Over the past few years, the manufacturing sector is leveraging artificial intelligence, internet of things (IoT) and other technologies that has opened up new growth possibilities. Organizations that have achieved scale are those with a clear vision, approach and strategy to capturing value from automation and data. The organizations have approached Data Collection from sensors and systems as an enterprise-wide change and have established new capabilities and processes using this data. Also, the industrial sector is combining automation and related technologies with its operations to augment and assist their workforce and to broaden the scope of work that can be performed. For instance: As per the data published by Deloitte, robotic process automation is one the most trending technologies that has been widely used in organizations as of 2019 and nearly 36% of global respondents revealed to have implemented the technology in their organizations. Also, other technologies such as AI and robotics were also already deployed at various degree. Hence, the pace of adoption has been rapid.
With the rising competition in the market, organizations today no longer want to limit their abilities to traditional automation. In the latest technology, enterprises are relying on the intelligent automation tools to solve business challenges, increase accuracy, productivity and efficiency that results in a benefit to the organizations. Presently, IT experts are looking for the innovative way to leverage the approaches such as machine learning, Internet of things and connected solutions, intelligent automation and predictive analysis, all such are the fastest gaining technologies in current market. As a result, intelligent automation technologies and IIoT are gaining traction as it offers opportunity for on-demand delivery and improved customer experience by delivering what and when customers want it. As per the report published by IBM on Shifting towards enterprise grade AI in 2020, 93% of outperforming business are considering AI adoption, and many enterprises are moving beyond the question of adopting AI and IIoT technology, to implement it. Further, the global industrial and manufacturing sector are making unprecedented attempts to revive and recover from the aftermath of the covid-19 crisis and in this process it will find themselves at a crucial tipping point of mass-transition towards the wide -scale adoption of automation and related approaches.
An Era of automation in the post-pandemic period
The economies are experiencing one of the most devastating crisis ever in human history. The impact of the virus is expected to be felt long after it has been eliminated. The covid-19 has interrupted many economies, several countries are heading for very unprecedented and abrupt recession and will witness drastic changes in the coming months with respect to operating business. For many regions that are severely infected with covid-19 the economy will fall sharply in the short term. The eruption may have an extensive impact on the production, capacity layout and supply chain network of many enterprises. As a response, several industries are now concentrating to invest in automation technology. In India companies such as Tata Motors, Ceat Tyres, Mahindra, Shriram Piston, Toyota, VE Commercial Vehicles and others, have big plans for their production operations using automation. For instance: as per the Autocar Professional in 2020, Tata Motors have started booking of new car through its websites and allocates a particular dealer based on the pin code of the customer. Similarly, the MG Motor India, the recent entrant into the Indian market could be seen embracing the power of technology to optimize costs by offering an immersive, real-life experience to customer to its all-digital showroom in Bangalore. Also, the Mahindra & Mahindra has automated body shop, most of the paint shop and parts of the final assembly line and the company are working to make touch points automated. Similarly, as per the National Investment Promotion & Facilitation Agency in 2020, even Indian railways was able to reap around 20% increase in efficiency by deploying a real-time Machine Monitoring and manufacturing data collection system named MDCplus which was developed by Zyfra, a Finnish -Russian digital solutions provider.
On the other hand, the pandemic is explaining the use of programmable industrial robots that can simplify the manufacturing processes. It does enable in industrial automation and facilitates automated production operation in electronics, pharmaceuticals and food & beverages. As industries are continuously finding new ways to keep their worker socially distanced on the factory floor, robotics are increasingly coming to the fore, making continued production not only possible but more efficient and safer. Also, with e-commerce reaching broader audiences than even before, the need for next-day or same-day deliveries created the need to increase the automation capabilities even more. As per the Global X Management Company LLC in January 2020, logistics robots reached to 52% i.e., 114,000 up from 75,000 in 2019 and by 2023, these robots would reach to around 259,000. However, industrial automation has been gradually replacing human work in a wide range of jobs, from call centers, warehouses to grocery stores and others. As companies are exploring new & innovative ways to cut labor costs and improve profit. While robotics seems to decrease employment rate, it doesn’t mean the technology will take place of human, rather it will create new areas of opportunities. As a response, the business anticipates emerging from the novel coronavirus crisis, executives need new ways to get back on track and quickly. Thus, every segment of business needs serious attention which includes controlling inflated costs, jumpstarting revenue generation efforts, addressing supply chain issues, freeing overburdened resources and implementing new operations and processes to serve partners and customers. Additionally, robotics, automation, internet of things, AI will be the future that will help industries to flourish. As a result, it is very important that people develop an altitude to develop skills and adopt new technologies to manage their work effectively. For instance: digital logistics is a crucial to drive the adoption of e-fright to combat the spread of the virus through proper record. As a response, production logistics service provider should focus on AI and IIoT powered technology platform for customer management and SaaS platform for transportation management allows logistics players to anticipate supply chain risk and promote sustainability goals with enhanced operational efficiency in various sector. However, in such upheaval and radical times, thousands of lives will be affected and many people especially the labor class, will be affected and many people especially the labor class will face the struggle. This automation focus will drive adoption of connected devices and thereby lead to IIoT Market proliferation.
Penetration of IIoT in the Industrial Market
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connects the world of industrial things like sensors, actuators, robots, controllers, and so on to computational capabilities residing in internet-based storage and analytics. The services such as ocean connect, NB-IoT, ABB ability system 800xA and various other services and products across various vendors were discussed and considered in the report. Services such as ocean connect with the IoT provides over 170 open APIs and serial agent software, which promote app release, guarantee network connection, and a seamless connection between upstream and downstream products for partners is achieved. IIoT is a concept that alludes to the bridging of all the machines or equipment. It includes big data, machine learning, and machine to machine communication including all the automated mechanisms in the processes. IIoT has the potential to fill the gaps in the efficiency, performance of any industrial processes, and avail better results in terms of revenue, output, and production. The industry 4.0 movement sponsored by the government of Germany will contribute to the adoption of Industrial IoT in the manufacturing sector. Predictive management and Centralized patient & hospital system monitoring have one of the major applications of IIoT in the European market. The manufacturing industry is one of the chief wealth producing sectors among all of the industries. This industry uses numerous technologies and methods for manufacturing process management, which is categorized in various industries such as chemical, construction, electronics, textile, metal working, food and beverages, and other industries. IIoT will transform the operations and functions of the manufacturing industry with the advent of smart manufacturing. The advent of advanced manufacturing technology will drive the companies to transform the competitive market landscape and seize the benefits it has to offer, which will further push the small industries to adopt smart manufacturing. IIoT readiness of manufacturing in the Asia-Pacific will be showing huge coverage across many countries. The incorporation of IIoT machinery with smart sensors and robots will help reduce cost-cutting. There are various potential applications of IIoT to leverage in the manufacturing industry. Ford’s new advanced manufacturing center is going to be one of the most advanced manufacturing systems. The 3D printing machine is used to churn out brake parts. This type of brake system is soon to be introduced with Mustang GT500. The Indian manufacturing industry is underpinning a significant digital transformation, which is becoming a software-driven business. The advancement in the convergence of operational and information technologies will help in the automation and digitalization of manufacturing systems. According to Louis Columbus, Marketing and Product Management Leader in ERP and Manufacturing Execution System (MES) company has contributed around 86% of enterprises increasing their IoT spending in the year 2019.
The integration of sensors for IIoT generates a gigantic quantum of data which needs to stored, sorted, and processed to derive valuable insights. The use of conventional data collection and processing architecture where the sensor data is collected through nodes is connected to gateways, from where it is pushed to the local servers. The travel path of raw data in this type of architecture is very long before it gets cleaned and processed, thereby, resulting in a prolonged response time. To mitigate this a fog computing can be adopted which uses edge computing to take up substantial computing and storage locally, thereby reducing the overall time. This technology can also reduce the need for heavy computing hardware and combining it with cloud computing can reduce the capital investment prominently. Digital twin is a virtual replica of physical machineries and processes which is programmed to behave exactly as the original piece of equipment. This virtual representation is reinforced with the data coming from the sensors incorporated into the original physical asset, which is used for testing, simulation, modelling, monitoring, and various other applications. Advanced technologies such as Deep Reinforced Learning (DRL) and Big Data Analytics can be used in conjunction with the digital twin to obtain more refined results with higher accuracy which can be used to take key decision towards product or service improvement. Currently, cybersecurity has been reported to be one the major concern towards the adoption of IIoT in various sector. Various cybersecurity companies are investing in AI and are in the process of developing AI based industrial cybersecurity solutions which can counter all types of cyber-attacks without any human intervention. This is poised to avail significant opportunity to IIoT in the future especially from the customers hesitating on full scale adoption of IIoT due to concerns on cybersecurity.
The system integrators are the stakeholders responsible for installing the hardware components such as sensors, nodes, gateways and so on, in the factory or at the end site. Along with this, the installing, configuring, calibrating and testing the software solutions, thereby finalizing the complete setup and handing over to the customers. These stakeholders also train and offer maintenance services as per the Service License Agreement (SLA) signed. System integrators can be a third party or the business division of the IIoT solution providers. The IIoT market ecosystem also incorporates various types of system integrators some of which are specific to certain systems such as process automation, robotic systems, assembly line, work cells, safety systems, and material handling system, IT solutions and various others. These stakeholders play a very significant role in product selection and deciding the overall IIoT architecture which is installed at the client site. Some of the major system integrator as well solution vendors in the IIoT market space includes Siemens, ABB, Schneider Electric, Rockwell Automation, General Electric, and so on. The vast expertise, product or service reliability, brand value, global outreach, advanced and diversified portfolio, extensive service and support of these major players catch the attention of the end customers especially the large cap companies. However, the premium pricing of the solution and service offerings by these players pose a challenge to the adoption of the solutions by mid and small tier companies. Even the large cap customers are gradually shifting to the relatively smaller solution providers; these customers are hiring specialists for developing advanced and custom end digital software solutions in-house at comparatively lower prices and less amount of time. The low entry barriers in the IIoT software and services market space are resulting in significant number of small players penetrating the market with innovative offerings portfolio such as those based on cloud platforms, embedded security, analytics, artificial intelligence, and so on. These offerings are attracting the attention of the customers from the IIoT giants. Owing to this, the IIoT giants are opting for inorganic growth strategies such as mergers, acquisitions, collaborations, take-overs, and so on
Toady’s innovation in industrial automation is largely focused on interconnectivity. Innovative and powerful approaches offer professionals with unprecedented capabilities to visualize what is happening and respond accordingly in real-time. Further, such innovative technologies are being developed as a bridge to fill the skill gap and to provide industrial sector with a knowledgeable workforce. Also, new technologies offer convergence between automation and power that provides digitalized as well as integrated approach that increase flexibility, interoperability, increases production efficiencies, decreases unscheduled downtime. As a result, this has led to companies investing to ensure the manufacturing operations is resilient to these disruptions. This includes utilizing the following methods to achieve wide -scale adoption of automation. The growing number of connected devices and their significant involvement in the daily lives of consumers provides unlimited possibilities for the marketers to enhance the customer experience. Delay in services is the major concern in many of the manufacturing industries. It is one of the key causes for an unsatisfied customer. For instance, in oil & gas industries, oil wells are located in remote areas, however, as these are open assets, long hours of operation, weather conditions, and other factors could impact their performance and uptime. Deployment of various sensors near the oil wells in order to monitor the conditions such as oil level, temperature, water level, and other parameters help the operators. However, if the sensor data is not available at the correct time, then there is no benefit of using these sensors. Integrating IoT (Internet of Things) to connect its sensors to the cloud and sync-up data at frequent intervals helps in processing and finding early signals. IIoT technology also helps in monitoring the quality issues, health, and safety of asset management in many industries and thus enhances the customer experience.
In 2020, automation has become a mainstream tech trend with the covid pandemic causing nation-wide shutdowns. IT enterprises have switched to the work from home model. Whereas the same could not be followed in the industrial and manufacturing sector. As a result, business leaders are at forefront to adopt automation and innovative automation technologies to enable smoother operations of organizational practices in order to sustain their businesses. Also, companies are continuously making several efforts to bring digital transformation into their premises. In addition, 5G, advanced sensing and many other technologies are transforming the industrial sectors from the smart to the autonomous, fully automated ‘lights out factory’. Thus, with industrial sector focusing on improving the manufacturing and supply chain and execution processes, technology adoption has been shifted to the forefront of industry investment scenarios.
Proliferation of 5G and Low Cost Wireless Connectivity:
In recent years the need for efficient connectivity and machine communications in industrial and manufacturing sector has come to the forefront. Competitiveness is a crucial aspect to manufacturers and much-needed gains in profitability and efficiency would be achieved through new process innovations. For instance: continued automation of warehouse transportation and robots and cutting cables to become flexible. As a result, 5G will be key to enabling and enhancing these advances in manufacturing. The advent of 5G Wireless technology is set to make a significant impact on control and automation applications, with its robust focus on industrial IoT and machine communications. The enhanced mobile broadband communications use 5G’s enhanced coverage and high data rates against previous bandwidth, to bring wireless applications in areas such as virtual and augmented reality. Integration of 5G technologies with the industrial operations can allow multiple virtual machine networks to be created on top of shared physical infrastructure. So, while the present wired network can run as in manufacturing plants, wired networks can be transformed to wireless technologies in phases. Further, the sensors and related technologies can also be added in various phases to gather information and intelligence for production, forecasting analysis. Manufacturing as well as industrial operations are complex and require strong interconnections between machines, process steps and people. The wired technology restricts the way the intercommunication is done. Also, it may cause issues related with the flexibility required by continuous improvement achieved using state of the art industrial engineering techniques. Hence, a responsive 5G is considered as an opportunity in many ways as it enables data collection from factory sensors in real time with controlled latency. Also, the private companies are also making several efforts to incorporate 5G technology in factories. In 2019, a looming impact of 5G comes from Version. The company has deployed a 5G ultra-wideband service in Corning’s fiber optic cable manufacturing facility in Hickory, US. The cable company embrace the Verizon’s 5G technology to test how 5G can enhance functions such as quality assurance and factory automation. Also, the 5G’s fast speeds, low latency and high bandwidth can improve the manufacturing process, enhancing capabilities such as VR, AR and machine learning. Both the companies will explore how the factory of the future can use 5G to collect data and allow machines to communicate with each other to wireless inspect and track inventory using 5G connected cameras. Thus, 5G technology helps to create a private network that offers dedicated services to a group of devices area such as factories and plants. Such functional would have a deep impact on industrial IoT as it enables manufacturers to fine-tune and isolate their networks for specific application requirements such as quality -of-service, high availability, security, privacy and safety.
Focused on Improving Process Efficiency and Reducing Operational Cost
With the personal and consumer communication-centric commercial 5G networks already exist across the globe, and the next wave of 5G expansion allows industrial sector and business to digitalize with more reliability, mobility, flexibility and security, taking industrial and manufacturing applications to never-before seen levels. For instance: 5G can significantly increase safety and efficiency in motion control, real-time robotics control, onboard 4k video streaming, machine-human interactions and maintenance and training. Also, by improving digitalization in the factory at every level from the production operations to the management can benefit in optimization of production facility management by tracking assets in real-time-receiving sensor data, inventories, remote inspection and also helps in faster data transmission and can improve industrial logistics. Therefore, with all the benefits that 5G has, it can revolutionize various industrial sectors and can build smarter factories.
Replacement of wired networks with wireless technology in many of the industries and the availability of wireless technology at low cost is driving the demand of IIoT market. A wireless network provides many of the benefits of a wired solution and adds a host of new possibilities, such as greater flexibility, mobility, flexibility, lower cost of ownership, and simpler network management. One of the most widely used wireless technologies in the industrial sector, Wireless HART, evolved from its hard-wired ancestor specifically for process automation. As demands have changed, the application of other wireless protocols has increased. The Industrial IoT (IIoT) will be made possible by wireless networks, and with so many options available it can be challenging to choose the right solution. As wireless networks are highly scalable and cost-effective, implementing wireless technology for IIoT has been driving the market growth. Due to advancement in wireless technology and high increase in the number of manufacturers, the cost of the wireless has been declining over the last few years. Moreover, most wireless sensors come with nodes that can be extended by adding additional nodes as per requirements.
Rising Number of Connected Devices
Connected and smart devices play a crucial role in IIoT. For instance, patients are now able to wear IoT health monitors or devices and use virtual assistants to monitor their health at home. These devices are used in helping doctors to remotely check blood sugar levels or monitor the heart and take preventative actions, if necessary. Additionally, smart cars can keep track of a patient's vitals in-transit. In the healthcare sector, connected devices can help professionals in tracking products from factory to floor, managing resources, and monitoring equipment to prevent critical hardware from breaking. Integrating sensor technology on hospital beds can help in reducing wait times by providing information regarding when and where a bed is available. Smart devices have begun to monitor almost every aspect of industry, home, and other infrastructure, such as energy efficiency, security and access, appliances, and entertainment. Connected devices like sensors can automatically identify where the issue is located and trigger a service request. Perhaps, IIoT can also be used in helping a manufacturer predict when a machine will likely break down or enter a dangerous operating condition before it ever happens.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) plays a crucial role in achieving green economy and the sustainable goals. Consequently, the potential transformation of industrial production due to digitalization into a so-called Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is of great interest from a sustainable development point of view. The sustainable development is mainly focused on resource efficiency, sustainable energy, and transparency. Increase in sustainable development policies such as green economy concept and sustainable development goals have influenced the IIoT market in industries. The 2030 agenda for sustainable development was adopted in 2015 encompassing 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and deﬁning the direction and objectives of sustainable development. Industry is one of the key sectors in implementing a green economy and the SDGs, for the latter especially SDG 9, aiming at “Building a resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. For instance, the Smart Green Infrastructure Monitoring project in Chicago helps reduce urban flooding and prevents property damage using better informed capital planning for infrastructure investments. It was developed by City Digital in Chicago. It has high IoT sustainability impact due to its clear attention on vulnerable groups and its scalability.
Automation industry is thriving towards new technological advancements as more and more companies and industries are looking to replace the manual toil. With the advent of movements like Industry 4.0 and Digital transformation and new technologies like Cobots, 5G, RPA, IOT, the companies are adopting these technologies and transforming the way it operates its regular functions. This adoption is increased due to the effect of COVID-19 as the paradigm has shifted towards remote operations.
IIoT can lead to significant savings. Industry thrives on energy, and the cost of power plays a key role in manufacturing and distribution costs. Companies often cannot control their energy costs, but there is one area where companies can make an impact is efficiency. In most of the industrial applications, sensors are used as they provide valuable data that lets the companies use their energy most effectively. By sensors and smart technology, IIoT can cut back on bills significantly. For instance, Enlighted, a silicon valley-based company claims to reduce clients’ lighting bills by 60%–70% and their air conditioning bills by 20%–30% by using this technology. In factories and other industries, even a slight reduction in energy usage can translate to massive savings that far outweigh the cost of IoT devices and infrastructure. The major impact is likely to be found in industrial settings, where IoT devices provide a relatively cheap way to increase efficiency considerably. As the IoT continues to grow, companies will undoubtedly find even more ways to make the most of it. With IIoT, costs can be reduced through improved asset utilization, process efficiencies, productivity, and reduced in-house IT infrastructure maintenance cost. The decreasing prices of sensors have reduced the overall cost associated with data collection and analytics of IIoT.
The growing investments’ towards maintenance technologies from various industry verticals to mitigate operational risks and optimize costs is boosting the growth of IIoT market. The advanced asset performance management suites are capable of providing end-to-end value to optimize asset reliability, performance, and availability. These suites interpret enormous data produced by assets during operation and helps the operator in making smart decisions. Even, the small-to-medium sized organizations across the globe are heavily investing towards monitoring the performance of their assets, thus directly boosting the IIoT software market. Furthermore, the potential benefits offered by IIoT software such as reduced risk of unplanned downtime, low equipment repairs, and improved productivity is motivating the business managers towards utilization of IIoT services, thus boosting the market. New laws, regulations, and policies require companies to operate more efficiently, and regulations are only expected to get tougher over time. Industrial IoT devices aid in reducing energy consumption, which also makes it easier to comply with new rules. Fresh water is also being consumed at a rapid pace, and industries that rely on water, such as the agricultural field, will find their efficiency being affected. IoT sensors can help farmers in reducing their water usage significantly, leading to better profits and easier compliance with future regulations.