The majority (33%) of IOT value creation will come from the factory setting – McKinsey Global Institute
Manufacturing operations will be the largest area of IoT Investment – ICD, 2017
IoT solutions are rapidly being designed to help transform industrial operations within the manufacturing, oil and gas, agriculture, and power/utilities segments. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) combines the global reach of the Internet with a new ability to directly control the physical world, including machines, factories and infrastructure. Smart, connected products are transforming the way companies do business, and the IIoT is instrumental in boosting productivity (and in turn, profits) by allowing for 1) remote monitoring of equipment and installations, 2) predictive maintenance, and 3) more efficient after-sale service.
1. Remote Monitoring
The IIoT enables organizations to monitor, manage, diagnose and resolve issues for their connected equipment in the field. Connected assets can be remotely diagnosed by viewing sensor information and/or embedded knowledge diagnostics tools to resolve potential issues. Remote monitoring capabilities typically include:
- Tracking asset performance and usage data
- Capturing critical alert notifications for service issues
- Viewing history of sensor data to understand alert condition
Technicians can perform initial diagnostics and recommend best service response, with the ability to:
- Automate the diagnostic process to quickly narrow down the problem
- Embed diagnostic solutions to troubleshoot error codes and find solutions in the context of a specific asset
- Create rules to trigger alarms and create service sessions
For example, PEP Stations has a growing network of Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) charging stations. Their challenge was to provide a trouble-free charging station so that they could proactively address problems before customers were affected. Their remote monitoring software enables PEP Stations to provide real-time system diagnostics for proactive service and support, and accurate and timely utilization reports. As a result, approximately 25% of all issues are resolved remotely.
2. Predictive Maintenance
Through the IIoT, design engineers can add a layer of proactive analysis for predictive intelligent alarming. For example, if a machine monitors a temperature which exceeds the upper control limit, an alarm activates. Traditionally, an operator would react to the alarm. Analytics make it possible to predict when the event will happen and to take steps in advance of it. Either the OEM can supply analyzed information as a value-added service, or it can be a feature of the equipment.
As an example of predictive maintenance in action, software on food processing equipment can monitor a temperature, run an analytic on it and predict temperature scenarios based on a statistical model. The OEM can design equipment that sends operator alarms to ensure action takes place quickly, before a batch is ruined. The same could be true for an OEM running a remote monitoring and predictive service for customers related to critical end-user operations.
3. After-Sale Service
For manufacturers of industrial equipment, service after the sale can represent significant revenues and profits—but traditional service delivery is inherently inefficient. Technicians often must make two trips to the installation site, the first to inspect a product to identify the reason for a failure and the parts needed to correct it, and then to perform the repair itself.
Smart, connected products improve service and efficiency and enable a fundamental shift from reactive service to preventive, proactive, and remote service. Because technicians can diagnose problems remotely, they can have the parts needed for repairs in their trucks the first time they arrive at the customer site. They can also have supporting information for executing the repairs. Only one visit is necessary, and success rates rise. Smart, connected products make delivering service via connectivity increasingly feasible. In many cases, products can be repaired by remote technicians in the same way that computers are now often remotely fixed.
ATM industry leader Diebold employs smart connected products to conduct remote diagnostics and issue resolution across over 5,000 ATMs. As a result, Diebold saw a 17% increase in remote issue resolution, a 15% reduction in equipment downtime, and average downtime responses shortened to less than 30 minutes.