Research & Best Practices

IoT Facts & Misconceptions in Manufacturing


The Internet of Things (IoT) offers a way to connect myriad, disparate devices over time and distance — providing on-demand data that’s relevant and reliable. In manufacturing, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has been gaining ground to improve production line performance, reduce maintenance costs and increase overall visibility. Despite the advantages, myths persist around the efficacy and impact of IoT in manufacturing. Here’s a fact check — let’s break down the five top myths and discuss the facts about Internet of Things in manufacturing (which can be used interchangeably with the acronym IIoT).

Myth 1: IIoT is the cloud

It’s easy to see where the first of our IIoT myths come from. Consumer-focused IoT deployments are almost invariably cloud-based since they combine technologies from multiple manufacturers across homes, vehicles and mobile devices. As a result, many businesses, including manufacturers, assume their industrial deployments must also be cloud-based and will introduce potential third-party risks. In reality, IIoT devices can be deployed on in-house networks, leverage hybrid solutions or run entirely on public servers — it’s completely up to the organization.

Myth 2: Go big or go home

The sheer scope of IIoT technologies — from connected sensors to automation tools to software platforms — makes it easy to buy into the myth that IoT deployments in manufacturing are only suitable for large enterprises with massive budgets. In fact, IIoT solutions can be any size or shape, from three connected devices to 300 or 3,000. Put simply, the network — not the numbers — matters most. This is one of the most important Internet of Things facts to remember since it is the myth that often prevents companies from getting started.

Myth 3: IoT solutions are naturally insecure

When it comes to IoT facts companies want to be true, security always tops the list. Though given the constant barrage of data breaches in the news, it’s easy for organizations to assume that IIoT solutions are naturally insecure. Here’s the truth: While connected technologies may expose weaknesses in legacy tools and systems, outsourced solution providers stake their reputation on delivering above-average security to clients. As a result, trusted IoT partners often have industry-best security measures in place.

Myth 4: Devices drive IoT adoption

This one seems easy — IoT in manufacturing is all about devices, right? Not quite. While connected devices form the core of IIoT deployments, they’re effectively blind without IIoT platforms capable of leveraging this data on demand. The right combination of hardware, software and third-party support is critical to accessing the benefits of IoT at scale.

Myth 5: IIoT won’t include workers

Often considered one of the indisputable facts about IoT manufacturing, the notion that IIoT solutions will displace workers, is a misconception around how these technologies will be deployed and adopted. While the role of staff will change — automated processes will help reduce human error and proactive fault detection will save workers time — there’s still a critical need for human oversight and management in the Industrial Internet of Things.

Leading the way

IIoT myths are what detour a lot of organizations from taking the technology plunge. We’re here to help with a combination of reliable outsourced maintenance solutions and in-house maintenance expertise to tackle IIoT myths head-on and deliver fact-based, measurable outcomes for your connected business. Ready to improve your output and overall equipment effectiveness? Contact us today.

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