Internet of Things in the Industry

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Since the emergence of the internet, the idea of having a network of devices such as air conditioning and connected TVs was already real. And the internet of things represents this: the interconnection of different devices in an internet infrastructure. The internet of things has become a reality not only with the high availability of the network, but also with the emergence of small sensors and cloud computing. 

And the manufacturing area also benefits from this: The availability of more process data results in greater monitoring and consequent improvement in operations. The IIoT is the industrial version of the internet of things and consists of having an ecosystem where connected machines send data to a data analysis platform. This enables you to optimize your energy use, improve your security system with more effective notifications, reduce infrastructure costs and automate processes. The ability to monitor the production process remotely and in real time also opens a new window for business-smart plants. Offering remote services and supporting product customization are among them. 

In Brazil, a survey conducted by ABII (Brazilian Industrial Internet Association) involving 84 companies shows that only 29% know the technology and 65% do not have any IIoT program in progress. Still, 52% said they intend to implement projects that use technology only in the coming years. The survey also shows that the big drivers of the industrial internet are IT operations executives and leaders. The automotive and manufacturing segment are the most relevant in this context. 

The insertion of the internet of things into an industrial environment allows several operational areas to undergo a positive digital transformation. On the factory, IIoT allows to bypass existing faults between ERP and MES, avoiding the insertion of manual data and lack of process detail. According to IBM reports, extracting analytical information from the production process can increase the productive capacity of a line up to 20%.

Monitored Equipment 

It is possible to increase the productivity of a machine from 10 to 25% by acquiring relevant data such as speed of operation, cycle time, quantity produced etc., through sensors, SCADA or DCS. The data is sent and processed by a server that is capable of generating results and analysis of the equipment. These are then made available to users via web or app through metrics such as efficiency (OEE), setup time, stops etc. In addition to contributing to efficiencies in equipment, IIoT also allows you to gather information about the use of industrial resources that result in less maintenance, greater reliability and lower error rate. An analysis by Deloitte shows that it is possible to reduce machine uptime by up to 40% from real-time data. The analysis of this information together with algorithms of machine learning make possible to predict abnormal behavior of the equipment. Data scientists use benchmarking to create predictive models and thus detect failures before they even occur. 

Logistics and Traceability 

IIoT enables companies to make supply chain management smarter through real-time tracking of any object, be it a manufacturing resource, product being manufactured or even a delivery truck. In addition to tracking the properties of each item, you can monitor the current object conditions before they even reach their final destination. Consider the case of a pharmaceutical company that needs to dispatch a product that needs to be temperature controlled. An attached sensor inside the container allows the manufacturer to receive information of any temperature deviation, allowing the carrier to take action to solve the problem. 

The challenge of facing digital transformation and the use of IoT in industries includes some obstacles that are still much questioned by companies. Issues such as data security and privacy are delicate. The difficulty in proving ROI and the need to integrate with older machines also exist. Let’s look at some points in detail: 

Information security 

The opportunities presented by IoT have a major challenge ahead in terms of security and privacy. Keeping connected devices constantly means that they can constantly be monitored. An example of this are smartwatches and wearables that accompany the day-to-day users and provide information about their lifestyle but there is no interest in being shared. The fact is that having exposed data without permission is a vulnerability. And with the high growth of IoT, the number of cyber attacks tends to grow. Gartner data shows that 20% percent of companies have already suffered attacks during the past 3 years and still project a 25% percent increase in the number of attacks involving connected devices next year. 

Investment and ROI 

The effort to become an intelligent industry requires investments in a variety of categories ranging from hardware (scanners, sensors and gateways), data storage and connectivity to the technical and administrative qualification of people. Companies also need to consider the time to implement the solution and how long it will take to have a return on investment. According to ABII, the difficulty in proving ROI is the biggest obstacle of investing in technology. The conservative culture of directors is the second item on this list. 

Lack of qualified professionals 

A survey by Inmarsat found that 72% of companies around the world has a lack of qualified people with IoT experience. The study also points out that 80% of employed professionals have no skills with technology. Demand is in the areas of information security, big data, electronics and embedded software, artificial intelligence and analytics. These data show that the market does not have the capacity to absorb the full potential that IIoT can offer. 

Integration with legacy systems 

One of the major difficulties in introducing IoT solutions on the shop floor is to adapt the new technology to older systems. In the past, IT-managed network infrastructure had another goal in relation to the ecosystem of the current factory. The adoption of the internet of things industrial requires integration between IT and OT (operational technology) in a secure and transparent way. Ensuring that convergence results in safe and consistent operation is the challenge. 

 

Industrial IoT helps manufacturing companies maximize productivity by reducing costs and eliminating waste. Through the analysis of the data extracted from the production, manufacturers come to understand in detail the ecosystem of the process, making it possible to improve production estimates, time to market and even consumer experience. However, given the scale and complexity of IIoT initiatives, success in adopting technology requires well-defined implementation and implementation planning. 

Source:
Brazilian Industrial Internet Association: https://www.abii.com.br
Gartner: https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/insights/internet-of-things
Inmarsat Research Program: http://research.inmarsat.com/download/
Every Angle: http://everyangle.com/downloads/v2/five-painful-supply-chain-issues.pdf
Deloitte: https://www2.deloitte.com
Harbor: https://www.harbor.com.br 

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