Industrial IoT, the next stage in manufacturing and engineering services, makes factories smarter


technology, iot, technical industryTechnologies like Industrial IoT has become a core component of organisational functioning making the transformation process a constantly evolving one.

By Nitesh Bansal

With the influx of new technologies in the industry today, the creation of a functional network that allows for every device to be in constant contact with every other device is of utmost importance. IoT has been integral to the formation of this network. A research by McKinsey & Company has suggested that the economic impact of IoT will reach $11 trillion by 2025. This prediction is further strengthened by the success IoT has achieved with technology services firms who are set to witness the IoT services market growing to $270 billion in the next five years (by 2023) from its current worth of $106 billion. As we observe an increase in its adoption, another facet of the technology—Industrial IoT, is expected to be the next evolutionary stage in manufacturing and engineering services.

IIoT comes to the fore

Manufacturing industries in 2016-2018 embarked on multiple proof-of-concepts (PoCs) to kick-start their IIoT journey. 2019 will see organisations continuing their large-scale deployments of IoT and gathering insights from their current deployments.

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Trends affecting the IIoT space

Additionally, certain trends are becoming visible and shaping organisational efforts in the coming year. First, the industry will see a greater sense of connectedness emerging between people, process and machines.
Second, technologies like mixed reality, AI, ML and autonomous technologies are becoming mainstream and will bring greater attention to supplementary elements such as AR/VR based visualisation, predictive maintenance and self-heal algorithms. Cyber security will become mandatory as discussions about device and data security are slated to increase over time.

Manufacturing represents one of the core sectors where these changes can be seen. Digital technology will allow organisations to trace the status and performance of products across Design, Manufacture, Operate and Service lifecycles, mainly by collating all the data captured on a single platform. Gathering the requisite data to build such a platform is another area where IIoT will aid the industry. By creating a close network between PLCs, machines and operations systems, data can be gathered and processed in real-time, to ensure compliance and reduce wastage. A clear shift will be observed in how job learning takes place in these new ‘smart factories’ with re-factoring the existing workforce becoming key to the transition to digital manufacturing.

Technologies like Industrial IoT has become a core component of organisational functioning making the transformation process a constantly evolving one. Organisations are now building an extensive IoT ecosystem and taking a practical approach towards IoT-led digital transformation to clients that will help realise tangible and significant benefits from IoT.

The writer is senior vice-president and global head of engineering services at Infosys

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