IoT technology is becoming increasingly common and useful in people’s daily lives. However, in the industrial area, Industrial IoT (also known as IIoT) is still a relatively new concept. Enterprises are trying to carry out lean management efficiently in the era of Industry 4.0. There is no question that IIoT technology is the key to the solution. Let’s look at the top five reasons why you should invest in an industrial IoT platform for your company.

What is Industrial IoT Platform?

IoT refers to a network of devices that are connected to the Internet and can “communicate” with each other. These devices include smartphones, wearables, smart home devices, and industrial devices such as smart devices. These smart connected devices are able to collect, share and analyze data and perform certain operations. In the sector of personal consumer goods, portable devices have undergone a transformation from old cell phones to smartphones. With cell phones connected to the Internet, people’s lifestyles have changed totally. A large number of sensors are integrated in a cell phone, such as those for monitoring position, altitude, air pressure, magnetic field, etc. Through these data, various functions are realized, transferring information in time, making people’s life convenient and cultivating all kinds of digital industries. This is the power of the network, and research shows that in 2025 there will be more than 75 billion devices connected to the Internet.

Meanwhile, in the industrial sector, there are still a large number of isolated devices which cannot communicate through the network and must be controlled manually or through simple control systems. Some devices even require manual regular data recording. Therefore, it is difficult to obtain real-time information about the status of the devices and to accurately predict the capacity of the devices and the time when the devices need maintenance before they fail. When a traditional industrial enterprise gets an order, its personnel need to evaluate whether the existing equipment capacity can meet the requirements of the order and to manually collect statistics. Sales department will forecast and arrange production according to the order data, which may take about days or even weeks to finish. As a business manager, when a shop floor supervisor applies to you a request for purchasing production equipment, how do you determine if the purchase demand and quantity are reasonable and comprehensive enough without statistical “survivorship bias“?

In this circumstance, if you connect the equipment to the network through connectors and integrate them in ERP, CRM and other related systems for managing orders and customer data, you can easily make quick forecasts of equipment status, capacity and costs, and evaluate whether the existing equipment can meet the customer demand. No matter whether you are a small enterprise or a large enterprise with multiple factories, you can integrate all the factories into one platform through industrial Internet technologies to monitor the status and working environment of each piece of equipment in real time, and deploy production resources to improve the utilization rate of equipment. All this can be easily achieved through an Industrial IoT Platform.

Top 5 Reasons to Invest in an Industrial IoT Platform

  1. Digital transformation: Since Industry 4.0 was introduced in 2013, many companies have been facing the challenges of digital transformation. Many of their production machines are still not connected, and many enterprises can only monitor a very minor part of machine statuses and capacities and do not know where to start and how to carry out digital transformation. Before harnessing the power of the Internet and digitalization, they need to integrate equipment data, operational data and IT data. At this time, investment in IIoT platforms as the infrastructure for digital transformation is quite necessary.
  2. Lean management: Companies that want to reduce costs and increase efficiency in their operations need to adopt the mechanisms of lean management. Before lean management, the traditional way of management requires a lot of manpower or time to observe production processes and optimize them. This often relies on manual statistics which are prone to errors and can easily produce wrong conclusions.
  3. Improved efficiency in equipment asset utilization: In a manufacturing enterprise, there are often multiple production plants producing the same or different products, and many of these production plants have the same types of equipment. IIoT technologies can quickly identify equipment idleness, analyze production progress and adjust production processes to make the best use of equipment, improving its utilization rate and reducing repeated unnecessary investments.
  4. More accurate production and maintenance forecasts: production planning is usually closely related to orders and production capacity. Enterprises often utilize CRM or ERP for management, analyses and forecasts. However, with IIoT technologies, production equipment data can be collected, recorded and analyzed to make more accurate capacity forecasts; at the same time, in terms of equipment maintenance, IIoT technologies can record equipment operating time and working status, providing reliable references for users to arrange repairs and maintenance and reduce production losses caused by unplanned downtime of enterprises.
  5. Shortened personnel training time: By collecting data through IIoT, a large amount of enterprise production data can be collected to set up a complete database of production processes. Based on these data, a process knowledge base can be set up. With the help of AI technology, we can perform machine learning with historical production data and build models to make intelligent judgments in key production processes. In experience-driven industries, we have helped enterprises shorten personnel training time from three years to three months, greatly reducing recruitment pressure and personnel training costs.

What are the Examples of Industrial IoT Platforms?

The following are a few examples of benefiting from utilizing Industrial IoT Platforms:

  1. Improved efficiency of production and equipment management: Many companies still rely on human labor to manage production lines and equipment, but in this way, information transfer is often not timely and requires a large number of people to work on data collection and statistics. To achieve lean management, traditional manufacturing enterprises usually need to dispatch personnel to visit sites, observe workflows and grasp the status of production equipment. With IoT technologies, production data and equipment status will be automatically recorded and uploaded to an IoT platform. These real-time data can help enterprise managers to have a more comprehensive understanding of the status of equipment assets, which improves their decisions and management efficiency instead of sending them to the field and makes optimization more targeted.
  2. Remote diagnosis and predictive maintenance for equipment: Both onsite production equipment and mobile equipment require regular maintenance and overhaul to reduce the risk of unplanned downtime and losses. Taking SINOBOOM as an example, it has added the T-AMS module to collect the working status data of its high-altitude operation equipment. When the equipment breaks down and needs to be repaired, engineers can study the historical working status of the equipment in advance. If parts need to be replaced, they can also carry the required parts in advance before going to the site, which improves the one-time repair rate and reduces maintenance time. With the help of the Industrial IoT Platform, an operator can manage more than 200 machines at the same time, compared to 50 in the past, significantly improving management capabilities.
  3. Improved safety in the production processes: The importance of production safety for enterprises is self-evident. Especially in some industries, improper operations can easily cause production accidents, so enterprises are often required to formulate relevant SOPs and arrange personnel to supervise the implementation of these standards. With the help of an Industrial IoT Platform, the CCTV of the factories is connected to the platform for AI detection, such as real-time safety checks, intelligent security supervisor, and checks on the implementation of operating standards and whether the staff have worn helmets, to protect the staff‘s safety; Meanwhile, in some special industries, equipment often works in high temperature, high humidity or highly corrosive environment where staff cannot reach or need to wear special equipment. However, IIoT technologies ensure real-time monitoring of equipment status to avoid accidents that might happen from these dangerous jobs.
  4. Improved production efficiency and equipment utilization: Before connecting to an Industrial IoT Platform, enterprises need to deploy certain personnel to conduct analyses on production status manually, often in a limited way that cannot fully reflect the actual situation. As a result, idle equipment and low equipment utilization cannot be discovered in time. Take SANY as an example: After SANY begins its interconnection of factory equipment, more than 2,000 units are saved among 10,000 units of equipment. Now, it uses only 80% of the originally required equipment assets to support the existing business and improves the overall capacity utilization rate by 2.5 times. IIoT has proved it clear that by interconnecting equipment, equipment data can be collected easily in real time and connected to the Industrial IoT Platform which can help enterprises identify production problems and idle equipment more easily and improve the equipment utilization rate.

Create More Value with the ROOTCLOOUD Industrial IoT Platform

With an Industrial IoT Platform, you can greatly improve your enterprise‘s operational efficiency and bring more and more value and benefits. As a provider of professional Industrial IoT Platforms with advanced AI and Big Data technologies, ROOTCLOUD has been providing digital transformation solutions for enterprises in various industries and helping them to improve productivity, reduce production costs and create more value through the ROOTCLOUD Platform.