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7 Top IoT trends for Manufacturing in 2017

The Internet of Things has sparked off the next industrial revolution. Smart Manufacturing is now being hailed as the new flagbearer of digital transformation, operational efficiency and productivity. With such impact, IoT is expected to be one of the pivotal technologies that will influence the way manufacturing is being perceived. Here are some IoT trends that will take the stage for manufacturers in 2017:

  1. The shift towards Industry 4.0:To most of the late movers, Industry 4.0 may seem to be a faraway concept, but they need to wake up. Just like “The object in the mirror is closer than it appears”, Industry 4.0 is approaching and wide spreading at unimaginable speed. Year 2016 has seen extensive events and awareness programs around IIoT. 2017 will see more organizations allocating specific budgets and kickstarting IIoT projects to bring a sustainable way to achieve customer delight without denting the profit margins and gain competitive advantage. The system will lead to newer, smaller, decentralized production units that are more closely attuned to customer needs and mass personalization.

2.      Edge computing and predictive maintenance: Edge computing, the paradigm of computing data analytics near the origin will be the gamechanger for IoT application. It is believed to provide wings to the software IoT platform to allow them to overcome the limitations of traditional M2M hardware platforms like latency, resilience, cost, peer-to-peer, connectivity, security. The edge is expected to be battleground for vendors in IIoT markets between traditional CT, IT, and OT vendors. Such ‘smart’ gateways will also help resolve interoperability and legacy compatibility. With this comes richer instream analytics and deep learning algorithms that empowers to predict machine behavior and do predictive maintenance.

3. Industry 4.0 Marketplace: With strong platforms emerging and deep penetration of smartphone technology, the industry will see impetus in developers and solution providers build industry specific apps. This gives rise to IoT marketplaces. Solution providers, resellers, and hardware manufacturers will find new business models and business opportunities with these apps. The Industry 4.0 powered apps will empower the manufacturer to be in touch with critical shop floor data on the go, making them proactive and more productive. There will be specially tailored apps that just enable the stakeholder to view the snapshot of the critical data, or them to receive notifications/alerts or do the plant healthcheck at fingertip.                                                

Ex: Altizon has built a bevy of apps on its flagship platform Datonis, that enable the manufacturer to view the real-time data around a specific need. Ex: iProd for production process rates, iCBM for condition based monitoring etc.

4.  Security: Security has been one of the prime issues that affects all the current & future adopters of IoT. This year saw progress in both the level of sophistication in attacks against various IoT systems across the globe to a rise in IoT related standards, guidelines to make security measures stringent. The upcoming year will see security being given its due importance in the boardrooms as well as the shopfloor, where we will see security being adapted as a part of organisational culture. Vendors providing IoT solutions will be judged based on security provided by the solution both at the platform and deployment level. The solution will be to have strong encryption & authentication algorithms during product design itself to create units that are secure end to end.   

5. Rise of IoT Ecosystem: An IoT deployment is no longer the job of either a software/ hardware organisation by itself. The nucleus of the ecosystem is the IoT platform around which services like Hardware, consultation, visual representation etc. can be grouped. Thus, IoT in 2017 will be a full-fledged ecosystem in itself, giving rise to robust networks between various vendors. The competition will be then not being the IoT products, but it will be coopetition. Small and medium size companies may find it challenging to embrace IIoT, but ecosystems like SmartEco could help them connect to right industry players, guide and mentor in their Industry 4.0 journey.

6. IoT powered organisation, skills, and training: IoT can only result in a complete Six sigma for an enterprise, when it optimizes people too along with processes. IoT in 2017, will be a way of creating a flat organisation with a responsive workforce, where management of everything will become management by exception, enabling the CXOs to stay focused on the strategic goals and future roadmap rather than the day-to-day operational issues. The engineers on the other hand, can go back to their core functions, as opposed to playing staff functions for reporting and supervising the work. In turn, it will also make performance monitoring  a simpler task, with the individual as well as the manager being able to see the accurate data at the same platform. As Industry 4.0 era will demand new skills for employees and new job titles,  training institutes and certification programs will be on rise.  

7. Power to the user: Currently, the balance of power when it comes to solutioning lies with the vendors and consultants, with them identifying various usecases and drawing up solutions accordingly. 2017, on the other hand, will see the face of an empowered and knowledgeable end user, who will approach the vendors with a clear cut, specific requirement needing a custom-built solution. The customer requirement will then drive the market with their specific needs. An IIoT readiness assessment could be a quick step enterprise customers will take to get the ball rolling.

At Altizon, 2016 has been a pretty eventful year, with us receiving our seed level funding to being recognised by Microsoft, BCG, CII, Gartner and successful forays in North America. In 2017, we intend to take this on the next level, with constant innovations on technology, ideas to bring constant delight to our end users, customers, OEM’s and partners.