Many are referring to the effect that the IoT (Internet of Things) will have on the world as the fourth industrial revolution. This is understandable. Technology and automation have been cleverly fused with the internet awakening all kinds of possibilities. This is especially prevalent in manufacturing, where sensors and actuators make it possible to correct, monitor and change things through the use of wireless networks. The face of these changes is nothing short of amazing.
A Paradigm Shift in Manufacturing
Logistics will become a priority as a result of the IoT and manufacturing. The production process will continue to grow in terms of networking. Everything will eventually become interlinked, making it much easier and more efficient to control the whole manufacturing process. Multiple factories across many regions will be interconnected throughout the manufacturing process. A PVD manufacturer responsible for thin film deposition might receive parts from a factory in another region, impacting the process and connecting businesses to each other.
Manufacturing will become Smarter
The IoT is set to continue to improve the whole manufacturing process. The impact will be so large that manufacturing facitlities that are currently offline will be compelled to smarten their processes. In fact, we are nearing a period where all manufacturing faciltities will eventually be on line. It’s more efficient, cost-effective, and smarter. Smart manufacturing marries all the elements of the manufacturing process, from plant operations, supply chains, product designs and demand management. This trasnsparancey and connectedness makes it easier to recognize both needs and opportunitites. The pairing of so many essential elements within the manufacturing process makes the impact of the IoT a proactive process as well as a autonomic analytic process.
The IoT Creates Seamless Visibility
The IoT gives manufacturing machines a digital address that allows the status, progress, and condition of the machine to be tracked. Manufacturers can witness the entire manufacturing process, including the location of a particualr machine as well as the sensor-embedded automation controls and energy meters. Even the trucks that transport product to a warehouse’s smart shelves can be tracked and monitored. The process becomes both transparent and seamless.
Clearly, the IoT is already making big ripples in the whole manufacturing process. Currently, one out five manufacturers have offline processes. Soon there won’t be any manufacturers that still rely on offline manufacturing processes. Could the IoT spark the next industrial revolution? It remains to be seen.