As we witnessed in 2020, manufacturing disruptions such as the coronavirus can be completely unpredictable. With any unplanned disruption, whether it be a natural disaster, pandemic, or adverse weather, questions arise to understand the impact they will have on industrial enterprises. The fundamental challenge of disruption is to figure out when it’s happening to you, understand where it’s coming from, and have a strategy in place to manage it.
In the era of unprecedented changes, manufacturers are facing problems they have never faced before. Such as shortage of workers in the factory, shrinking of margins, loss of revenue, and supply chain disruptions. But how they handle those they face is what will set them apart.
Many enterprises are using the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as a means of strategizing to defeat current and future disruptions. The IIoT enables remote asset monitoring, visibility into production lines, and connects assets to manage disruptions that can cause issues like those mentioned above.
Manufacturing challenges and their IoT solution
Shortage of workers in the factory
How do you maintain productivity if teams cannot physically go into the plant? Whether it is bad weather, a pandemic, or someone calling in sick, this past year has shown us that not having enough staff can cause problems. How do you maintain operation levels when employees must social distance or not enough show up for work? What if service technicians can’t make it to the factory for scheduled maintenance or breakdowns?
The industrial IoT can enable teams to remotely monitor assets across plants. Even if the workforce is not present, organizations can view and control processes within their plants. Presently, the clear advantage is accessibility and monitoring without being present, but remote asset monitoring also brings accuracy in maintenance, diminished plant downtime, and enhanced decision making to the table.
How do you maintain profitability if margins are shrinking and costs are rising? Shrinking margins due to machines not running at full-capacity and increasing material costs are a harsh reality of current times.
However, these problems are resolvable. Organizations can leverage IIoT technology to gain visibility into fixed and moving parts of production. This includes real-time data that is aggregated on a single platform for easy visibility and management. Enterprises can then capitalize on this data to manage more efficiently and increase profit margins.
Supply chain disruptions
How do you manage supply chain disruptions? If there are not supplies, how can production run? As mentioned earlier, capitalizing on data can solve issues before they happen. With an IIoT solution, manufacturers can connect enterprise systems and track what’s in stock and the supply chain. If a vendor is having production and delivery issues, you can ideally be one step ahead by having the real-time data to track the supply and reroute to suppliers that can deliver on time, if necessary.
This is just the beginning. Read our latest eBook “Leveraging digitalization to overcome manufacturing disruptions” to learn other ways the industrial IoT enables you to maintain productivity and profitability during unexpected disruptions.