Technologies such as 5G, IoT sensors and platforms, edge computing, AI and analytics, robotics, blockchain, additive manufacturing and virtual/augmented reality are coalescing into a fertile environment for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which is set to usher in what's often described as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. Here's how analyst firm IoT Analytics sees the relationship between the broader IoT and the IIoT/Industry 4.0 sector: This ebook, based on the latest ZDNet / TechRepublic special feature, explores how infrastructure around the world is being linked together via sensors, machine learning and analytics. In this brave new world, supply chains will have end-to-end transparency thanks to sensors, data networks and analytics capabilities at key points. All other things (trade barriers, for example) being equal, parts and raw materials will arrive just in time at highly automated factories, and the fate of the resulting products will be tracked throughout their lifetimes to eventual recycling. Similarly, 'smart farms' will combine emerging IIoT-related technologies into integrated high-resolution crop production systems based on robotics, big data and analytics.
IDC recently released a report, "IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2018," surveying the global manufacturing landscape. When creating its predictions the firm examined ecosystems and experiences, greater intelligence in operational assets and processes, data capitalization, the convergence of information technology (IT) and operations. Most of the group's predictions refer to a continuum of change and digital transformation (DX) within the wider ecosystem of the manufacturing industry and global economy.
Industry is making strides in developing Internet of Things technologies and articulating the potential business value of industrial IoT and Industry 4.0 solutions. As more companies restructure their product and service offerings to support outcome-based business models, they will face a shortage of critical IoT-specific skills, ranging from embedded software development to cybersecurity and big data analytics. The ease and low cost in which product engineers can connect devices to the Internet and stream remote sensor information will continue to fuel the introduction of IoT products--mostly one-off and bespoke applications--but will also encourage sloppy implementations that result in system failures and security breaches. The automotive industry is emerging as the next largest volume market for IoT semiconductor manufacturers, driving semiconductor companies to invest heavily in sensors, especially in video and solid-state LIDAR, and in high-bandwidth single-chip sensor fusion components.
Internet of Business's comprehensive guide to where Industry 4.0 will lead manufacturers in the year ahead. Most manufacturers believe they are leading their markets in Industry 4.0 technologies, despite evidence to the contrary. There is a huge gap between the many companies that are exploring digital manufacturing strategies – via technologies such as automation, robotics, AI, and the Internet of Things – and those that are implementing them successfully. With Brexit looming, many manufacturers and solutions providers fear what this will mean for the wider European industrial community, which depends on the free movement of people and confident investment. The UK Budget recently sought to soften this blow by reinforcing the UK's commitment to a strong environment for international scientific collaboration. As part of this investment in R&D, the government will increase the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund by £1.1 billion, supporting technologies of the future. This includes up to £121 million for the Made Smarter initiative to support the transformation of manufacturing through digitally enabled technologies, such as the Internet of Things and virtual reality.
You receive a notification on your phone that a critical shipment from your China factory has missed its filing deadline with the customs broker. Your logistics manager is alerted that there is an 80% chance that the components he's waiting for are likely to be delayed another 48 hours by excessive port traffic and your GTM software advises diverting the shipment to an alternate port facility. Your compliance officer is informed that there is a 95% chance that a shipment of parts from Malaysia is likely to be held for up to three days to be subjected to a detailed customs inspection. If you think this type of information would be of great assistance to your supply chain business planning and operations, you are not alone. It is this type of integrated data and communications that are becoming the backbone of the Big Data led revolution underway in supply chain.