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Why Should You Care About Industrial IoT?

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
May 7, 2019

You are a manufacturing supplier that prides yourself on quality performance and on-time delivery. You’ve invested heavily in production equipment and have the best people to help your run the business. You have a manufacturing ERP system that keeps all of your departments connected to the latest information and enables them to work effectively from customers to suppliers and from the top floor down to the shop floor. They trust the operating data you collect and are confident in the decisions they make to grow and improve the business. Your ERP is even in the cloud, so you’ve been able to offload your IT and security headaches to your cloud provider.

You have your supply chain fleshed out with great suppliers that collaborate effectively and have laid out a solid supply chain plan to meet the demand expectations of your customers. Your planning department has optimized a master production schedule to make the most effective use of your production resources to keep the plant running at capacity. You’ve even got enough business to run three shifts and have full employment.

You run your shop floor with an error-proofed production and quality control system that makes it hard to create bad parts and protects you from running until you have the proper setup and raw materials. Everyone has been properly trained to stay safe and they take that responsibility seriously. Your operators have what they need to be productive and they love that the system keeps track of recording production without having to fill in paper forms.

You’re a world class manufacturer—the poster child for operational excellence. But you can’t help worrying about what could go wrong.

In fact, your intuition is correct. You have a silent villain lurking within the machines, equipment, and other hardware assets that you’ve been using for years. This villain is bent on disrupting your well-orchestrated plan with no regard for how much it costs you or who’s lives it turns upside-down.

This villain is unplanned downtime. Unplanned downtime infects, on average, five percent of all scheduled production runtime across all manufacturers in all industries. [1] And it can raise its ugly head at the worst possible time without warning.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Imagine if you could “see” what’s happening with the equipment across your facility. What if you could monitor the status of any asset that is critical to your production lines, or anything that would disrupt production if it were to fail. Would that sickening feeling in your gut diminish if you could check on the health of your plants from anywhere in the world from any connected device—even from your daughter’s tennis match or your son’s football game?

That is the promise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), where you will be able to see what’s happening in your facilities. You’ll know what happened last shift, last week, or even over the last year (or more). And you’ll be able to predict what will happen in the future—and when—so you can avoid the cost and disruption of unplanned downtime. With analytics, you’ll be able to identify trends and opportunities to optimize your throughput that you can replicate across all of your similar machines for even greater value. Finally, your teams that drive continuous improvement will have a whole new window into your world to identify new opportunities to attack.

For more insights download the white paper, How Cloud ERP Turns IIoT Into a Critical Success Strategy for Manufacturing.

[1] According to APQC Open Standards Benchmarking in Manufacturing, unplanned downtime affects 3% for Top Performers and 6% for Bottom Performers’ scheduled run time.

About the Author

Stu Johnson Director of Product Marketing, Plex Systems

Stu Johnson served as Director of Product Marketing of Plex Systems from June 2014 to March 2020.