IoT Enabled Solutions are Opening Opportunities for New Business Model

Dr Rishi Bhatnagar, President, Aeris Communications | Friday, 12 March 2021, 07:22 IST

IoT Enabled Solutions are Opening Opportunities for New Business Model

The age of connected technologies and Internet of Things has now arrived! COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, brought the whole world in the eye of the storm, and has driven organisations to rethink the way they work and operate. The effects of the pandemic on the global economic recession are causing CIOs to prioritise spending on technology and services that are deemed “mission-critical” over initiatives aimed at growth or transformation. Investing in connected technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) is no more a luxury, but a necessity for survival and business continuity.

When it comes to business, the two prominent ways in which IoT adds value to businesses are, firstly, bringing in operational efficiencies, and, secondly, transforming existing models to open new revenue streams. 

IoT makes it easy for organisations to  improve existing business operations with predictive maintenance, supply chain monitoring, and automation. As the IoT expands its reach and capacity for operational efficiency, more industrial facilities are seeing the benefits of IoT connectivity for industrial applications. Also known as Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is one of the fastest growing segments of IoT. The goal of IIoT is for OEMs to achieve unparalleled visibility into production stages and processes, identify any problematic gaps or pain points, and fix them before they grow into significant or complex issues. The result is a more efficient industrial process with more uptime and higher production quality.

Accenture report estimates that IIoT could add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030. IIoT seeks to drive operational efficiencies in industrial settings through automation, analytics, and connectivity. Using a network of sensors and communications technologies, all parts of an industrial process can be interconnected and managed from a single platform, which analyses the data captured by the sensors and organizes it into actionable information.  This approach is great for businesses that want to invest in IoT incrementally in order to save money on expenses that they previously had little control over.

May OEMs through their innovative approaches to IIoT deployment have gained competitive advantage. One such company is Bosch which leverages IoT’s track and trace capabilities to gain transparency in supply chains. Manufacturing supply chains are complex by nature. It usually takes many companies working together and harmoniously coordinating with one another to ensure that products and materials make it from their origin to their destination safely. For Bosch, the difficulty of coordination and resulting lack of supply chain transparency drove the company to create a robust track and trace system driven by IoT. Location and condition data are acquired about each packaged unit, such as a connected shipping pallet, using wireless sensors and gateways that make it possible to gain a complete picture of the logistical supply chain. Another good example is Caterpillar - the heavy equipment and machinery manufacturer.

This OEM has been transforming its business through IoT solutions and services for more than a decade. Every piece of equipment they make, from engines to heavy manufacturing machinery, now are constructed with embedded sensors and connectivity solutions. In conjunction with a customizable set of software and analytics tools, including a dynamic augmented reality interface, Caterpillar gives machine operators granular insights into the condition of their equipment in real time. Armed with these insights, companies that use Caterpillar equipment can perform predictive maintenance on their machinery to increase uptime and eliminate costs associated with lost production.

Another goof example of IIoT implementation is from Airbus – the commercial jetliners. The construction of a single Airbus involves complex precision manufacturing processes with thousands of moving parts. Speed and accuracy are critical to maintaining both quality and competitive advantage in its market. To meet the challenge of these complex operations, Airbus developed a wearable IoT solution tailored to help workers assemble cabin seats industrial-grade smart glasses that improve accuracy and reduce the time required to complete the job.

Using augmented reality (AR) and contextual marking instructions, Airbus smart glasses display all required information for an operator to help mark the floor of the plane for seat installation, reducing errors to zero. The eyewear also offers environmental interactivity, barcode scanning, cloud data retrieval, voice commands, and a series of other features. With these AR glasses, every aircrafts seat locations can be marked down to the last millimeter and checked for accuracy and quality.

While the discussions surrounding IIoT often focus on what is possible when everything is connected, some companies still are at a loss when it comes to utilizing connectivity to take data-driven action. A study by McKinsey found that, of the companies who have deployed an enterprise-level IoT solution, more than half have used only 10% or less of the information they collect. As the future of manufacturing is likely to be dominated by those who properly leverage Industry 4.0, companies that hope to stay relevant must look to the current leaders in IIoT innovation and determine how their methods can be applied to improve operations.

Aeris provides IIoT solutions that allow businesses to set up customized and automated processes within factories, warehouses, and in the field, leading to more efficient and cost-effective processes and procedures. Our purpose-built infrastructure provides real-time business data regarding operational inefficiencies and monitors machinery to see exactly what would happen if an accident or hold up on the line occurred. When an OEM’s own machinery can tell managers that it needs to be replaced or repaired before an incident occurs, it takes the guesswork out of maintenance, saves money on repairs, and ensures increased safety for employees.