Making Factories Safe
Work-related accidents are very common in the manufacturing world. The International Labor Organization estimates that 150 workers suffer a work-related accidents every 15 seconds around the world. Over 300,000 people die every year due to work-related accidents. IoT-based wearable devices are helping organizations to make their workplaces secure. These wearables relay data of workers’ health, heartbeat, temperature of the surroundings and other metrics that help management and plant managers to predict the problems and take action. IBM is partnering with North Star Bluescope Steel to develop a cognitive platform for wearable devices, specially designed for the workers.