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We’ve entered a new era for manufacturing, dubbed Industry 4.0, and characterized by widespread digitalization. Prior to this fourth major transformation in modern manufacturing, there was the lean revolution of the 1970s, the outsourcing trend of the 1990s, and the automation boom that began in the 2000s.

Even at this early stage, manufacturer commitment to digital transformation is strong. Preliminary findings from Aberdeen Group’s analysis found that 35% of manufacturers plan to achieve digital transformation (industrial IoT, Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing).

A key part of digital transformation is the Internet of Things, which is positioned to revolutionize the entire manufacturing value chain by providing an unprecedented level of connectedness and functionality. For consumers, this change comes in the form of small, highly connected devices (smartphones, tablets, GPS devices) and sophisticated electronics embedded into our transport means, living spaces, and workplaces. For manufacturing firms, this change empowers them with new ways to develop, innovate, and manufacture due to the endless connections that can take place.  Indeed, Industrial IoT (IIoT) is the subset of IoT that concerns itself with connected manufacturing operations to develop products and services.

The transformative potential of Industrial IoT in manufacturing is staggering; overall, 91% of survey respondents see manufacturing benefits in the IoT.

Survey respondents are eager to “operationalize” the benefits of the Industrial IoT. While they most certainly see the cost benefits of the IIoT, the bigger benefit is perhaps the IIoT’s ability to enable connected operations. In particular, manufacturers wish to improve operational equipment uptime and availability. Obviously, the potential of IIoT-enabled data feeds from connected equipment and processes will drive a whole new wave of predictive analytics that will be instrumental in achieving this goal.

In the early days of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford would simply speed up the manufacturing lines when he needed a performance boost, often at great human cost. Manufacturing acolytes of IIoT see the same benefits. They wish to painlessly speed up manufacturing operations digitally, via IIoT. However, they are much more hopeful; not only will IIoT speed things up without causing employee burnout, they also see a benefit of both higher product quality and improved safety.

While it’s still early for Industry 4.0, there is no doubt that IIoT, and IoT platforms in general, will increase the speed of production lines for many manufacturers. Aberdeen Group data supports that the core technology comprising Industry 4.0 has a bright (and productive) future in manufacturing.

Learn more about how Industry 4.0 and IIoT in manufacturing can open the door to new revenue streams and value-producing opportunities for your organization by checking out the full report below.

What Does the Digitalization in Manufacturing Mean Now?

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