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IoT – A Pivotal Technology for Smart Manufacturing
7th October 2018
IoT enabled Smart Manufacturing

IoT driven smart manufacturing gives factories the ability to collate and analyze process related data, in order to exert highly informed and optimal control over the production process. The confluence of information gathered through the means of sensors and the connectivity between machines and components that IoT makes possible, delivers unprecedented efficiencies. Leveraging contextualized data allows for inherently superior processes. In addition, fine control – delivered remotely if need be – further enhances the business’s ability to reduce waste, enhance quality of products and integrate mutually dependant functions.

A study conducted by Markets and Markets Research projects a global smart factories market of USD 205.42 billion by the year 2022. This would constitute a CAGR of 9.3% from the 2017 figure. Access to comprehensive real time data regarding resources, processes, operating assets and products, is a distinct advantage for manufacturers. In a highly competitive market, IoT technologies can help enterprises achieve better production volumes, with greater efficiency at lower input costs per unit.

As a solution, Microsoft Dynamics 365 reconciles CRM and ERP systems for manufacturing businesses to deliver analytics rich in insight and embedded intelligence. Dynamics 365 addresses both front office and the back office needs with a unified, comprehensive and end-to-end system that enhances the management of your entire business.

Process optimization through IoT will drive smart manufacturing 

Inter-connectivity of processes is at the heart of smart manufacturing and IoT enables the possibility of a fully inter-connected chain of production stages, with extensive feedback loops built in. Several unique enhancements, such as digitization of maintenance, product bench-marking, value chain enhancement and a fully integrated supply chain – among others – are a natural consequence of the IoT enabled manufacturing process. Advantages that businesses can gain include:

  • Optimal use of assets: Costs associated with the manufacturing processes are very much dependent on how production assets are utilized. IoT enhanced smart manufacturing enables businesses to map their processes optimally to the throughput of each element in the chain, allowing the process to be driven by real time anticipation of peak capacity.
  • Better inventory and supply chain management: IoT in manufacturing allows businesses greater control over their inventory costs through real time monitoring of materials and products throughout the sequential supply chain. Tracking stock replenishment is one of the most effective ways to minimize material costs for any manufacturing business.
  • Significant enhancement of product quality: Product quality is very closely associated with the performance of production assets. Early detection of errors can significantly reduce production costs – and losses in materials through sub-standard products – in comparison to processes that rely solely on post manufacturing quality control.
  • Enhanced resource and energy efficiency: Smart manufacturing allows enterprises the ability to detect energy consumption for each component and machine in the process. Identification of inefficient assets, opportunities for reduction in energy use and benchmarks against which to judge the performance of assets under consideration, can all add up to a significant reduction in energy costs.
  • Reduction in downtime and disruptions: Breakdown of production assets and the associated downtime can disrupt timeframes and the ability to deliver quality products. Repair costs and loss of perishable raw materials can add significantly to production costs, reducing efficiencies and profit margins. IoT allows enterprises to detect reduction in asset efficiency and performance parameters, allowing for early intervention that minimizes disruption.

Conclusion

IoT enabled smart manufacturing can offer businesses significantly greater control over their processes, delivering multiple efficiencies, consistent high quality in products and effective cost control. As a fundamental advantage for a manufacturing business, no single process upgrade can deliver the sort of value enhancement that the IoT in manufacturing enables, cumulatively and at each individual stage of production.

To understand how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help your business operate to its optimum potential, please reach out to us at marketing@levtechconsulting.com.

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