In today's rapid and fast changing environment, manufacturers are seeking investments in smart computing and digital transformation applications. Industries are looking at technological innovations related to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), in order to enhance work efficiency, boost profitability and consumer outreach.
The estimated growth in IIoT applications for utilities and energy industries will increase to more than 1.5 billion devices by 2020. As increasing number of organizations host critical infrastructure in the Cloud, entrepreneurs are looking for solutions to optimize cybersecurity measures such as data encryption strategies, advanced monitoring, and network access control programs. Fog Computing is a decentralized network architecture that reduces the amount of data being sent to the Cloud. This shortens response times and reduces the threat surfaces of IIoT networks, thus enhancing cybersecurity.
2. Remote Visualization
Engineers can experiment with multiple 3D graphic applications across distributed locations. This enables different teams to collaborate efficiently by simultaneously interacting with the same design. By creating such digital models and simulations, products can be fine tuned. This not only improves product quality, but also dramatically reduces the number of physical prototypes needed to verify designs. As a result, remote visualization can significantly reduce manufacturing costs for companies.
3. Message Queuing Telemetry Transport
The machine-to-machine (M2M) data transfer protocol is quickly becoming the leading messaging protocol for IIoT. Designed as a lightweight publish/subscribe messaging transport, Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) is ideal for remote locations where a small code footprint is required and bandwidth is premium. MQTT is bidirectional which means that it distributes data more efficiently, increases scalability, and reduces network bandwidth consumption significantly. The oil and gas industry, Amazon and Facebook are some of the major businesses that use MQTT. Amazon Kinesis for example, integrates with MQTT to provide a powerful platform to load and analyze streaming data, as well as build custom streaming data applications.
4. Digital Twin
A digital twin is a virtual representation or digital copy of a physical asset. Physical assets can include historical archives, drawings, models, engineering analysis, manufacturing data, and operational history. A digital twin allows companies to perform tests, simulations, and changes in a virtual environment before committing real resources. It adds value to asset life by anticipating failures, reducing downtime, and improving efficiency. There is continuous development at the design and manufacturing levels throughout the product's lifecycle.
In the case of GE, the company uses the digital environment to learn the configuration of each wind turbine prior to construction. The goal is to generate 20% gains in efficiency by analyzing data from each turbine and feeding the information to the "digital wind farm". In the words of Ganesh Bell, chief digital officer and general manager of Software & Analytics at GE Power & Water,
“For every physical asset in the world, we have a virtual copy running in the cloud that gets richer with every second of operational data."
5. Smaller Footprint
As of 2015, 670 public companies and over 200,000 employees in the United States and Europe, generate around 133 billion US dollars of biotech revenue. Among their challenges is to replicate processes in nature for use in modern mechanics. These companies are also trying to minimize their lab footprint by removing excess equipment and better controlling the testing environment. Innovations in nanotechnology allow many of these processes to be reduced in size and controlled with an iPad application.
6. 3D Printing
3D printing is becoming popular because of three factors. First, costs are rapidly decreasing because of lower raw material costs, fiercer competition, and advancements in technology. Second, printing speeds are increasing. Third, newer models can accommodate a wider variety of materials such as polymers, resins, and plasticizers.
3D printing reduces inventory costs and wait time for deliveries. Companies can create equipment on site instead of placing expensive orders. When an asset fails because of a damaged part, the replacement is printed immediately and installed in real-time. Last year, Dubai unveiled the world's first 3D printed office building. Named Museum of the Future, the building took 17 days to print at a cost of about $140,000, after which the interior and exterior design details were added. In total, a savings of 50% on normal labor costs was reported.
7. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Manufacturers are implementing simulator based training when hiring new employees. Wearable devices with augmented and virtual reality (AR/ VR) are pushing the limits of creativity in IIoT. They allow real on-site job functions and controls to be replicated in a virtual environment. Simulation develops skills to deal with unanticipated plant situations, thus increasing workers’ confidence in performing their job functions and their ability to deal with an emergency.
The connected consumer is changing manufacturing. In a paper-based world, the disconnect between end-consumers and product design meant that there was significant guesswork in determining what customers needed and wanted. By providing a direct link between consumption and product design, production processes and materials can be altered in real-time.
Apparel products can also be 'smart-enabled' to deliver value-added services to connected customers. Products and designs can be customized post-delivery to best suit their personality, for example. They can provide detailed care instructions or help the user locate them when they're lost. They can respond to use to inform future manufacturing or even adapt their design. They can also open the wearer up to curated experiences. A designer jacket could come with a soundtrack and virtual reality experiences that reflect the brand whenever the customer wears it.
Brands are recognizing that the customer journey is no longer linear, but moves across channels including web, social and mobile.
New technologies inevitably leave some retailers behind as others figure out ways to ride those new technologies to future success. Onestop works hard to ensure that its clients are ahead of exciting new technologies across design, performance marketing, customer service and fulfillment. It is this uniquely comprehensive vertical integration that guides them to GMV growth that routinely doubles industry standards.