Recently, I was fortunate enough to find myself in Munich, Germany during a trip to visit with family and discovered that just north of town is the city of Ingolstadt, which is home to the Audi factory. Being somewhat of a gear-head and very much an Audi fan, I decided to take the factory tour and check out the museum (I essentially got a private tour as I took the English version and it was only my wife and I on it – HIGHLY recommend it!).
The factory is awe-inspiring.
The precision, engineering skill, and capability, and just the sheer magnitude of what happens there is difficult to convey in words (and they won’t allow you to take pictures or I would have). As we walked amongst the fully automated parts delivery, welding and assembly robots, and the amazing tooling and stamping lines, I was struck, as was my wife, by the sheer digital power on display. The interconnection of CPU “brains” in these devices that is required to achieve such incredible efficiency and deliver a completed car from blank steel within 34 hours is staggering.
I said, as we passed between buildings, that we were witnessing a great example of the Internet of Things (IoT) in action, but I think actually that IoUT would have been a more appropriate term to use.
The IoUT vs. The IoST
The factory floor is getting upgraded with new sensors, connectivity and big data that are designed to revolutionize automation. We look at what it may mean for manufacturers, workers, investors and consumers.
A factory-floor robot tasked with filling peanut butter jars is on the fritz. The manufacturer dispatches a technician by plane to figure out what’s wrong. But until she is on hand to identify the problem and prescribe a fix, the peanut butter idles on the assembly line, delayed on its way to market. What if that same technician could diagnose and repair the robot without ever leaving her office? And what if, a week earlier, the robot had let the technician know that it needed maintenance?
That opportunity exists right now, thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things, which refers to robots and machinery networked with sensors and software.
The idea is this: “Smart” factory and assembly-line machines transmitting real-time data to technicians, executives and salespeople aren’t only more efficient, but also require less maintenance downtime and may reduce product-manufacturing costs—all of which could translate to lower prices at point-of-sale.While the IIoT is by no means a fixture of today’s assembly lines, interest is high among manufacturers surveyed by Morgan Stanley. Many expressed plans to increase spending on the technology, and the potential for growth in the coming years is strong.
Efficiency and Speed to MarketThe IIoT is a subset of the Internet of Things, whereby sensors, computers and networks interact with their environments to generate data to improve processes.
Where consumer product developers have focused on smart-home and other always-on gadgets, such as thermostats, security systems, or wearable tech, industrialists envision entire ecosystems that connect machines to other machines to people managing complex processes attuned to the smallest details of an on assembly-lines and how they affect large-scale logistics of sourcing and supply chains, distribution and market demand.
In fact, “the industrial sector is broadly expected to be the largest beneficiary of the broader Internet of Things development,” says Nigel Coe, who heads US research on the capital goods sector.Big Data promises to play an outsized role in this shift. Using analytics platforms, managers can evaluate data transmitted wirelessly by connected robots to improve manufacturing processes. Sensors can transmit data that not only alerts technicians to initiate preventative maintenance, but also could help managers speed up or slow down production based on the needs of the market.
“This is in our view the first step in the Industrial Internet of Things,” says Coe, “capturing data to monitor and ensure the integrity of the production.”
The Internet of Things has investors pouring billions into developing the device interconnectivity technology, but are there security concerns?
Read all (Sourced through Scoop.it) from: www.inquisitr.com
Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL, writes about the next wave in the Internet’s evolution: First came getting people online. Then the apps era took over. Now a fresh reimagining is taking off.
Read (Sourced through Scoop.it) all from: www.wsj.com