The 8 most important industrial IoT developments in 2019
From manufacturing to the retail sector, the infinite applications of the industrial internet of things (IIoT) are disrupting business processes, thereby improving operational efficiency and business competitiveness. The trend of employing IoT-powered systems for supply chain management, smart monitoring, remote diagnosis, production integration, inventory management, and predictive maintenance is catching up as companies take bold steps to address a myriad of business problems.
No wonder, the global technology spend on IoT is expected to reach USD 1.2 trillion by 2022. The growth of this segment will be driven by firms deploying IIoT solutions and giant tech organizations who are developing these innovative solutions.
To help you stay ahead of the curve, we have enlisted a few developments that will dominate the industrial IoT sphere.
1. Cobots are gaining popularity
Digitization is having a major impact in the industrial robotics segment as connected cobots or collaborative robots, making their place in the smart manufacturing ecosystem. This trend is improving the efficiency of operations and the reliability of the production cycle.
IIoT is making robots mobile and collaborative, offering technologies, such as self-driving vehicles (mobile collaborative robots), machine vision (part identification), and additive manufacturing that can boost production efficiency and business growth with an excellent ROI. No wonder, the global cobots market size has crossed USD 649 million in 2018 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 44.5% between 2019 and 2025.
2. Digital twins are on the rise
A growing number of firms are deploying IoT solutions to develop a digital replica of their business assets. Thus, instead of sending data to each physical receiver separately, all the information is sent to the digital twin, enabling business units to access the data with ease.
Digital twins are growing in popularity as they decrease the complexity of the IoT ecosystem while boosting its efficiency. Gartner shares that 24% of enterprises are already using digital twins and an additional 42% plan to ride on this wave in the coming three years.
Smart businesses are already using digital twin software to incorporate process data, enabling them to reach accurate insights and address operational inefficiencies.
3. Augmented reality is disrupting the manufacturing domain
AR is benefiting the manufacturing domain in more ways than one. The technology has disrupted the manufacturing areas like product design and development, maintenance and field service, quality assurance, logistics, and hands-on training of new employees.
For instance, in the assembling operations, AR is replacing the traditional paper instruction manual with IoT-enabled systems that have voice-controlled instructions along with a video from the previous assembly operation.
AR is also allowing manufacturing technicians to have access to instant intelligence and problem insights related to maintenance, thereby improving their efficiency and reducing equipment downtime.
4. IoT-enabled predictive maintenance is becoming a part of the overall maintenance workflow
With the advent of Industry 4.0, several enterprises are investing in IoT-enabled predictive maintenance of their assets to fix automated systems before they get disabled. In today’s competitive business environment, it is extremely important for firms to keep machines running seamlessly. Connected sensors and machine learning are helping companies anticipate component failures in advance, thereby reducing equipment downtime and time to locking up machines for preventative maintenance checks.
As a result, many organizations are running predictive analytics and machine learning to monitor systems and gather data, allowing them to estimate when components are likely to fail.
5. 5G will drive real-time IIoT applications
5G deployments are digitizing the industrial domain and changing the way enterprises manage their business operations. Industries, namely transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, energy and utilities, agriculture, retail, media, and financial services will benefit from the low latency and high data transfer speed of 5G mobile networks.
For instance, in the manufacturing domain, 5G will power factory automation, ensuring that the processes happen within the time frame, thereby reducing the risk of downtime. Further, 5G will help manufacturers in real-time production inspection and assembly line maintenance.
6. Firms are shifting from centralized cloud to edge computing
Until now, the centralized cloud was a popular choice among firms for controlling connected devices and data. However, with IoT devices and sensors expected to generate an ocean of data, more and more enterprises want IoT to monitor and report data and events remotely.
Though most firms are using centralized cloud-based solutions to collect data, they are facing issues, such as high network load, poor response time, and security risks. Edge computing is helping businesses collect, analyze, and store data close to its source, thereby reducing the costs and security risks and improving system efficiency. That explains the growing demand for edge computing.
A research report from Business Insider Intelligence forecasts that by 2020, there will be over 5,635 million smart sensors and other IoT devices globally, generating over 507.5 zettabytes of data. The need to collect and process this data at local collection points is what’s triggering the shift from centralized cloud to edge computing.
7. Firms will continue to invest in cybersecurity
Cybersecurity threats continue to evolve each day. Connected systems pose a serious threat to data and cause massive system disruption and loss to the firm. A 2018 Data Breach study by IBM revealed that the cost of an average data breach to companies globally is USD 3.86 million.
As a result, an increasing number of firms are investing in innovative services like virtual private network (VPN) to access the internet safely. Such innovative security solutions are becoming increasingly popular with enterprises across domains.
8. IoT analytics is gaining significance
While sectors such as manufacturing, aerospace, and energy and utilities are deploying IoT-powered sensors and wireless technologies, the true value of industrial IoT lies in analytics. The connected systems generate a large amount of data that needs to be effectively employed to optimize operations. Thus, the demand for IoT analytics will rise in the coming years. As a result, firms will have to depend on AI and ML technologies to find and effective ways to manage the data overload.
Companies like SAS, SAP, and Teradata are already offering advanced analytics software to help enterprises evaluate real-time data streaming from connected systems on the shop floor.
IIoT is all set to fuel the fourth industrial revolution. Firms across various industries are adopting innovative IoT devices and technologies to accelerate business growth. These IIoT deployments will help enterprises improve operational efficiency, reduce downtime, and get a serious competitive advantage in their respective domains.
The IIoT developments shared in this post will set the stage for innovative enterprise platforms and tech advancements. Organizations wanting to remain competitive should be not only aware of these trends but also take adequate measures to embrace them.