How to Leverage the Internet of Things to Impact Plant Profits

A strong majority of manufacturing executives say the application of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to plants and production will increase profitability in the next five years. Some 26% expect profit boosts of more than 5%.

Unfortunately, many of these imagined profits will never materialize.

Why?

Because nearly a quarter of manufacturers have no companywide understanding of the IoT and how to apply it to their businesses. Another 43% have only limited understanding.

Even worse, only 11% of manufacturers have implemented a strategy to apply IoT technologies to their processes. Small and midsized enterprises (SMEs) are even less likely to have companywide understanding or IoT strategies.

Yet gloomy as these numbers might seem, they offer insights into improving your IoT prospects:

Develop IoT knowledge: Spur awareness and understanding of the IoT throughout your company by focusing on how embedded intelligence and smart devices can drive improvement — on the plant floor and in the office. For example, real-time data on production can allow for delivery updates to customers. Or maintenance staff can monitor key equipment to predict failures, and prevent line stoppages.

Communicate an IoT vision: Establish a collaborative, integrated plan for your company to help managers and employees understand the IoT’s potential, develop an company-specific IoT strategy, and budget for IoT investments (and ROI).

Implement an IoT strategy: SMEs have a big IoT advantage, since they have fewer workers to train, and fewer machines and systems to connect. Even so, most SMEs can’t afford to make every new asset “smart” right out of the gate. Instead, implement your IoT strategy in phases, with improved productivity and cost savings from each project helping to fund the next phase.

Where will your company’s IoT future take you?

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Posted by Liz Fox in IoT, MPI

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