These IIoT Benefits Will Convince You It’s the Best
The benefits of IoT have become a central talking point for everyone from the guy at the supermarket to facility managers and directors of operations. While the guy at the supermarket might be comfortable with the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT), it's the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) that's catching the attention of forward-thinking businesses.
But what’s the difference between IIoT and IoT? In essence, IIoT brings together machinery, analytics, and the internet within industrial settings (as opposed to within your cat’s water bowl). And businesses really are recognizing the many benefits of IIoT—all you have to do is look at the numbers. IDC forecasts investments in IoT systems to surpass US$1 trillion in 2026.
And it gets even better. Out-of-the-box systems make harnessing the benefits of IIoT increasingly attainable for businesses, especially medium ones. As we unpack this topic, the promise and potential benefits of IIoT become undeniably clear. Ready to explore these advantages in-depth? Let's journey on.
The Main Benefits of IIoT Worth Telling Your Boss About
I’m going to get real here. You, person who is reading this article, are probably not the big boss. It’s nothing against you, I just know those people don’t have time to do fun things like read company blogs.
If I’m right (and it would be terribly embarrassing if I’m not), that means you’re eventually going to have to have a talk with your boss about IIoT—if we succeed at convincing you (which we will. I’m not arrogant. I’m just realistic.)
So we want to make it easy for you. If you have limited time to be able to convince your boss of the benefits of IIoT, then these are the ones you should tell them about. If you’ve got 20 minutes, go ahead and tell them about all 8+ benefits. Only got 5? The first four should do it.
IIoT Benefit 1: Make Your Operations More Efficient
For many businesses we engage with, the benefits of IIoT are alluring, especially as it promises such heightened operational efficacy. With IIoT, manufacturers aren't just automating—they're optimizing. Automated systems reduce the margin for errors and accelerate production. Moreover, the integration of sensors with machinery creates a continuous feedback loop, allowing real-time monitoring of performance. This level of insight isn't just confined to individual machines but spans entire fleets, granting managers unprecedented control and adaptability.
Whether they're physically on the factory floor or relaxing on the weekend, IIoT ensures they're just a click away from making data-driven decisions, optimizing resource allocation, and seeing productivity rise.
IIoT Benefit 2: Lower Equipment and Process Downtime
Intelligent maintenance practices improve equipment health and enable failure prediction, significantly reducing unnecessary downtime. While preventative maintenance is scheduled at regular intervals based on average usage, users who exceed this average face a higher risk of wear-related failures. By utilizing IIoT, organizations can gain insights into usage rates, wear rates, and error codes, facilitating a shift from time-based to condition-based maintenance. This transition ensures that work is performed when necessary, leading to reduced downtimes.
Another major cause of downtime is massive events that completely halt or at least hamper production. How much revenue are you losing for each hour or day of downtime while you fix equipment and clean up messes? Prevent these massive events from happening and see production running smoothly with continuous, near-real-time IIoT monitoring and alerts that will actually be heard.
IIoT Benefit 3: Reduce Operational Costs
Do IIoT systems like remote monitoring and predictive maintenance reduce costs? Yes, especially over time.
Consider this: According to Deloitte, IoT-driven predictive maintenance alone can shave maintenance costs by a significant 25%. The beauty of IIoT lies in its multifaceted approach. It not only optimizes maintenance through predictive insights but also enhances worker safety, bridges communication gaps, identifies production bottlenecks, and offers a glimpse into future opportunities. On the other side, smart fleet management has proven to improve fuel efficiency by at least 6%, leading to $15 million in savings for Saia LTL Freight.
And then there’s that one question you can’t ignore anymore: How much money are you losing every day these systems aren’t catching and preventing events and downtime?
IIoT Benefit 4: Stay Compliant and Prove Compliance with Regulatory Institutions
In an age where the cost of non-compliance can be financially crippling, one of the lesser-known benefits of IIoT is compliance. Take, for instance, the substantial penalties by the EPA: fines ranging from $2,500 to a staggering $50,000 per day for environmental breaches. That’s not a fun fine to pay, yet businesses across the country are paying it every day. And it’s often preventable.
Through the automatic recording of pertinent data—covering manufacturing processes, safety measures, and environmental metrics—these systems offer a transparent lens into operations. Such transparency not only creates an irrefutable audit trail for regulatory bodies but also facilitates real-time monitoring. This real-time insight helps swiftly spot and rectify any deviation from compliance norms.
Moreover, the predictive capabilities of IIoT empower businesses to foresee and address issues before they snowball into costly non-compliance disasters. Simply put, with IIoT, companies have a robust framework that offers dual benefits: consistent proof of adherence to regulations and a protective shield against the debilitating penalties that noncompliance can usher in.
IIoT Benefit 5: Improve Worker Safety in the Field
In today's dynamic industrial landscape, the safety of workers stands paramount. Beyond the immediate financial ramifications of accidents, there's that beautiful thing called life—and quality of life—that businesses play with when they have unsafe working conditions.
IIoT's mesh of sensors, spanning across manufacturing floors to delivery lines, works in concert to create a protective canopy for workers. From monitoring environmental conditions to tracking the exact location of employees, especially in proximity to hazardous equipment, these systems ensure real-time vigilance. When any anomaly or potential threat is detected, instantaneous alerts ripple across the facility, pausing operations and mobilizing leadership to intervene. This not only resolves immediate threats but also offers invaluable data to prevent future incidents, ensuring a consistently safe and vigilant workspace.
Whether it's the energy sector, where sensors can preemptively detect threats like gas leaks, or manufacturing units where worker proximity to potential dangers is continuously gauged, IIoT is always there. Literally always.
IIoT Benefit 6: Make Better Business Decisions
Want to make better business decisions? You need real-time data (or close to it) and actionable insights. IIoT channels precise, real-time data about diverse facets of a business—from machinery performance and product quality to energy utilization and overarching operational efficiency.
By placing high-caliber data in the hands of decision-makers, exactly when and where they need it, IIoT enables a real-time reevaluation and course correction of strategies. Whether it's workers on the plant floor making minute adjustments for efficiency or top-tier executives refining overarching business strategies, having immediate data access transforms reactive decision-making into a proactive, foresight-driven approach.
The power of IIoT extends to its predictive prowess, permitting businesses to foresee potential hurdles, thus curbing downtimes and extraneous costs. Just imagine the potential: decisions informed by a live stream of data, facilitating real-time adjustments to maximize efficiency, product quality, and cost-effectiveness.
IIoT Benefit 7: Reduce Energy Consumption
Whether or not you’re reducing energy consumption for environmental reasons or to cut costs, it remains a key objective for facility managers from all industries. The fact that the United States, with just 4% of the global population, accounted for 17% of the world's energy consumption in 2018 is alarming. More concerning is the realization that a substantial chunk of this energy—in the realm of 30% according to MIT—is sheer waste.
Leveraging near-real-time monitoring systems, businesses can glean insights into their energy utilization patterns, pinpointing inefficiencies that otherwise go unnoticed. Every facet of industrial operations, from HVAC systems and facility lights to industrial printers, can benefit from IIoT interventions. By embedding sensors and employing advanced analytics, IIoT platforms offer a comprehensive view of energy consumption, highlighting areas ripe for optimization.
By transitioning to such intelligent systems, industries aren't merely curtailing their operational expenses but also taking decisive steps towards a greener, more sustainable footprint.
IIoT Benefit 8: Enable Full Supply Chain Traceability
Oh supply chain. You know, the reason why your mom can’t get the brand of dressing she likes. While some issues are inevitable casualties of our global economy, there are some that can be optimized with IIoT.
By seamlessly integrating IIoT devices across pivotal junctures of the supply chain, businesses can gain an eagle-eyed perspective on the movement of goods and supplies. From the meticulous monitoring of warehouse conditions—like temperature and humidity—to the tracking of real-time transit details, IIoT ensures proactive management of potential disruptions.
Imagine a scenario where each inventory item carries a unique RFID tag, communicating its location, status, and movement to a centralized cloud system. This information is then parsed into actionable insights, facilitating efficient inventory management, raw material forecasting, and alert mechanisms for potential replenishments. The implications are profound: manufacturers can harness these insights for more accurate anticipation of material arrivals, reducing wait times and ensuring uninterrupted production cycles.
While the above eight benefits of IoT are arguably the most impressive, there are many other benefits to consider—as well as industry or business case-specific ones. Here are some of the other advantages we could talk about if we had the space:
Enable use cases such as automation, predictive maintenance, remote monitoring, and conditions-based alerts
Ensure high-quality production
Improve customer service
Improve sustainability through environmental, social, and governance (ESG)
Control maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) costs
Extend the value and lifecycle of assets
Optimize routing and parts management
Knowing is half the battle. And knowing is what the industrial internet of things does best. If you’re interested in exploring how an IIoT solution can bring these benefits to your business, contact us for a free infrastructure assessment.