IoT of Manufacturing

Is the Internet of Things (IoT) just a fad, or is it a game changer? We believe it’s the latter, and it’s revolutionizing businesses across nearly every industry. From smart homes to smart cities to smart industries, IoT is transforming the way we live and work. And for the past few years, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in particular has started to explode.

Manufacturers have begun incorporating sensors, analytics, artificial intelligence and machine applications to gather, analyze and share big data. With insights at the ready, businesses can make better, more educated decisions – and in the world of manufacturing, every decision is at scale. Intelligence from IoT in manufacturing is delivering operational savings, and in some cases even new revenue sources, that have serious impact.

In honor of IoT World this week and our collaboration with Avnet, we encourage businesses large and small – particularly in the manufacturing and distribution sector – to tap into this movement and learn what it’s all about. There could be opportunities right outside your back door, you just need to know what to look for. Here are a few easy ways to get started:

  • Embrace new technologies. Let’s face it, unless you’re living in the Dark Ages, your business already runs on technology in numerous ways – from billing and payroll to logistics and machinery. But in the spirit of IoT, it’s necessary to be even more open and receptive to things like tech startups, new innovations and of course ‘the cloud.’ IoT does not discriminate – it’s available to every industry if you just look hard enough. Take waste for example. An independent hauler partner of ours, RJ Recovery Services, decided to embrace the Rubicon ‘cloud’ technology and as a result has grown its business by 45%, simply by shifting to a data-driven business model. No matter your industry, the data is there – you just have to find it, embrace it and use it.
  • Don’t go it alone. You don’t know what you don’t know, and guessing can be costly. Find partners who can help you identify and incorporate existing tech into your operations. Once you start gathering and analyzing data, you’ll begin to see which areas of your business need the most focus and where untapped potential lies. For example, through our technology partnership with the City of Atlanta, we’ve begun to collect data that’s uncovering a world of insights beyond just waste and recycling. We are able to help the city discover the opportunity that exists within its fleet of trucks and across the metro area as it pertains to economic, infrastructure and educational improvements. Looking toward the future, with advanced analytics and even 3D mapping technology, this data and technology infrastructure could help identify congestion, graffiti sites or vacant houses. Cities are just one example, but regardless of the industry or sector, there’s a whole new frontier out there to explore when you have the right team and partnership in place. 
  • Consider your pain points. Sensors, RFID, machine learning, autonomous vehicles – there is a wide range of IoT technology out there. To sift through the clutter, begin with the end in mind. Are you trying to improve efficiency? Worker safety? Management oversight? Maintenance and repairs? Sustainable procurement and waste management? IoT can help address all of these pain points and more, and sometimes implementing one solution actually can solve multiple problems. Once you’ve identified your goals and areas of improvement, you can implement the best technology to help get you there.

This week at IoT World, we’re joining hundreds of companies and techies who believe the Internet of Things is just beginning. You can follow along with the hashtag #IoTW17, and if you’re interested in learning more about how implementation of IoT concepts can help improve your business, shoot us a note and we’d love to chat!