Image: Stanzkul/Adobe Stock
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are taking measures to continue their business without interruption. Solutions that support efficiency at every level of work processes are now highly valued.
WATCH: Hiring Kit: IoT Developer (TechRepublic Premium)
To make this possible, we can thank the recent developments in IoT technologies that support more agile, agile and capable solutions for businesses. From applying artificial intelligence to increasing energy efficiency, read on to discover how recent industrial IoT trends are driving business optimization.
Top 5 industrial IoT trends
Digital twin technology is a virtual model that digitally represents a physical device. This technology enables organizations to take advantage of aggregated data by replicating real-world products and scenarios in digital form.
Must read IoT coverage
By applying data from sensors to an object, the technology can mimic the action of the object and track its position. This means organizations can easily maintain and monitor the performance of systems and assets, helping to grow their workforce, resulting in greater overall efficiency.
In addition, digital twin technology can help companies with their product development. The data collected allows them to predict their product performance results more efficiently and develop data-driven insights on potential areas for improvement. This can save companies the effort and resources required to test these scenarios on existing devices.
Many industries use digital twins to ensure the success of their business operations. An example of this can be seen in manufacturing, as a digital twin prototype enables organizations to maintain equipment by analyzing and tracking data about their performance. The behavior of products and components is also tested using digital models in sectors such as the automotive and healthcare sectors.
development of network connectivity
Connectivity is critical to IoT technologies and recent advancements in networking have led to faster communication between devices. These trends are intended to support secure and efficient data processing, even over disparate networks.
Low-power wide-area network connectivity allows for communication between IoT devices that are separated by great distances. It is an economical and energy-efficient option for organizations that use multiple assets that communicate machine-to-machine.
Satellites can enable IoT technology communication for connections between geographically separated networks over even greater distances. Satellite-powered equipment can be particularly useful in rescue scenarios and emergency reporting, as there may be situations where maintaining a connection would otherwise be challenging.
While industries can benefit more from different connection options depending on their needs, speed and reliability always take priority. Using Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz band can enable faster communications for IoT technologies, and IoT networks benefit from Wi-Fi 6 for its speed, reliability and increased bandwidth.
Automated quality assurance and predictive maintenance
Ensuring quality in an organization’s business operations is important in all sectors. Fortunately, IoT technology enables organizations to monitor and predict the performance of their devices. By performing predictive analytics using sensors and advanced connectivity, organizations can anticipate and address potential issues with their machines before they can negatively impact their operations.
Data insights collected through IoT technologies also help organizations understand their devices and pinpoint the root cause of problems. In addition, insights from data and performance metrics enable companies to take a proactive approach to maintaining their equipment.
Equipment failure can cause downtime and loss of productivity. However, they can also negatively impact the efficiency and quality of an organization’s output, especially for companies in the manufacturing sector. IoT allows organizations to remotely monitor and track their systems with automated quality assurance.
IoT AI also supports businesses through innovative technologies with automated visual inspection capabilities. These features use IoT sensors, cameras and AI to detect anomalies and remove them from the assembly line. In this way, companies can ensure a high quality of their activities and output.
Energy optimization, sustainability and consumption
Optimizing industrial power and consumption through IoT can bring more benefits than just saving money. By using a sustainable approach to business operations, society can become safer and more efficient and our environmental footprint can be reduced.
The recent inclination towards environmental awareness has led to the creation of tailor-made solutions that use IoT technologies to transform the industrial landscape. These are also supported by the implementation of transformative environmental initiatives, which have called for a change in the way organizations use resources and energy.
IoT-powered technology enables organizations to control their energy consumption with smart systems for tracking the energy consumption of their devices. Even heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be monitored and managed to help businesses save energy and reduce carbon emissions.
A popular topic around green IoT is using the technologies to refine multiple components within a society, ideally resulting in a smart city. The concept focuses on reducing CO2 emissions produced in cities by implementing energy efficient and carbon neutral systems. Successful adoption of IoT-driven energy management and smart systems could transform the practices of a wide range of industries, such as public transportation, public safety, traffic, and even street lighting.
Manufacturing and agribusiness technology
Manufacturing and agriculture are industries that often integrate IoT technologies into their operations. Through IIoT technologies, companies in these industries can optimize many aspects of their operations.
The application of digital transformation and IoT assets can make it easier for manufacturing and agricultural companies to develop advanced assets and processes to deliver their products and services. This is made possible by the new ability to make data-driven decisions that increase their productivity and help them mitigate risk.
These IoT technologies may include the trends and concepts discussed earlier, but are formatted for specific uses for certain industries. For example, systems designed for manufacturing industries use IoT devices to monitor their production levels. IoT sensors and connected devices can also help agricultural organizations ensure the efficiency of their processes by tracking weather trends and other conditions that affect their production.
Manufacturing, agriculture and several other industries have processes that can expose workers to potentially hazardous situations. Wearable IoT devices are now being used to ensure employee safety. These smart devices allow organizations to monitor the health and safety of employees by tracking their temperature, close contacts and even their location in the workplace.
If you are working on implementing IIoT in your enterprise, it is important to choose the right software. There are hundreds of IIoT platforms out there and each is a little different from the next, so how do you choose? This article, including links to TechRepublic’s premium resources, may help.