Internet of Things

IIoT - The Industrial Internet of Things

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), involves a network of computers, devices and machines that collect and share huge amounts of data that is sent to a cloud-based service for the benefit of industry.  It is a subset of the Internet of Things (IoT) which does the same thing for consumers. The service aggregates it and uses it to provide powerful insights and actions back to connected devices and the people who make decisions with that data. At machining manufacturers,

IIoT includes the efficient use of real-time data use from a modern ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, machine monitoring, and numerous other data-collecting and analyzing software solutions that make the shop highly productive.

According to Grandview Research, the Industrial IoT market has a CAGR of 27.8% between the years 2017 and 2025 which means there is huge potential for returns on investments in this technology. Implementation of IoT technology requires a strategic IIoT plan and specific actions with the resulting data to automate and streamline processes. Companies who join the revolution are well-positioned for growth. At the 3rd annual conference dedicated to IIoT, Industry of Things World USA surveyed 221 tech-savvy attendees. Only 14% believed they were advanced in their application of IoT, making now a great time to formulate a plan to collect and use more data for better automation.

How are machine shops currently using IoT technology?

The technology to connect these applications and equipment to provide meaningful cross-platform information is already in many shops. For example, Red Lion provides hardware, software and connectivity solutions. Keyence has a wide range of sensors and vision systems that analyze and report inspections data in-line with other equipment. Over 300 manufacturers have aligned with a powerful connecting standard, MTConnect. And innovative companies like Amper have simple machine monitoring based on power consumption. Powerful ERP systems are capable of making API connections with a wide range of equipment (CNC's) and other applications including CAM programs like Mastercam, CNC editors like CIMCO and tooling software solutions. Some shops are putting together all these pieces, but many are not.

The digital transformation of machining companies is a hot topic at trade shows, on podcasts and in the news, but how does a smaller manufacturer know they are on the right track?

The technology and software solutions that power an efficient shop are complex and integrated. They tend to grow organically and require time and resources to implement effectively. It's not uncommon for a company to purchase a solution, go through set-up and training with the provider and then only use the software to under 30% of it's potential. Many of the software solutions commonly running in a machining company have overlapping capabilities. For example, document control can be managed in a QMS software, ERP or PDM software, not to mention just creating a process to save documents on specified places on a public drive. 

It takes a focused plan to integrate and make the best use of data collected to boost productivity. Sometimes a company has in-house expertise in reporting and technology integrations, but often smaller companies lack the resources to hire an information technology employee with this skill-set. They rely on help from the companies providing the various software solutions to optimize the use of their purchases. Unfortunately, this can greatly limit the potential to use the data to it's fullest potential since most won't see the full potential of integration. Integrators or manufacturing technology consultants like IIoT Solutions see the bigger picture and can create an improved data flow between systems.

Create an IIoT plan and implement new technologies that provide the greatest return on investment.

IIoT Automating makes this technology available on a project-by-project basis to smaller manufacturers so that they can begin to establish an IIoT plan and get quick returns on specific projects.

IIoT Automating is an IT solutions company created by manufacturers, engineers and machinists, rather than just by IT professionals. We bring together the specific software and hardware solutions that are the best fit for your manufacturing processes rather than try to fit you into our solutions. By analyzing your current infrastructure and the manufacturing process that would bring the biggest return with better data and automation, we create the foundation for secure, IIoT manufacturing plan.

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