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Future Of Manufacturing With IoT: Understanding The Opportunities And Challenges

22-Feb-2022

Future Of Manufacturing With IoT: Understanding The Opportunities And Challenges

Over the past few years, technology has come a long way transforming the business landscape. Especially, when we talk about mobile technology, IoT has turned out to be a concept that has completely transformed business models.  

This is why a significant number of manufacturers have incorporated smart devices and advanced software solutions to have the best IoT in the manufacturing industry. According to market and markets, “The global IoT in manufacturing market size to grow from USD 33.2 billion in 2020 to USD 53.8 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.1% during the forecast period.”  

Some of the best reasons why IoT has entered the manufacturing landscape so smoothly is the supported tech and limited need for any substantial investment. Thanks to the ever-growing need for futuristic development and dynamic quality assurance services, that has helped the manufacturing industry to deploy the best IoT applications. Also, the need for globalization and rapidly growing customer demand have encouraged manufacturers to nurture innovation on their way to having a competitive advantage.  

In a nutshell, IoT as a digital transformation initiative has huge potential to redefine the way manufacturers interact, operate, and serve their clients. Today’s blog will aim at highlighting the future of manufacturing with IoT. Besides, we will mark some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that IoT in manufacturing possess.  

Let’s begin! 

The Challenges In Manufacturing Industry 

Though IoT, AI, ML, and other advanced solutions have transformed the way manufacturers lead their operations, those who don’t have access to technology are still likely to witness a few challenges. Before we jump on understanding the various opportunities that IoT brings along to the world of manufacturing, let us quickly go through potential challenges that need immediate solutions. 

The Lag In The Factory  

The primary challenge that manufacturers have to bear on their way to growth and improved revenue is the lag in the operations. Since there are many manufacturers who are either resistant or reluctant to adopt modern solutions due to high upfront costs related to deployment and training.  

The Hidden Costs 

Even if manufacturers are ready to overcome the lag involved due to the legacy practices, the next big challenge that they need to tackle is the extensive costs involved. These can be the hidden cost of maintenance, scalability related investments, funds required to upskill the workforce, etc.  

Employee Safety 

The next big challenge that manufacturers have to encounter on their way to progression is working on employee safety. Safety in regard to manufacturing refers to the use of IoT devices and software solutions to aid error-prevention and productivity.  

Struggle To Create Quality 

The manufacturing business is a quality-led industry, where if you are not able to deliver quality are likely to be out ruled by your competitors. However, most manufacturers, even after investing in a tech solution into their operation model, are likely to struggle with quality. The growing demand, the extensive competition, and ever-evolving technology all make it difficult to maintain the pace of delivery and quality.  

With all these challenges to pursue, you must be wondering about the future of the manufacturing industry 

Read it here: The Future Of Manufacturing Industry & Its Emerging Tech Landscape 

Reduced Time To Market 

Last but not least, manufacturers have to bear the stress of reducing the time to market. Since the market is extremely impulsive when it comes to technology and process advancement, manufacturing firms have to struggle reducing the time to market. It usually involves taking the best product in the market and beating the competition with innovation. 

IoT In Manufacturing & Fourth Industrial Revolution 

When we talk about the fourth industrial revolution in the context of the manufacturing industry, we picture a world that yields improved customer experience, greater productivity, and higher ROI. As industry 4.0 is entirely based on the use of revolutionary technology, things like AI and ML along with IoT (connected devices) have potential to overcome all the process inefficiencies. 

When most companies these days are investing in IoT to improve their operations, performance, and safety, here’s how the impact of IoT in the Manufacturing industry can be measured.  

IoT in Manufacturing: The Application 

IoT in Manufacturing is one of the most widely adopted versions of Industry 4.0 concept. Surprisingly, the most interesting statistics related to IoT implementation in manufacturing were traced from the pandemic where the technology helped transform the operations completely. 

As per a recent industry report, “The Internet-of-Things (IoT) market in manufacturing was valued at USD 175.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 399.08 billion by 2026 and grow at a CAGR of 14.76% over the forecast period (2021-2026).” The statistics clearly point out how the pandemic pushed IoT implementations making manufacturing brands focus on employee safety and business productivity while countering increasing customer demands.  

Let us just quickly jump on all the benefits that IoT has offered to the manufacturing industry: 

  • Employee Safety 

The best reason why manufacturers could lean on IoT is employee safety. The connected devices not only allow tracking machines but help capture real-time information. Also, the IoT devices can be used to collect critical employee data such as real-time movements, employee health statistics, and location tracking etc. 

  • Asset Tracking 

IoT for asset tracking is another significant application of IoT in the manufacturing industry. The connected environment could allow easy asset monitoring with reduced errors and full asset utilization. Moreover, IoT for asset tracking can even help in auditing the assets and improving the transparency within the manufacturing environment. 

  • Inventory Management  

IoT based inventory management could simplify all the material tracking and stock management for the manufacturers. The use of connected systems could help in contactless asset tracking with added accuracy on color, location, shape, size, and other details allowing item-wise monitoring.  

  • Predictive Maintenance 

The next significant application of IoT in manufacturing can be predictive maintenance. IoT based maintenance model can be used to assess machines on critical output and performance parameters. These can be pressure, temperature, vibration, and any other details that can help early fault detection for minimal failures, minimized downtime, and lessened cost of repair.  

  • Production Improvement 

Production issues are one of the most significant reasons behind the loss of brand value. IoT can thus be incorporated into the production process to allow rapid inspection of the production defect rate, making way for detecting the process flaws. Such an application could help manufacturers to enjoy improved time to market with streamlined production and cost control. 

IoT in Manufacturing: Real-time Use Cases 

Workplace Safety 

The primary use-case for IoT in manufacturing could be considered as workplace safety. The use of wearables and connected equipment can help manufacturing firms to get mobility control and leverage employee safety. However, integrating the connected tech with software demands extensive focus on Quality Assurance Solutions.  

Nevertheless, an IoT-based system could aid early identification of unknown safety risks that need proactive control. Such an approach could even help to overcome compliance related concerns and costs that come from risks.  

Predictive Maintenance 

Another common scenario where IoT solutions that have passed the quality assurance metrics could be used is to monitor machine failures and operational abnormalities. Here we are talking about predictive maintenance where IoT-enabled sensors can be used to check for any signs of machine failure. The setup could therefore be used to work on advanced analytics and AI to improve the maintenance approach and overall expenditures.  

Asset Tracking 

Since asset monitoring is a highly significant part of building a successful manufacturing business, IoT can help real-time tracking of assets. Unlike humans, software technology could be used to reduce missing data while the Barcode, NFC, or RFID could be used to work on identifying assets and storage containers.  

Inventory Management 

Inventory management is another significant use case of using IoT in manufacturing. Since large inventories make it difficult to track or identify products, IoT can allow tagging sensors on the products for easy location. Such an approach can help seamless operations and allows precise identification of the products, saving time and other resources. 

Product Quality 

Product quality management is a significant concern for manufacturing firms from not only the business but branding standpoint as well. As product quality assessment involves keeping a check on several quality parameters, IoT devices can be used to measure the process followed to check quality. Also, IoT in product quality assessment could help understand the process and find the areas of amendment that can help improve production quality.  

Product Traceability 

Tracking products is another significant task in manufacturing operations as missing products on the move projects shear loss, unbalanced supply chain, and delays in delivery. IoT can therefore be used to trace products during and after the production stage to avoid any loss of time.  

The Crux 

The Internet of Things or IoT is an inevitable part of the industry 4.0 landscape and therefore, during the past few years, it has made its way into almost every industry. However, the need for implementing IoT for business success needs effective integration of IoT solutions onto the business challenges.  

Whether it is monitoring machines or tracking equipment failure, IoT in manufacturing when touched through effective IoT testing services, it can turn out to be a potential tool to reduce maintenance or repair costs and upscale productivity.  

Good Luck! 

And if you are heading towards your next IoT project and need all the expertise to meet the quality assurance benchmarks, feel free to reach us through info@bugraptors.com 

author

Ashish Sethi

works as QA Engineer at BugRaptors. He has good experience in manual testing, web application testing, mobile application testing, regression testing, smoke testing, sanity testing, and database testing (Back-End). Also he is able to create required documents for testing like test case checklists, time estimation required for the new projects etc.

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