Dimension Data > Next-generation data centre > Rise of the machine : How can the Internet of things shape intelligent automation for manufacturers?

Rise of the machine : How can the Internet of things shape intelligent automation for manufacturers?

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factory manufacturing

Richard Garratt VP Data Centres, Americas

Richard Garratt
VP Data Centres, Americas

If you’ve ever been to a manufacturing plant before, you’ve seen that their production and assembly lines rely heavily on robotics and automation.

Skilled workers have moved away from the line and are now focusing on maintaining the machines that build the product. This shift in manufacturing has radically changed the pace at which we can build and distribute products.
However, this switch to technology-based manufacturing has brought on its own challenges and problems. Often manufacturing organisations struggle with one big issue … what happens when the machinery breaks?

What if …? Tomorrow’s questions answered today

The answer so far has been to shut the line down, address the problem, and go back into production if possible. If the particular machine is defunct, it may cause a slowdown until it can be replaced. Time and consistent production are the lifeblood of manufacturing, and losing either can be disastrous for a business.
But what if there were a way in which the machines could talk to you? What if they could warn you before they broke, or told you exactly what was wrong?

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Big data, smart insights

This is the opportunity the Internet of things and big data analytics present to manufacturers. Internet-connected sensors can gather data about the facility’s environmental conditions as well as the equipment status. Big data collected from factory equipment, when analysed, can help determine the health of the machinery and identify any potential issues. This sort of predictive maintenance can curb the potential of lost productivity and potentially extend the life of the factory machines.
The potential of the Internet of things and big data in the manufacturing industry can’t be understated. It has already begun to transform how factories are operated and maintained. We may be on the verge of a revolution in production, and Internet of things is helping pave the way.

The future of automation in manufacturing

To learn more about the opportunities and challenges the Internet of things and big data present in manufacturing, read our latest thinking article.