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How the Internet of Things is transforming industrial industries: Manufacturing (part two)

Welcome to Part Two in our series on the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT). In case you missed it, Part One defined what the IoT actually is and gave examples of the top industrial industries it’s already integrated into.

Part two is all about IoT in manufacturing. Let’s look at the major themes we’ve seen across the board and how it works for the companies at The Drake Group.

The manufacturing IoT infiltration

You could almost look at the Internet of Things in manufacturing as a pyramid of functions.

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By Behrad3d – Previously published: I have put this image on our research centre website as well. Please note to my name as the editor of that page on a top left section of the page:, CC BY 3.0, Link

Did you know that manufacturing operations spent $102 billion on IoT in 2016? The top three ways manufacturing businesses are using IoT devices is across the manufacturing operations, production asset management and maintenance and field service.

IoT devices in manufacturing are so valuable for boosting productivity, efficiency and innovation. Data analysis, including the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence, is enabling businesses, including our own, to optimise and refine processes.

Data, and how to understand what it’s telling you, plays a key role in the smart manufacturing. When it all boils down to it, optimisation, digitisation, visibility of the manufacturing factory and environment, as well as its relationship with the enhanced products and services towards customers is the most important thing you can learn.

How the Drake Group uses IoT devices in manufacturing

The Drake Group has experienced IoT devices in manufacturing firsthand. We’ve been working with a range of IoT devices for decades that work to strengthen the skills of our engineers and craftsmen, improve processes and produce higher quality trailers to the Australian market. So far, we’ve been using IoT devices to monitor production flow, management our equipment and alert us for maintenance tasks.

The new manufacturing environment is automated, allowing multiple machines to communicate with each other, be managed and diagnosed remotely. This kind of technology helps with asset management and predictive maintenance of manufacturing machinery.

How so? Say, for example, a piece of machinery is getting hotter than it should. IoT sensors will report this issue automatically back to the system to alert technicians to the issues, helping to minimise downtime and keep operations moving smoothly.

Logistics and manufacturing

Logistics has the potential to be at the forefront of this paradigm shift in manufacturing, yet it’s likely to make the relationship between logistics and the supplier network more complicated if we let it.

Andreas Tschisener, director of the global management consulting firm Mckinsey & Company, said in a recent interview that leaner manufacturing, along with robust algorithms, can reduce inventories and delay times on bringing in part. In the same interview, Siegfried Dais, deputy chairman of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH, added: “those who make the system user-friendly so that the people who use it day-to-day can immediately recognize problems and know how to react without getting tangled up in a web of interdependencies.”

It’s clear that IoT is only beginning to make its mark in every industry imaginable and the possibilities for the technology are limitless. As connected devices continue to get cheaper, smaller and more capable we will see new opportunities for growth by any business who implements IoT into their pipelines.

At The Drake Group, we’re excited about what IoT can bring to our design and manufacturing processes and how that can continue to serve our valued customers. Contact The Drake Group today to find out more about how we can work together.

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