We Are On The Cusp Of The Next Industrial Revolution


The Internet of Things or a network of devices with the ability to connect to each other and exchange information is the next big technological advancement we are looking at. Yes, there are problems to be fixed, especially in the consumer space, but there are reasons why it is being said that the IoT will herald in the next industrial revolution.

So how is that adding network connectivity to machinery that is sometimes decades old useful?

Sensors and IoT hardware are cheap nowadays that the cost of outfitting an industrial setup with it is negligible. The benefits that it provides in terms of being able to monitor the working of the machine are immense.

Every machine works at an optimum temperature and pressure settings. These sensors can help make sure that the parameters within which the machine is functioning are ideal. Other metrics such as the amount of vibration being experienced can give vital clues as to the efficiency with which a particular machine is functioning.

All of this data not only allows for passive monitoring but also for proactive intervention to prevent any possible breakdowns. The direct economic benefit from machines that work more efficiently and break down less is easy to imagine.

Even in the case of breakdowns, comprehensive IoT solutions allow for on the site remote assistance and even allow the engineers repairing the machine to receive step by step assistance from someone overseeing the job in real time.

In remote areas, the plans for a spare part can be sent to a 3D printer and the part can be printed right there itself instead of waiting weeks for a suitable spare to be found. These are things that are already being done by industries that function in remote and hostile areas. The number of manpower required to service and maintain machines is also being reduced drastically.

The next area where IoT brings about massive improvements in the industrial set up is supply chain management. Most enterprises currently use RFID tags to track the location of their products. IoT though allows for much more than just location tracking.

Companies can now track the position, the temperature, pressure it was subjected to and even if it was dropped. These can help reduce the amount of wastage that takes place due to the damage that takes place as products are shipped across the world.

Even the machine that is being manufactured right now will send back vital information about how they are being used by the industries, in what condition they are functioning and how much load are they being subjected to. The fabricators will be able to use this information to continuously improve their subsequent offerings.

The industrial IoT is already at a much more advanced stage than most of us could imagine. Billions of sensors are expected to be deployed in the next few years and bring a whole host of industries into the connected age.

With measurable improvements being made in all the different aspect of industrial production just by the use of these inexpensive sensors (and some highly intelligent software to back them up), it is easy to see why talk of the next industrial revolution is not oversell.



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