Industrial firms keen on IoT, but lack strategy

Many industrial companies see great potential in Internet of Things (IoT), but they lack strategy to improve asset efficiencies using data, says a new research by global consulting and technology outsourcing firm Infosys.

The research, conducted in partnership with Aachen University, was performed over 400 industrial, manufacturing and process industry executives in China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States across several sectors including aerospace, automotive, electronics and machinery.

The survey results show that majority (85 percent) of these companies are aware of the potential of technologies in increasing asset efficiency, but only 15 percent of the enterprises surveyed have implemented dedicated strategies in this regard.

IoT

Largest improvements planned over the next five years in these companies are in the areas of information interoperability, data standardization and advanced analytics.

Manufacturing being energy intensive, the majority (88 percent) of the companies surveyed have identified energy management as a critical factor for achieving asset efficiency. However, only 15 percent have systematic and integrated implementation of energy efficiency throughout the lifecycle of assets in place.

China, among the five regions compared in the survey, has the highest percent of early adopters.  Fifty seven (57 percent) of companies surveyed were identified as early adopters. The figure is much higher compared to that of United States (32 percent), United Kingdom (26 percent), Germany (21 percent) and France (14 percent).

Despite this difference in early adoption, the rate of implementation of asset efficiency strategies in each country over the next five years is expected to be broadly the same.

Nearly half of the respondents surveyed (48 percent) want to use machine data technologies by 2020 to systematically implement solutions to enhance asset efficiency .One fifth (20 percent) believe that by 2020 they will not achieve anything beyond recognizing the potential of the Industrial Internet of Things (or Industry 4.0 as Germany refers to this) concept.

While 81 percent of respondents are aware of the potential of machine condition surveillance for enhancing maintenance, only 17 percent have put such principles into practice. Similarly 89 percent are aware of the high potential of information efficiency, yet only 11 percent have systematically implemented this.

Sudip Singh, vice president and global head of Engineering, Infosys, said, “If machine data can be transformed into meaningful insights, it will be able to provide maintenance engineers with powerful tools to accurately predict failures and make better informed decisions.”

Singh added that enterprises implementing technology-enabled data analytics approaches can optimally manage their assets and associated performance.  This, in turn, improves availability, maximizes performance, consumes less energy, produces less waste and enhances overall quality of products.

Related report: 90% transportation firms to deploy IoT: Zebra survey

Prof. Volker Stich, CEO of the Institute for Industrial Management, Aachen University, commented that digitization is certainly the future of manufacturing industries.

“Even though leading manufacturing countries like Germany are still pioneers in machinery construction and engineering, they have to be aware of the so called ‘fast lane’ digital and smart services. This is where the future progress and profit lie,” Stich added.

Rajani Baburajan

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