Saturday, October 25, 2014

Repost, with Comments: LNS Research: Data: 43% of Manufacturing Professionals “Don’t Understand” the IoT

The LNS Research findings for IoT (Internet of Things) is not surprising given all of the hype around "talking refrigerators" and wearable devices.  It is sometimes difficult to connect the dots between a technology advance like a wearable, and a realistic use for manufacturers.  But let's think about this in another vein.  Manufacturing, for YEARS, has had IoT.  We called it DeviceNet, we called it OPC, programmically it was first DNA for Manufacturing and then .NET, but it was all about connecting the plant for communications.  Why?  To provide context into the information gathered, to be able to control the process and more importantly, predict when the process could get out of parameter.

The IoT, to me, is an extension of this paradigm. It brings other devices and entities into context to broaden, enrich and enhance the decision making capabilities of an enterprise. It's about using technology that makes sense to bring additional aspects within the environment that are integral to the process--for example, ambient temperature within a plant, or weather forecasts that could drive humidity to unacceptable levels in a process.

LNS's results indicate a need for continuing education, bringing "real life" examples and solutions to manufacturing that will help them gain additional productivity, quality, and competitive standing.  Like the cloud for manufacturing, first it's cool, but then it's a real provider of value, cost savings, and operations excellence.  IoT is in this nascent stage, so it's up to us as an industry to bring that education and value to our users.

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