Here’s some bad news: millions of sensors and controls on U.S. plant floors are more than a decade old. These outdated devices can’t support digitization and the industrial application of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
Here’s some even worse news: These antique devices are open doors for unauthorized access to manufacturing systems and data — which could lead to stolen corporate and customer information, crippled factories, or industrial disasters.
BI Intelligence estimates that there will be 34 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020 (24 billion embedded devices and 10 billion smartphones, tablets, etc.), up from 10 billion in 2015; businesses will be the top adopters of IoT. If manufacturers rely on old plant-floor devices to make these connections, opportunities for hackers increase proportionally.
A majority of manufacturing executives are concerned about the security of IoT devices in general (although all of them should be). And a third say that the security of their corporate devices, network, and data is a challenge (although, again, they all face challenges). Yet many companies overlook far more obvious concerns. For example, 47 percent of manufacturers have no plans to adopt a policy for bring-your–own-devices (BYOD), which provide easy access to hackers.
No manufacturer can afford to ignore the IoT. But to generate profits from embedded intelligence and enhance companywide security, leaders must:
Establish a vision for IoT-enabled improvements in coordination with a companywide information security strategy
Identify and systematically replace the most vulnerable and antiquated production devices (whether they are on the IoT critical path or not) to minimize risks
Leverage secure IoT insights for improved productivity and profitability today and tomorrow.
Article submitted by Bank of America For mid-market companies, business success and responsible growth aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, prioritizing responsible growth is becoming increasingly important, and successful companies are making sustainability central to their growth strategies. Beyond good corporate citizenship, they are recognizing the intrinsic link between the strength of their business and that of the communities and economies in which they operate. Leading your growth with those goals in mind builds resilience and better solutions for the future. Consider the following: Responsible growth companies perform better. Companies that consider the impact of risks and opportunities on the environment, local communities and society may produce better financial results than those that don’t. Additionally, 90% of companies believe a sustainability plan is important for remaining competitive. Responsible growth companies attract investment. A 2016 study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group surveyed 3,000 executives and managers from more than 100 countries. Findings revealed that 75% of senior executives in investment firms agree that a company’s sustainability performance is materially important to their investment decisions, and nearly half would not invest in a company with a poor sustainability record. Ninety percent of executives see sustainability as important, but only
HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need
How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report, AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space: