by Siva Prasadh G

Industrial IoT (IIoT), a key enabler of Industry 4.0 & smart manufacturing, is widely adopted by manufacturing companies across the globe to improve operational visibility, productivity & efficiency.

According to Forbes, IIoT platforms are beginning to replace MES and related applications, including production maintenance, quality, and inventory management.

As per the survey by IoT Analytics, IIT spend would be split 60%/40% between within and outside the factory, respectively. And most importantly, discrete manufacturing companies will outpace process/batch manufacturing companies in the IIoT adoption race.

Find out how IoT for manufacturing is transforming production and supply chain in the sections below.

Why IIoT projects are widely used in manufacturing

MarketsandMarkets has forecasted that the IoT in the manufacturing market will grow from USD 12.7 billion in 2017 to USD 45.3 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 29.0% during the forecast period.

IoT implementations are solving the below manufacturing challenges for industries.

  • Data collection for OEE
  • Unplanned machine downtime
  • Inefficient Inventory management
  • Under-utilized assets & resources
  • Increasing labour and machine maintenance costs

IoT applications in manufacturing

IIoT is the process of implementing IoT enabled devices and integrating with processes to track and improve production efficiency, product quality, and speed.

IoT in production

The implementation of IoT has transformed manufacturing production. Manufacturing involves lots of resources and managing them efficiently is critical for achieving planned production. IoT helps manufacturers to track and manage machines, humans effortlessly.

Let’s get started with equipment/machine utilization.

Monitoring machine utilization

Machine utilization — IoT enables operators to facilitate business processes by collecting machine data in real-time and sharing it instantly for making informed decisions. The devices help operators to track everything under different conditions starting right from volume to the temperature where humans cannot intervene, and this helps to utilize equipment to the fullest for achieving planned production.

Improving production quality

In the digital era, a product’s quality shortcomings will impact a company financially and its branding. Monitoring production processes, making adjustments wherever needed is the best way to produce quality products that delight customers.

Manual product quality controls are time-consuming and error-prone, resulting in defective products in the hands of customers. By collecting data and other metrics with IoT sensors, manufacturers can determine product quality standards expected. A physical inspection may be required to rectify the problem. So, there is no wonder why manufacturers are turning to IoT solutions to maintain quality standards

Product traceability

Tracking product movement when they are on the move is always challenging. The inability to find products on the move during production delays project delivery. With IoT devices, tracking products between two production points is simple. Real-time tracking of products on the move enables manufacturers to save time and cost, ensuring faster time to market.

Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance or Conditions Based Maintenance (CBM) uses embedded sensors and devices to monitor a machine’s critical parameters. With such a setup, monitoring the signs of machine failure or abnormalities is effortless. By studying these data using machine learning, advanced analytics and AI, developing a well-defined maintenance strategy is always simple.

The analyzed data helps with making adjustments during run time and reduces unplanned maintenance costs. As the entire process is performed using the real-time data, identifying problems proactively and making informed decisions on maintenance cycles is effective.

This approach has helped manufacturing companies to reduce downtime by 75% and its associated maintenance costs by 75%.

IoT in supply chain management

IoT has re-invented supply chain management (SCM). It is simple and seamless to discover where goods are, how to store and where they are within the manufacturing unit.

Asset tracking & management

IoT-enabled smart asset monitoring solution lets manufacturers locate the asset’s condition, lifecycle, etc. accurately. Adding intelligence to the system powers the asset management process with automated workflows, real-time alerts, data insights, and real-time visibility. Combining the power of IoT devices with mobile apps will ensure on-the-go and faster asset tracking.

Identifying and authenticating an asset’s location at any time

By attaching IoT devices to storage containers, identifying assets within a container is easy. Along with other technologies like RFID, Barcode, NFC, etc. operations can easily locate assets using the real-time data pushed to through mobile applications. This saves time and improves productivity.

Inventory management

Even storing the products in ideal conditions is possible, as IoT devices can help in monitoring the conditions of storage spots exposed to different environmental conditions. Setting up an alarm on such conditions will help staff to immediately act and avoid product damage.

Tagging the materials with IoT devices (along with sensors) will simplify locating a product in a warehouse. In this way locating any product in a large warehouse is easy and accurate.


In short, IIoT adoption has created new revenue streams for manufacturing and the industry can mitigate the production, operational efficiency challenges with this strategy. Are you ready for the Industrial 4.0 revolution? Get started.