How the Internet of Things Is Transforming the Value Chain
IMT Staff posted on September 12, 2014 |

internet, value, IoT, Companies’ efforts around connected machines and the Internet of Things (IoT) are starting to achieve efficiencies and financial returns. Much greater benefits are yet to come, according to innovators in this area, who are predicting that the emerging IoT will transform business models across the value chain for manufacturers, particularly those in the business of producing equipment.

Advisory firm Machina Research, based in Reading, England, predicts that machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will hit 18 billion by 2022. Chicago-based Bosch Software Innovations, meanwhile, believes manufacturing will be one of the top generators of IoT data by then, as well as one of the top five IoT markets, along with smart cities, automotive, utilities, and intelligent buildings.

Bosch Software Innovations provides a technology platform designed to integrate machine data into manufacturing enterprises. It manages connected devices, collects data and applies analysis to it, and integrates the information into enterprise software systems.

A paper from the company says one of its customers, a manufacturer of transportation equipment, uses IoT to manage its network-connected handheld tools, such as tightening tools, screwdrivers, grinders, glue guns, and burnishing machines. These tools generate data that is communicated wirelessly to track and monitor the location and condition of the equipment and to manage its use more effectively.

A manufacturer of driver control technologies for large machines used in printing, mining, wind energy, and other industries uses Bosch Software Innovations’ technology to monitor machine functionality remotely through a portal. Yet another manufacturer of earthmoving equipment has applied the platform to connect with and monitor its equipment post-sale and to share data with its dealer network.

Harbor Research, a strategy firm based in Boulder, Colo., says the increasing connectivity of intelligent devices is enabling a new set of capabilities the firm refers to as “smart systems.” Its report  says nearly all electronic and electro-mechanical devices are now designed “to automatically transmit information about status, performance, and usage and interact with people and other devices in real time.” Network integration allows the resulting interactions and data to be used in new, high-value ways.

So far, says Harbor Research, smart services have mostly been implemented at a very basic level, limited to “remote support-driven applications that involve monitoring or upgrades of the installed base of machines in the field,” such as motors and instruments.

During a recent web event, Glen Allmendinger, president of the research firm, described this current state as a point-to-point, simple-app environment. “We’re able to monitor a particular machine -- I’ve always called this ‘the alerts-and-alarms syndrome’ -- largely directed at uptime, resupply of whatever elements within the machine are required, upgrades, and that kind of thing,” Allmendinger said.

To really capture the smart-services opportunity in the long term, manufacturers will need to focus on methods that enable collaboration between devices, people, and systems, according to Harbor Research’s report. Some companies, including GE, ABB, Siemens, and Bosch, are now offering what the research firm refers to as “compound applications” in such areas as process automation integration, multiparty equipment support, real-time demand response, and maintenance support and collaboration.

Read More at ThomasNet 

This article was originally published on ThomasNet News Industry Market Trends  and is reprinted with permission from Thomas Industrial Network.  For more stories like this please visit Industry Market Trends

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