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additive manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing Challenges in the Aviation Industry

In recent years, additive manufacturing (AM) has created a buzz in industries across the world, promising a flexible and cost-effective alternative to traditional manufacturing. One such sector that AM has brought about key transformations is the aviation industry. Additive manufacturing techniques play a pivotal role in aviation companies to reduce costs, increase efficiency, shorten time-to-market, and allow greater design flexibility. It acts as a vital technique to create complex designs and produce lightweight, yet strong structures. That being said, at present, there are several additive manufacturing challenges that need to be addressed by aviation companies before they go into its widespread adoption in the sector.

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Additive manufacturingAdditive manufacturing challenges in the aviation industry

Inconsistency in quality

Additive manufacturing currently faces several challenges in maintaining quality consistency. This is especially true in the case of the production of fully dense metal parts. Several aviation experts have also been raising concerns over the repeatability of the existing additive manufacturing systems. Also, the current AM systems are believed to offer accuracy of only approximately 30-40 microns. This is one of the critical challenges of additive manufacturing in the aviation industry as this does not align with the quality tolerance standards of aerospace companies. Consequently, some additive manufacturing parts require additional work after they are printed. This hurts the efficiency and purpose of AM.

Large and odd-sized parts

Another key challenge of additive manufacturing in the aviation industry is the inability to manufacture large and odd parts, making the production of certain large aircraft components difficult. This is one of the key areas where additive manufacturing underperforms when compared to traditional manufacturing.

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High material costs

AM technology uses only a small quantity of polymers and metal powder for the production of aircraft parts. However, these come at a much higher price when compared to the materials that are generally used in traditional manufacturing. This, in turn, lowers the incentive to use additive manufacturing in the aviation industry. This challenge must be addressed by AM providers by identifying alternative materials that can bring down the production costs.

Scalability limitations

Traditional manufacturing and sourcing techniques often help companies to stock large quantities of inventory for unforeseen contingencies. But in the case of AM, it may not be possible to scale up production in case there is a sudden surge in demand. As this scenario is highly likely in the aviation sector, scalability becomes one of the biggest challenges of additive manufacturing in the sector. Several additive manufacturing providers are already working on this challenge by enhancing the production speed of AM systems.

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smart manufacturing

How to Successfully Navigate Through the Transition to Smart Manufacturing

Manufacturing as we know it is going through a phase of unprecedented transformations. Several initiatives and efforts are in full swing to fundamentally transform the manufacturing sector and associated processes. These initiatives, although known by different names such as industry 4.0 in the west to manufacturing innovation 3.0 in the east, they all stand to have a common pursuit – smart manufacturing. A fully-connected manufacturing business where machines, devices, and people work seamlessly, sharing and acting on information in real-time is vital for manufacturers to pull off a successful changeover to smart manufacturing.

The global push for smart manufacturing is underway, creating a pool of growth opportunities for manufacturers. Smart manufacturing techniques offer several opportunities for companies in the manufacturing industry to improve their operations by providing greater connectivity across the manufacturing facility and the ability to act on production intelligence. However, while some agile manufacturers have embraced smart manufacturing fully and are reaping the benefits already, most still have much work ahead of them. According to experts at Infiniti, less than 15% of manufacturing companies around the globe have successfully implemented a strategy to apply Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to their production processes. Experts at Infiniti explain how companies in the manufacturing sector can go about smartly implementing smart manufacturing in their organizations.

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Improve quality and productivity

Quality management and kaizen techniques can only provide limited outcomes when the information relied on are limited and not available in real-time. Manufacturers are leveraging embedded equipment intelligence to monitor most product specifications in real-time, either from a customer or regulatory perspective. Apart from this, they’re using this intelligence to address product defects and variations, verify whether quality goals are met, and improve customer satisfaction. Embedded intelligence, when used to improve control and transparency of manufacturing processes creates new opportunities to improve productivity. For instance, operators on the plant floor are analyzing real-time production data to uncover hidden inefficiencies and ensure faster implementation of changes. Managers and logistics professionals are leveraging smart manufacturing technologies to deliver critical data including forecasts and schedules to suppliers, while also monitoring delivery performances at the supply chain level.

Enhancing decision-making process

Manufacturers must consider upgrading their existing technologies in order to attain next-gen productivity. This involves reconciling dissimilar data sources with the current IT systems, extracting the data from smart manufacturing technologies, and then converting that data into actionable insights. Manufacturers that have adhered to these steps and armed themselves with better information are using it to optimize their assets, improve their responsiveness to changing customer demands, refine workflows, and reduce inventory holding.

There is an increasing need for for agile production, operational efficiency, and control in the manufacturing industry. Get in touch with our experts to learn how our solutions can help your organization keep up with the changing market dynamics.

Safeguard against threats

Availability of larger data sets and more connection points can introduce greater risk to manufacturing companies in the forms of internal and external threats. Cyber attackers are looking beyond corporate servers to target operations technologies, while decades-old devices and controls of companies in the manufacturing sector can be more susceptible to breaches through both malicious attacks and unintentional employee actions. No single security technology or methodology will suffice in this complex threat landscape. Instead, manufacturers must use a comprehensive, defense-in-depth approach that establishes security safeguards at different layers to stop threats on multiple fronts. Robust and secure network infrastructure should be built on standard and unmodified Ethernet, which has become the industry preference for security purposes.

Safe, compliant, and reliable operations

An ongoing concern for most manufacturers is to achieving safe, compliant, and reliable operations, and smart manufacturing technologies provide new opportunities for dealing with some of these age-old challenges. Common opportunities provided by smart manufacturing will include replacing obsolete and isolated automation systems that have exceeded their life spans, are difficult to connect and are no longer supported by their manufacturers. However, manufacturers also should define new requirements based on past performance in areas such as employee injuries, machinery downtime, and work stoppages.

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Top Manufacturing Trends Flourishing in the Pharma Industry

The global economic uncertainties, increasing healthcare costs and expiring patents are putting pharma companies in a state of turmoil. However, on the brighter side, the rapid development of the emerging markets, progress in drug research, the rise in generics production, the availability of high-potency drugs, and innovations in manufacturing trends will sustainably modify the global pharmaceutical landscape. Moreover, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and the growing demand for medications, high market growth, new medicines, and therapy forms, changing regulations, and progressing digitization are going to give birth to new manufacturing trends to meet the growing demand.

Manufacturing trends in the pharma industry

Process analytical technology

This initiative sets a legal framework in the USA aiming to motivate pharma companies to improve the production process and achieve consistent quality while reducing waste and costs. In order to comply with this regulation and the changing manufacturing trends, pharma companies need to have systems in place that ensure detailed monitoring of their continuous and batch processes. Process analytical technology is one of the vital manufacturing trends that enables and drives continuous manufacturing. It was identified as one of the most important manufacturing trends in pharma companies along with integrated manufacturing business and automation processes.

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Digitization and labeling information

Effective tracking, tracing, and labeling is a mandatory proof of authenticity and prevention of drug counterfeiting. Digitization of labeling information has resulted in greater emphasis being placed on collecting, securing, and processing digital data about pharma products.

Low-volume drugs

There are several issues relating to introducing new drugs in the market. This includes manufacturing issues as well, so a review of manufacturing trends in approvals of new molecular entities (NMEs) can provide insight into manufacturing activity. A key trend in NME approvals is the increased share of orphan drugs approved as NMEs. Orphan drugs are defined as drugs that treat diseases which are known to affect 200,000 or fewer people, as defined by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA provides incentives, including market-exclusivity benefits, for developing orphan drugs. Due to a smaller patient population, these drugs are typically produced in lower volumes when compared to primary care drugs.Get More Info

Risk-based manufacturing inspections

The FDA is continuing its plan to use a risk-based selection model for manufacturing inspections in the pharma industry. This forms a part of its strategy to allocate resources more effectively and gain greater parity between inspections of domestic and foreign drug-manufacturing facilities. During September 2018), the FDA published an internal policy that outlines the agency’s risk-based, site-selection model for inspecting foreign drug-manufacturing facilities. The FDA prioritizes inspections of sites regardless of their location with the help of a risk-based site-selection model. This is one of the critical manufacturing trends that pharma companies must watch out for.


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Top 3 Challenges Facing the Manufacturing Industry and Ways to Tackle Them

Leading players in the manufacturing industry are confronting uncertainties in the face of digitization and new customer expectations. The manufacturing industry is one of the important wealth-generating sectors of the global economy and accounts for a significant share of the global workforce to develop materials needed by organizations across various industries. Moreover, as the drumbeat for innovation and digitization grows louder, companies in the manufacturing industry are facing the need to plan new strategies and invest more in technology to gain a stronger foothold. Consequently, the advent of technology is posing a new set of challenges before the industry, which need to be addressed in order to maintain the growth momentum. In this article, we have discussed some of those challenges and have suggested a few measures to tackle them effectively.

Challenges in the Manufacturing Industry

Challenge #1: Shortage of skilled labor

With the baby boomer generation entering the phase of retirement, the manufacturing industry is facing an acute shortage of labor. Today, employers in the manufacturing industry need employees with a different set of skills. There are certain tasks that have become automated and machine sensors have become more commonplace. This has created the need for manufacturers to collect large amounts of data and is opening up new avenues for employment.

Solution: To tackle this challenge, manufacturers need to plan their strategic workforce smartly. Also, they should focus more on recruiting millennials who have technical skills and ‘know-how’. Additionally, there must be an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills to streamline recruitment initiatives.

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Challenge #2: Management of project

In the manufacturing industry, projects are typically cost, time, and quality sensitive and, as a result, tend to be rigid and tightly controlled. Such rigidity and tight control mean less ability to make adjustments or update scope as the project progresses.  Many of these projects need a design commitment, with little flexibility to alter as requirements change or new information pops up.  This becomes quite frustrating for a team that wants to produce the best product but is handcuffed by deadline constraints.

Solution: To deal with such manufacturing industry challenges, the team leader needs to ask for dedicated resources. Also, utilizing the project service automation software that includes universal resource scheduling can help the manufacturers to quicGet More Infokly find resources that are available and adjust the schedule based on the predicted completion date of the project.

Challenge #3: Analyzing the data

With the increasing use of the Internet of Things (IoT), the manufacturing industry is facing difficulties in aggregating and analyzing the data. While many organizations may have smart machines already on their shop floor, they lack the systems to extract and analyze the data being captured by these systems. This forces manufacturers to miss out on quality.  Therefore, manufacturers are facing the dire need to improve their data mining capacities to improve real-time decisions.

Solution: Implementing an IoT solution designed to help maintenance of predictive analytics, as well as remote monitoring, can help companies in the manufacturing industry to analyze their data in real-time. Also, this can help in predicting the time when maintenance of an asset is required.  Consequently, manufacturers can shift from replace or repair maintenance model to a fix and predict model.


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5 Smart Manufacturing Opportunities that Manufacturers Must Grab

Manufacturing is and will continue to be a critical force in both advanced and developing economies. However, the global manufacturing sector has undergone a tumultuous decade. From large developing economies leaping into the first tier of manufacturing nations, a severe recession choking off demand, to manufacturing employment falling at an accelerated rate in advanced economies. The good news here is that the manufacturing industry is all ready to be re-imagined, reinvented, and reborn. Here are five incredibly potent opportunities in manufacturing that manufacturers have to pounce upon if they wish to stay competitive through smarter manufacturing:

Smart manufacturing opportunities in manufacturing

Manufacturing intelligence

Intelligence in the manufacturing industry must be carefully planned, implemented, managed and invested in. This generally requires a completely new view and perspective regarding what is traditionally looked Get More Infoat as strictly a mechanical or procedural challenge. This includes advanced data collection from sensors and actuators, immediate knowledge of inventory, assets, production condition; and increased process, productivity, and cost granularity.

Predictive analytics

Manufacturing intelligence must be used by companies in the manufacturing industry in such a way that it will predict the future so that decisions and actions are taken before problems emerge, before the occurrence of risk, and before opportunities are wasted. This includes enabling predictive technologies, embedded analytics, and rapid response capabilities.

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Quality management

Quality management is the way ahead for how players in the manufacturing industry can achieve nearly zero waste, zero incidents, and zero emissions. The new improvements in quality will develop from factors including information visibility, connectivity, and analytics.

Manufacturing network monitoring

The ability to see and act on your entire network enables companies in the manufacturing industry to predict problems, quickly deploy corrective actions (such as repairs), and keep the entire network humming. This results in improved operational decisions; enhanced remote visibility; and the lowest cost of production possible.

Visibility and visualization

Unless information helps businesses to understand and act, it becomes practically meaningless. It is necessary to have a holistic, dynamic view of the company’s operations in real-time, and visualize people, systems, assets, and inventories as they make their way through a complex supply chain. Manufacturers can see multiple factories in a single view, utilize advanced manufacturing dashboards; and optimize their capacity across the entire enterprise using new instrumentation, networks, and control rooms.


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Anatomy of the Medical Imaging Market – Where’s it Heading?

At first, it may be difficult to comprehend on how devices can circumvent through all the tissues, muscles, nerves, and bones to get the picture that helps doctors diagnose different diseases. Accurate diagnosis is one of the most critical aspects of health care, and detailed medical imaging is required by healthcare professionals to pinpoint the medical problem. Without medical imaging, they can only bring down the possibility to a few given conditions by monitoring the symptoms. However, with medical imaging devices, the problems can be located easily with perfection. There have been numerous advancements in the medical imaging technology, with doctors being able to see things in more details without causing harm to the patients. As a result, more and more diagnostic imaging Request Free Proposalprocedures are being performed. So, what are the trends in the medical imaging market?

Hybrid imaging technology

Hybrid imaging is the most talked about advancement in imaging technology. The PET and CT scan technology in one machine has augmented the innovations in this field. The system has been so successful that major imaging system manufacturers no longer provide standalone PET systems. Hybrid PET/CT, PET/MRI, and SPECT/CT are amongst others that have received attention. Numerous hospitals are now replacing their standalone systems for hybrid systems. For instance, while evaluating the skeletal system, a SPECT/CT system offers accurate localization and improves the information provided by CT.

Trends in Medical Imaging MarketSafer imaging systems

The general public is usually worried about the level and dosage of radiation they receive from imaging systems. As a result, doctors and patients may be reluctant when it comes to performing necessary scans. However, there have been technological advancements in this field as systems with lowered doses of ionizing radiation reduce the harmful effects of radiation. Reducing the radiation dose in a medical imaging system also provides them with a competitive advantage over their competition. Additionally, shifting from analog to digital system offers medical professionals with more accurate and faster imaging capabilities.

Value-based payments method

It is possible that a majority of the imaging tests prescribed by the doctors are deemed unnecessary. Additionally, even after having such images, the diagnosis and treatment plans are not very effective. With the advent of value-based payments methods, the current landscape is set to change. Both manufacturers and healthcare professionals will look to increase the quality and efficiency of their imaging service to please patients and improve their health outcome.

Use of contrast agents

Contrast agents are used in diagnostic imaging to enhance the image visualization. It provides detailed information, which can assist medical professionals in accurate diagnosis. The rising number of chronic diseases all around the world will drive the use of contrast agents in medical imaging market. Governments all across the world are also increasingly granting approvals for the use of contrast agents.

Cryogen-free preclinical MRI scanners

Radiologists today have a wide range of imaging technologies to choose from. As a result, it is bringing a radical change to preclinical medical imaging. Amongst all medical imaging technologies, cryogen-free MRI is gaining popularity as it uses a dry magnet that does not require liquid helium. Consequently, it significantly reduces the size and weight of MRI scanners. Also, such scanners can incorporate multimodality imaging capability and provide improved image resolution. In the near future, it may allow MRI to be used in cardiac imaging and time-resolved contrast enhanced angiography.

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The World is Embracing Smart Factories – And Why You Should Too!

There have been rapid changes in the manufacturing technologies in recent times. The emergence of automation systems, Industry 4.0, and machine learning have resulted in the convergence of digital and physical worlds. Today, manufacturing is less about producing volumes and more about the intelligent and dynamic creation of value. Advancements in digital technologies have led to the preference for smart factories, where the machinery and equipment can improve processes through self-optimization and automation. The benefits of a smart factory extends Request Free Proposalbeyond manufacturing into functions such as supply chain logistics, planning, and product development.

Advantages of a smart factory

Asset efficiency

Advancements in sensor technology have enabled manufacturing industry to generate huge volumes of data that can be continuously analyzed to reveal asset performance issues, which need corrective optimization. A unique advantage of a smart factory is that human operators aren’t required to analyze such data and implement a corrective course of action. It is entirely possible for such factories to take corrective measures by itself through predictive analytics and machine learning. An increase in asset efficiency translates to lower downtime, optimized capacity, and reduced changeover time.

Lower cost

A smart factory enables manufacturing facilities to operate with lower inventory levels, which further lowers costs related to sourcing and supply networks. Additionally, the material handling costs also drastically decrease alongside wastages and downtime, which directly translates to cost-savings. Also, lower energy usage and quality processes will further reduce the warranty and maintenance costs.

Quality improvements

As discussed, smart factories are capable of implementing a corrective course of action on their own. Such principles can also be used to predict and detect quality defect trends sooner along with their cause. It will inevitably lower scrap rates and lead times; thereby, increasing fill rates and yield. As a result, optimized quality process will ensure quality improvements.

Maximum flexibility

Smart factory logistics systems are equipped to handle a host of different manufacturing environments and production setups. As a result, it can handle the differing nature of operational tasks, ensuring maximum flexibility. Additionally, advanced sensors technology can automatically recognize manufacturing demand fluctuations, which, in turn, allows a company’s supply chain to respond with better agility.

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5 Principles of Lean Manufacturing – Simplified

Lean manufacturing is the most trending buzzword in the manufacturing industry which is aimed at efficient use of resources to generate high-quality products. Lean manufacturing is a continuous improvement philosophy which was conceptualized by Kaizen or Toyota Production System. It is the same concept that helped Toyota to compete with the US car industry post-WWII period. The concept seeks to implement business processes that deliver high-quality results while maintaining worker safety and morale and also lowering cost and shortening lead times. Lean manufacturing can significantly improve the efficiency of the manufacturing industry and thereby reduce the production cost. Here are five principles of lean manufacturing that will help the manufacturing industry implementRequest Free Proposal lean techniques.

Identify value

Value of the product always refers to customer’s need for a specific product. For a long time, companies have been producing goods on the basis of what they think is the best, losing vision of customers being the end-user. As a result, if you want to design the best product, it should always start with finding ways to determine what customers actually want in the first place. They need to understand the customer needs in terms of product functionality, ease of use, and pricing. Players in the manufacturing industry can use tools and techniques such as brainstorming, market gaps identification, consumer research, and quality function deployment to identify various needs of the customers. Subsequently, companies should only engage in activities that improve the value of their product to the customers.

Map the value stream

After assessing what value the customers’ want, the next step is to map the value stream. Companies will have to map all the steps and processes involved in converting raw material into the finished product. In order to abide by the principles of lean management, companies should find the most suitable raw material and engage in adding value to each step and dissolve processes that don’t add value. To simplify things, managers can start out by drawing each step on a page as a map depicting the flow of materials and products through the process.

Create inventory flow

After identifying and removing waste from the value stream, it is important to ensure smooth flow of operations without any delays, interruptions, or bottlenecks. These value-creating steps should occur in tight sequences to ensure a smooth flow till the final product delivery to the customers. Employees must get rid of silo thinking and put in cross-functional efforts across all departments. Cross-functional efforts ensure smooth flow of operations even when employees are reshuffled across departments.

Establish value pull

With improved inventory flow, time to market can be drastically improved. This lean manufacturing principle requires players in the manufacturing industry to set out ways which make customers demand the product rather than pushing the product to them. Simply put, if the product was not designed to suit the customer’s needs, then companies will have a hard time persuading the customer to purchase the products. This saves company time and money as products doesn’t need to be created in advance or material stockpiled.

Seek perfection

Achieving perfection is the ultimate goal of the lean manufacturing principle. Manufacturers should always focus on perfecting their products by attaining perfection in each value creation steps and removing waste. Businesses should strive to deliver the product within the designated time and employ continuous improvement tools like Kaizen to achieve perfection.

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Top Trends in the Manufacturing Industry: Prediction 2018

The manufacturing industry is under immense pressure to innovate and bring down the costs rapidly. The rapidly rising rate of technological advancements and increasing product penetration in the emerging markets have raised the bar for the manufacturing industry. At present, the manufacturing industry has been aggressively pursuing digital transformation to improve process efficiency and empower innovation. According to a 2015 World Bank report, the value added in the economy by the manufacturing industry in China is anticipated to be around IR_Brochure$3,250,412 million, which is the highest in the world. It is also one of the biggest employers in the world, creating millions of jobs in the economy.

Top trends in the manufacturing industry

Leveraging digital platforms

The rising consumer expectations and advent of connected devices and platforms are the most significant drivers of digitization in the manufacturing sector. In order to ensure that the right products are manufactured at the right price and gets delivered to the right people, the industry has been using advanced digital technologies such as IoT, AI, machine learning, robotics, and data analytics. These digital technologies are crucial to optimize the enterprise value chain and supply chain.

IT and value chain

A vast majority of the companies are refraining from embracing digital technology due to substantial setup costs associated with it. However, companies have started to realize that the benefits far outweigh the costs. IT departments of the organization are making efforts to ensure that their value chain process is in alignment to their business strategy. Such steps will help release 10% to 20% of the total IT applications costs. It has been evident that early adoption of digital technologies pays up its initial costs by increased operational efficiency and productivity boosts.

Legacy applications

Legacy applications mostly have a negative connotation regarding being an outdated and inefficient system. However, this is not always the case as manufacturers processes, business data, and digital histories all exist within the legacy system. Replacing legacy system with newer technologies may not always facilitate smooth data and system transition. Most manufacturing companies are still relying on legacy systems; whereas, others are looking to phase out legacy applications to enable digitization slowly.

Smart manufacturing

The concept of smart manufacturing has gained a lot of attention in recent times, and many players in the manufacturing industries have introduced this concept in their plants and production zones. However, the majority of them are struggling to implement fully scaled smart manufacturing concepts. Industrial IoT has helped the manufacturing industry to implement fully scaled smart manufacturing concepts. Manufacturers are prioritizing predictive maintenance and energy management in the initial phases and are looking to implement more complicated AI-oriented applications. Such technologies will improve product quality, lower machine downtime, and save labor costs.

Pricing models

Outcome-based pricing has been popularized recently by the medical devices and pharmaceutical companies. However, in the manufacturing industry, the suppliers are still not ready to adopt such pricing models because of which buyers usually have to outlay huge budgets for equipment acquisition. The things look to remain the same in 2018 as well, owing to the fact that GE has not seen growth in its market share or stock price despite using such pricing models for their connected products. It is expected that companies in the manufacturing industry will continually examine the feasibility of this pricing model and practice it on a smaller scale.

 

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Top 4 IoT Trends That Drive Smart Manufacturing

Internet of Things (IoT) is set to transform the way the manufacturing industry operates and functions. Smart manufacturing or advanced manufacturing technology is driving the companies to transform the competitive market landscape. Thus, making it inevitable for the companies to adopt smart manufacturing and seize the benefits it has to offer. Smart manufacturing coupled with IoT enabled devices is an aIR_Brochuremalgamation of information, human interface, and technology that helps evolve and develop every aspect of the business. IoT is an interconnected network of devices driven by connectivity and software that has brought the fourth industrial revolution – Industry 4.0.

Trend 1: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

IIoT is the process of using IoT enabled devices and integrating it within the manufacturing processes on the factory floors leading to an increase in production efficiency, product quality, and speed. Purely built on connectivity, IIoT enables people and facilitates business processes to collect vast amounts of data and leverage advanced analytics to gain insights.

Trend 2: Cloud-Computing Technology

With the help of cloud computing coupled with IIoT, companies can reap the benefit of sharing important and critical information in real-time. The data shared from beacons and sensors help organizations to anticipate needs and predict trends, obtain required inventory details, and minimize turnaround time for machines as well as the suppliers and manufacturers.

Trend 3: Artificial Intelligence

Thanks to big data, vast amounts of information is available to the organizations, which can be leveraged to gain consumer insights, predict trends, and foresee market developments. With the help of machine learning, artificial intelligence helps organizations understand patterns, anticipate information, and track incongruities, which helps them to refine processes, enhance productivity, and adopt smart manufacturing techniques.

Trend 4: Smart Sensors and Beacons

The organizations can benefit with the help of IoT enabled sensors that will help them to record, generate, and understand information right from packaging to the core machine elements. Besides these, the IoT enabled sensors help the manufacturing industry to measure and track everything, right from volume to temperature; thereby, creating seamless information flow to facilitate automation and drive smart manufacturing.

 

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