The workplace of tomorrow will be a smart workplace where everything communicates with everything else. This is essentially the definition of the Internet of Things or IoT. Smart devices are all around us and their ability to talk to each other is only getting better.
On a different front, you have the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), where industrial machines and embedded systems talk to each other to create smart factories. The IIoT is transforming the face of manufacturing although in an incremental way as compared to the consumer IoT.
In manufacturing, there already exist embedded systems that communicate with each other. This are known as Machine to Machine (M2M) systems. The real upgrade is being driven by the integration of big data, machine learning, and analytics into these existing communications.
Some of the results of this are as follows:
1. Better Quality Control
The Industrial Internet, the foundation of the IIoT, will offer enhanced connectivity to various systems across plants enabling line managers to identify issues before they affect overall operations. What this will do is create a scenario where instead of the managers telling the machines what to do, the machines will be responsible for offering optimised options to better improve the overall quality of results obtained. For example, in a vehicle manufacturing plant, IIoT components will be able to identify an issue with a certain part of a batch of cars being manufactured. This would help the plant manager catch the issue in time and avoid a recall.