Recognizing Possibilities for the Industrial Internet of Things. Unlocking Potentials. Optimizing Processes.
Before you continue reading, we would like to make a guess: You are a professional or executive in an industrial company. You have probably already delved into the topic of digital transformation, and you have come across the term Internet of Things (IoT) several times. Perhaps you now want to learn more about how machines and equipment are interconnected, how you can increase the efficiency of various processes, or even save costs through IoT solutions. All of this and much more will be revealed in this guide. Together, we will venture into defining the Internet of Things, explore its diverse possibilities, examine opportunities and risks, and delve deep into the subject. Ready? Well then, let’s get started.
Internet of Things: What is it actually?
People with a large network are often more successful. The same principle can be applied to machines and equipment. Thanks to the internet, we can now connect virtually any technical device, from kitchen appliances to construction site excavators and machines in production. This principle is known as the Internet of Things (IoT) and is particularly relevant for the further development of Industry 4.0.
What technologies are behind the Internet of Things?
Without digitalization, there is no IoT. The internet serves as the foundation for all the tools and technologies used in IoT. Here are some of them:
Sensors: Almost every modern machine is equipped with sensors. These sensors collect data that can be used, for example, to verify production quality or indicate upcoming maintenance. Data is considered the most valuable resource in the digital age, and its importance cannot be overstated.
Cloud Computing: The data collected by sensors needs to be stored and processed somewhere. This is where cloud computing platforms come into play, refining and making use of the collected data like a refinery.
Machine Learning: Managing and analyzing vast amounts of data from different sources can be extremely time-consuming. Fortunately, smart algorithms can assist or even take over this work. Machine learning can also help identify and utilize patterns, such as in quality assurance.
Artificial Intelligence: An increasing number of IoT devices are controlled using voice recognition software. This is just one example of the diverse applications of artificial intelligence in the context of IoT. The rapid development of systems like ChatGPT shows that we are only at the beginning of a revolution that will profoundly impact the Internet of Things.
Augmented Reality: From installation and maintenance to training new colleagues, many machines and equipment are operated using data glasses, virtual reality solutions, or 3D simulations. Solutions like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), or Mixed Reality (MR) are becoming increasingly important for industrial companies.
Not all of these technologies are used simultaneously in every IoT application. However, combining them can often be beneficial to maximize the benefits of IoT solutions.
Which industries utilize the Internet of Things?
When machines and equipment are interconnected, it benefits primarily the industry. However, there are many other sectors and industries where IoT solutions are successfully utilized. Examples include the crafts sector, retail, workshops, telecommunications, the logistics sector, and energy providers. Just like with digitization in general, without adopting new technologies, many companies can quickly fall behind. Apart from that, IoT solutions are not limited to the private sector or research. The benefits of the Internet of Things have also been recognized in disaster management, the military, and civilian aviation.
The extent to which IoT solutions are already being utilized varies?
The Internet of Things is gaining increasing importance, particularly within the context of Industry 4.0. But how frequently are IoT solutions actually used, and how will their implementation develop in the future? The following numbers, data, and facts provide answers to these questions.
By the year 2030, up to 30 billion devices are expected to be IoT-enabled. This includes not only wearable devices such as smartwatches or data glasses but also smart home solutions, connected cars, and, of course, machines and equipment in the industry.
Worldwide, 686 billion US dollars are being invested in the Internet of Things.
65 percent of German companies are already utilizing IoT solutions or other specific applications of Industry 4.0.
As you can see, the Internet of Things is not just a short-lived hype. It has come to stay and is transforming our lives and work, both in the industry and within our own homes.
Which technologies are behind the Internet of Things?
Let’s focus on the advantages of the Internet of Things (IoT) for companies in the industrial sector and other industries in the private sector. The benefits of IoT technologies are extremely diverse.
Optimal connectivity: Do you have multiple machines and equipment? By interconnecting them, entire process chains can be simplified, automated, and synchronized. This is particularly advantageous in production.
Seamless monitoring: Unplanned downtime, machine damages, or poor quality in production can be immediately detected and rectified with the help of IoT solutions, regardless of time and location. Machine maintenance also becomes easier.
Energy savings: Inefficient processes are real energy drainers, and energy costs are rising. It’s great if you can optimize energy consumption and save electricity by networking your machines and equipment. This pleases both your controlling department and the environment.
Cost efficiency: When more processes are automated and run without errors, you save time and money. These are two valuable resources that your company can now invest in its core business.
Enhanced safety: IoT solutions collect numerous data points, which can be used to detect security vulnerabilities or machine damages that pose risks to humans and materials.
Human-machine communication: Despite the love for digitization, humans are indispensable. With the Internet of Things, your employees can, for example, control vehicles from remote locations, provide guidance to customers on operating their machines, or inform the production manager about the condition of newly manufactured goods.
Innovation advantage: New technologies are adopted relatively slowly in conservative industries. If your company embraces IoT solutions earlier than the competition, you gain a competitive advantage that is difficult for others to catch up with.
There are many more benefits of the Internet of Things, which can have varying effects from one company to another. Therefore, feel free to take advantage of our personalized consulting services to learn more about the potential of IoT solutions for your company.
IoT as an economic driver
The industry is the backbone of the German economy. In the field of mechanical engineering alone, 1.1 million people are employed, with the majority working in medium-sized companies. For providers of IoT solutions, this represents a colossal market with potential customers and promising revenue opportunities. Although many of these companies have recognized the benefits of IoT solutions, the implementation is still in its early stages. However, caution is advised: Not all providers of IoT solutions or platforms are the right choice for your company.
IoT: There are no standard solutions
Your company is unique and deserves unique solutions. The Internet of Things is no exception. On the contrary, off-the-shelf solutions are not suitable for IoT. In order for the IoT to work for you, you primarily need three elements:
1. Physical devices, machines, and equipment: These are equipped with sensors and IoT-enabled software for data transmission.
2. Web applications and mobile apps: These play the data on various devices such as smartphones, tablets, or desktop PCs, allowing control of the machines and equipment.
3. IoT platform: The data is stored, processed, and made usable on a cloud-based IoT platform. The platform serves as the interface between the connected devices and the users.
IoT Solutions: Utilize experience and expertise
Even in the digital age, personal consultation cannot be replaced. That’s why our experts are ready to assist you and consider your requirements. We share our experience from numerous successful projects and guide you on how to avoid common pitfalls when building your own IoT solutions. This is how we make a difference for you - today and in the future.