Our world today is globally connected. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can call, type an email, or send an instant message to any continent. One of the places I’m seeing this type connectivity really start to show is within manufacturing.

This industrial revolution is called Industry 4.0, and it’s all about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which means deploying IoT solutions within factories. But, instead of connecting people to people, it’s connecting people to things virtually. These factories that are implementing IoT, are called smart factories.

One of the biggest players in this IIoT revolution is Cisco Systems. Cisco along with its partners, provide network infrastructure and solutions to manufacturers with IoT initiatives.

Here’s a great video that explains how Cisco is helping manufacturers become smart factories.

The Factory of the Future is Already Here

But why is being connected and becoming a smart factory important to manufacturers?

There are many reasons why manufacturers are deploying IoT solutions. The integration of IoT technology is completely transforming the way these smart factories operate and solve challenges. One of the challenge’s IoT can help solve is a common pain point across all industries, but I definitely see it a lot in manufacturing, and that’s the decrease in expertise. With experts aging and more millennials joining the workforce, there is a gap in knowledge.

Imagine a newer, less experienced worker at a manufacturing plant and a piece of production equipment breaks, and the expert that knows how to fix it is thousands of miles away. Integrating an IoT virtual presence solution can help fill that gap of distance and knowledge. The worker can virtually bring the expert to the problem and they can work together to solve it. For example Sub-Zero, with the help of Cisco, implemented Onsight technology into its manufacturing operations to collaborate virtually on products.

In a study on the Internet of Things by The MPI Group it states that, “Roughly 63% manufacturers believe that applying the IoT to products will increase profitability over the next five years.” With the rise of IIoT, it’s becoming more important that manufacturing companies look into different options for integrating IoT solutions in order to stay competitive. Whether it’s through the use of video to bring in experts from off-site locations, or updating network infrastructure to integrate another IoT solution, prioritizing IoT incorporation as a part of manufacturers’ strategic planning is crucial in becoming connected globally.

 

This post was written by Dave Baxter, Director of Sales Midwest for Librestream Technologies.

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