3 Top Trends of IoT in Manufacturing to Look Forward to

Summary – Predictive maintenance, edge computing, and cybersecurity are the top trends on which manufacturers would try to emphasize to achieve optimal efficiency, seamless operations, and scalability. 

Adoption of internet of things (IoT) in manufacturing has increased widely as manufacturers have realized the importance of IoT in improving efficiency, optimize processes, and proper scalability. Data takes the center stage with implementation of IoT systems in manufacturing. So, collection, analysis, and security of data would be the most important factors for manufacturers with implementation of IoT. With the help of predictive maintenance, they can analyze data and gather insights that can be utilized for achieving better efficiency and processes along with reducing down time with quick response. In addition, edge computing implementation can analyze data near the systems and give results in lesser time than cloud computing. However, cloud computing would not become irrelevant. 

One of the most important factors is security of data. So, cybersecurity risks need to be analyzed and proper security systems need to be implemented. The research activities to determine different types of risks and find solutions to mitigate risks have been going on across various universities and organizations. The demand for IoT in manufacturing would significantly grow in the next few years. According to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global IoT in manufacturing market is expected to reach $994 billion by 2023. Following are some of the activities taking place across the world:

Predictive analytics to optimize overall efficiency:

Data is the crucial part of any organizations. The implementation of IoT systems would generate an enormous data for organizations. This data needs to be analyzes and insights need to be extracted to determine how to make processes more efficient than before. As the large chunk of total data generated from IoT systems across the world will be from the manufacturing sector, data scientists can take a huge advantage and improve the organizational efficiency. Sensors deployed in machines would generate a huge amount of data and scientists can apply deep learning algorithms to extract insights to optimize business processes. 

Predictive maintenance activities can also be carried out through remote data collection from various IoT platforms. These platforms can be connected through clouds to the machines and they can carry out maintenance activities in timely manner. This would decrease down time with rapid response. For instance, deposits in heat exchanger systems are able to clog conduits. With the measurement of temperature differences between upstream and downstream flows, the platform can give warnings as it detects anomalies. This would reduce potential downtime of systems.  

Edge computing and cloud computing to go hand-in-hand:

With edge computing, manufacturers can store data generated from machineries closer to them instead of storing them at the centralized cloud platforms. This storage technique can save bandwidth and response time. With data gathered from different nearby devices, this platform can analyze it and offer insights more rapidly than centralized cloud computing platforms. However, this does not mean cloud computing era has ended. Edge computing and cloud computing would go hand-in-hand, and complement each other. Manufacturers can discuss with data scientists regarding shifting of loads of data from cloud to edge computing platforms and utilize bandwidth of cloud platforms for different purposes. 

There are several issues such as cybersecurity, scalability, and management of devices related to edge computing that needs to be addressed and many organizations have come forward with their solutions. The OpenFog Consortium has been established. It also included the networking giant CISCO. The fog computing can process and analyze the local data and send over relevant data to cloud computing platforms with small power consumption. It also supports collision warning technology. Manufacturers need to scale fog computing applications carefully. Else, cybersecurity issues would increase. 

Cybersecurity to become need of an hour:

Manufacturing companies implementing IoT adopted cybersecurity measures to ensure data security. There have been nearly 84% organizations that reported security breach related to IoT, according to Aruba Networks. So adoption and efficient implementation of cybersecurity have become a priority for organizations. As breach can take place through numerous ways, it is necessary to take each aspect into consideration before adoption of security systems. It is essential to understand that taking care of cybersecurity issues at initial stages is cheaper than solving issues at later stages. Moreover, considering API of products is important to deploy security system accordingly. As the requirement is over, devices should be removed from the system to minimize the exposure to breach.

Determining the rise in threats from hardware Trojans, researchers from the Waseda University Faculty of Science and Engineering in Tokyo, Japan have been investing different methods to avoid such threats. Hardware Trojans are maliciously functioning circuits in various electronic devices. They have been researching on different aspects to avoid security risks. Along with implementation of such systems, companies need to upgrade its security systems timely to ensure new types of threats are eliminated.

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