The era of industrial M2M
13 May 2014 m2m General, Industrial
Both Gartner and McKinsey Global set the economic impact of IoT in the trillion dollar range as soon as 2020. An important portion of this growth will be in Industry where the fully connected manufacturing process has come to be known as the Industrial IoT or Industrial M2M.
The first wave of technological transformation in the industry came a few years ago with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). The promise of a rapid and deep transformation of the supply chain was very appealing.
The high operational cost and the not always clear ROI of using RFID has made the industrial business look in other directions for ways of expanding capacity and embrace a technological era in production at an affordable cost.
As prices of M2M devices drop, the core advantages of using M2M technology surface more than ever in the industry:
- Efficiency in data collection
- Remote monitoring
- Status tracking
- Integration with robotics
- Fleet management…
We’ve already mentioned before that M2M is the fuel that moves the Third Industrial Revolution. In the Industrial business, it has permeated every aspect of manufacturing.
As Richard Nass from designnews.com says, “this Industrial IoT is about the infrastructure. It connects systems together in an industrial (usually manufacturing) perspective”.
Intel points to 7 major forces that are transforming the manufacturing sector: regulation, digitization, personalization, globalization, software-intensive productivity, differentiation through service, and connectivity. These forces combine to define the framework of Industrial IoT.
M2M technology are the ‘nuts and bolts’ of this Industrial IoT. These devices help optimize the supply chain flow– using cost effective M2M – gluing parts of the production process that traditionally were unrelated or segregated and now flow seamlessly.
“The more steps you are able to control in the process the more positive the impact will be on the profitability of the product”, explains Tim Lindner, sales, marketing and administration manager for Sony Electronics' Professional Services Company.
Most experts agree that the area where one industry sector will experiment great M2M impact is manufacturing. The biggest point of economic impact is in how products are manufactured.
"M2M technology can be applied to any physical device that plays a role in the supply chain”, adds Lindner.
M2M technology allows companies to create a comprehensive manufacturing process that links devices and software throughout the whole chain offering a detailed level of information, never before available.
Now that the product itself is able to ‘talk’ to the plant system the supply chain can be more effective. This interaction between an M2M powered product and the system allows for a tighter control over manufacturing being able to analyze, and remediate if necessary, the product before it leaves the stage of production it is in.
Introducing M2M technology throughout the manufacturing process from the early engineering design stages, and production on the plant, manufacturers can reduce errors, increase flexibility in late-stage engineering changes, reduce work-in-process, and, improve new product introductions with cost effective products.
Even further. Once the product has left the sales point it can still be linked to the manufacturer providing real-time data to help maintain and service it at optimal levels.
Can you imagine one vehicle of your fleet informing the dealer that it needs to be serviced and setting the appointment at the garage or the washing machine informing of a clog before it produces any harm and delivering a detailed report of how it needs to be fixed when the technician arrives? These are the improvements down the line thanks to Industrial M2M.