In the industrial and manufacturing context of this century, we talk about automated factories and their future. For this, there is a need to integrate the manufacturing value chain. Integrating the value chain is done by means of supply and integration via the Internet of Things (IoT), which provides integration and connectivity of things and people; this is of paramount importance in today's supply chain. Other names commonly used to designate this connected integration in the manufacturing sector are Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Remote Services.
As part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the IoT can be applied to solve or mitigate current supply chain challenges. According to Gartner, who believes the IoT will impact global supply chains in a number of ways, the IoT will reach 26 billion of installed units by 2020.
With the advancement of the IoT, products become carriers of information with the ability to analyze data intelligently transforming it into actionable information. In turn, this makes operations smarter and more efficient, expanding portfolio and market, developing new sources and businesses all working toward an increase transparency of value chain integrating demand and supply.
Smart systems and service opportunities for manufacturers
- Network integration: drives new applications value from improved reliability, quality, and data rates
- Value added services: are based on data aggregation, management, and analytics capabilities
- New applications value: sensing and responding in real-time drives more adaptive capabilities growing asset management, location tracking services, security, and supply chain integration based on interactions among devices, mobile workers, and systems management
Smart systems and services should help make products easier to adopt. By designing and engineering using real-time data insight it is possible to provide more transparent data management and analysis.
In a recent Webinar hosted by IndustryWeek, Glen Allmendinger, founder and president of Harbor Research, a management, research, and consulting services firm for smart systems and the Internet of Things (IoT), referred to the smart systems integration and service opportunities to manufacturers. Starting from the fact that connectivity is becoming quite pervasive in the context of the IoT, Allmendinger said the data value in interaction between people, things, and systems create many application values adding efficiency, tracking in supply chain integration, and ultimately discovering the analytics value that all this brings.
The importance of mining and analyzing machine data is highlighted as “this is where the real core value creation opportunity lies within the Internet of Things,” according to Harbor Research.
M2M and Remote Smart Services technologies, which so far have only been monitoring applications and related tracking and location services, are still evolving. However, it is possible to foresee a near future in which their development will exclusively focus on collaboration between devices, people, and systems to assist in a more connected supply chain.