Industrial IoT – 6 Manufacturing Industrial IoT Trends In 2023
The Internet of Things (IoT) involves connecting devices to form networks that collaborate with each other. This represents a shift in design from large machines to smaller, segmented ones that are easier to manage, upgrade, and maintain.
n manufacturing, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is crucial for IoT analytics to help manufacturers understand their performance and improve efficiency. Combining IIoT systems with artificial intelligence can even automate this process.
However, it is important to carefully consider how IIoT technologies can be applied to your business to remain competitive. To gain ideas about how these technologies can benefit your business, we will discuss IIoT trends in the manufacturing industry in this article.
Industrial IoT Trends
With the impact made by IOT in various industries, we will be discussing some of the IOT trends in the manufacturing industry they are as follows:
1. Connectivity Technologies
The limited amount of data that can be transmitted at once is a major challenge for IoT technology in the manufacturing industry. This is because the efficiency and speed of these systems rely on the ability to exchange data between devices in a network.
The success of real-time applications and edge computing depends on fast network speed. However, if the data does not require immediate transmission, high bandwidth may not be necessary.
Therefore, it is crucial to assess the specific requirements of your manufacturing business to determine the most suitable IoT options.
- Wired IIOT Solutions
If manufacturers want to connect multiple IoT devices in a network with consistent and fast solutions, wired IIoT connections are the most suitable option. These connections employ EtherCAT, Ethernet/IP, and Profinet protocols.
Although USB connections have limited range and speed, category cables can be used to extend their range. In more distant scenarios, fiberoptic cables can be used to connect industrial facilities that are miles apart. Wired solutions are more reliable and immune to noise compared to wireless technology.
However, the physical component of wiring can be a significant drawback, as it takes up space, has environmental limitations, and is time-consuming to set up. Additionally, wired connections add the extra cost of cabling.
- Wireless IIOT Solutions
Wireless connections offer greater versatility and convenience, although more prone to inconsistency. The effectiveness of wireless connections depends on the type of connectivity used.
Bluetooth Low Energy is a more efficient option than Wi-Fi and Zigbee, making it ideal for portable and battery-powered devices. However, its data transfer capacity is limited due to energy constraints, and it is susceptible to interference in the 2.4 GHz range, which may affect device performance.
Zigbee is another alternative that works best with low-data-throughput battery-operated sensors. It depends on nodes interconnecting multiple pathways, requiring a central hub coordinator that adds to the system’s complexity.
Wi-Fi has greater potential for factory machine sensors, particularly with 5 GHz access points that provide high-speed connections for devices up to 190 feet away. Multiple beacons can be positioned throughout the factory floor to ensure maximum coverage.
This is an ideal solution for cable-powered IIoT sensors with fixed locations, as additional communications cabling is unnecessary, making setup simple. High-speed Wi-Fi connections are one of the best options for industrial Internet of Things applications in 2022.
2. Predictive Maintenance And Analytics
Costs associated with manufacturing centre malfunctions can be quite extensive. However, by utilizing artificial intelligence for predictive maintenance, companies have the potential to save millions of dollars.
For industrial machine learning algorithms to function properly, they require accurate and reliable data about the machinery being evaluated. Industrial Internet of Things sensors can collect data from a network of machines, allowing for the identification of machines that require proactive maintenance and scheduling.
These sensors can also assess machine temperature, vibration, and electricity usage, aiding in estimating future points of failure.
3. Automated Quality Assurance
Thanks to Industrial Internet of Things networks, quality assurance monitoring can be done remotely and automatically. This can improve the productivity and efficiency of manufacturing businesses greatly. Real-time alerts can be sent to allow for more rapid responses to issues like unexpected machine failures and other disruptions.
Real-time video connectivity through IIoT devices supports artificial intelligence efforts like automated visual inspection.
This allows AI to detect and remove defectives from the assembly line before they can be shipped off. AI-driven visual inspection solutions would not be possible without IoT sensors and cameras to give eyes and ears to the decision-making process.
4. Edge Computing
Edge computing is one of the most noteworthy developments in the Industrial Internet of Things technology field. Previously, many industries and businesses were inclined to shift processing from local devices to remote servers that handle data processing.
While this reduces the processing burden on local devices such as cell phones or PCs, it is time consuming and expensive in terms of bandwidth. However, the goal of edge computing is the opposite – to keep processing as close to the “edge” as possible.
In the manufacturing industry, several devices within the local edge network of a factory can handle processing without having to send data elsewhere for processing. This approach is faster, more efficient, and inherently more secure. The data never leaves the factory, eliminating any risk of interception or recovery by a third party.
Innovative industrial companies are taking advantage of new opportunities by combining edge computing and AI to create Edge AI. This concept allows AI computation to be performed near the user at the edge of the IoT network rather than in the cloud.
This brings real-time intelligence to industrial processes, increases privacy and enhances cybersecurity while reducing costs and ensuring continuous improvement of the manufacturing processes.
5. Location Tracking
The use of location tracking in manufacturing is dependent on Industrial Internet of Things technologies. GPS is effective for outdoor applications, but indoor positioning systems and areas with GPS interference, such as densely populated cities with tall buildings, pose more challenges. While logistics mostly employ outdoor GPS solutions, manufacturing focuses on indoor solutions.
Real-time location systems (RTLS) utilize wireless technologies like Wi-Fi, BLE beacons, UWB, and RFID to locate products on the factory floor. This enables monitoring of their progress from the start to the end of the production process.
This feature can aid in quality assurance verification and provide additional data to support digital twin applications.
6. Energy Optimization
Motion-sensing light switches provide us with a valuable lesson in energy optimization. Their primary purpose is to turn off the lights when a room is unoccupied rather than just making it easier to turn them on.
This concept of energy optimization extends to the Industrial Internet of Things, where we can optimize the energy consumption of other devices in our factories. For instance, we can monitor and control the temperature of our industrial machines to reduce energy usage.
The manufacturing sector is responsible for 33% of the total energy consumption in the US, according to a report by EIA. Optimizing energy consumption not only benefits the environment but can also result in significant cost savings.
By using IIoT energy optimization sensors to monitor devices’ and machines’ electrical status and usage, operators can fine-tune the process and optimize energy usage automatically. However, creating eco-friendly manufacturing processes will require more than just IoT sensors and electrical data processing.
The Future Of IoT In Manufacturing
The future success of the Industrial Internet of Things depends on various factors. Due to a chip shortage that began last year and is still affecting the market, the number of devices businesses can deploy at affordable prices is limited.
The shortage is expected to worsen with the increasing sanctions against Russia due to the recent invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, it is still possible to obtain and improve existing IIoT systems, and innovation is crucial during disruption.
Despite the challenges posed by the chip shortage, businesses that can find solutions with their current hardware and resources will remain competitive during and after the shortage, resulting in further gains.
To achieve your goals, it is essential to have a software development team that comprehends your requirements and vision for innovation and progress.