Manufacturers can improve their operations and thereby generate better revenue and profit with IIoT.
They can do this by unlocking data from their equipment, calculating the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness)
for the equipment, and use the resulting data to find and fix issues with their equipment.
Let's start with a bit of perspective. Manufacturers have historically struggled to determine whether or not equipment was performing at its peak performance. It has often required a labor intensive effort manually collecting data from machines, either by operators or maintenance staff. Often that data was collected and filed, and never compiled and analyzed. Large companies with large budgets have had the resources to purchase or build systems to automate the collection and analysis of that data.
However, technology has changed to allow smaller companies to purchase, setup, and then get immediate access to valuable information on their equipment. These changes include not only IIoT software platforms for collecting, analyzing and visualizing the data for human consumption, but also changes in other areas such as PLCs with automatic fault codes, and low-cost devices to get data from older machines.
Now more companies are using IIoT and OEE to improve asset utilization. Some studies suggest nearly 80% of manufacturers adopting IIoT do it for machine health and asset utilization (World Economic Forum’s Industrial Internet Survey, http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEFUSA_IndustrialInternet_Report2015.pdf). Respondents said the top reason they are adopting IIoT is for optimizing asset utilization. Some even said near-term adoption was "extremely important" or "very important".
To get the benefits of improving asset utilization manufacturers must use IIoT and a KPI such as OEE. The company should start with using the IIoT solution to calculate OEE (https://www.automationworld.com/article/topics/oee/how-calculate-overall-equipment-effectiveness-practical-guide). OEE a decades old method of measuring how available your equipment is to be productive and generate revenue. It looks at uptime versus downtime, and all of the types of downtime. The IIoT solution can pull data from equipment previously not available and then calculate OEE. Staff and management can then use the machine fault codes and related equipment data from the IIoT system to the valuable, easier and less expensive issues to fix. The fixes can lead early wins of more equipment uptime. A data driven culture and a continuous focus on OEE can yield better asset utilization and better revenue and profit.
PwC research suggests industrial companies can achieve more than 30% increase in revenue, if they make efforts to digitally transform their operations, including using IIoT for improving asset utilization. Some companies report they can find and fix issues within even a few weeks. This enables a fast and significant ROI from the investment in focusing on OEE using an IIoT solution.