Too often, manufacturing and Industry 4.0 are described only in terms of greenfield deployments. Unrealistic and expensive descriptions of shiny new factories outfitted with the latest industrial-internet-of-things (IIoT) technologies to deliver transformational insights are not the reality for most businesses. For most, the truth is rather different, with manufacturers keen to realize the same value in their existing facilities with existing equipment and retrofitted sensors. Our study found that by combining IIoT/remote sensors, machine learning, and analytics as part of a comprehensive maintenance strategy, manufacturers can extend and enhance the life of their expensive assets for years to come.
Most manufacturers simply cannot afford to refresh all of their machines just because something new comes along. They need to work with the existing investments with the plan to add sensors to gain additional value from their machinery without the cost of replacing it.
In the next one to three years, nearly three-quarters of respondents anticipate that their firms will retrofit 20% or more of their equipment with remote or IIoT sensors. They expect these sensors to have significant benefits to their business, such as improving equipment effectiveness, innovating new digital products and services, providing strong data governance, and enabling predictive maintenance technologies to collect the insights needed to make data-driven decisions, thereby enabling predictable capacity.
Manufacturers are getting serious about the importance of becoming data-driven and are willing to dedicate the time and money to do it, with half of leaders reporting an increase in maintenance-related programs/technology budgets in 2020. Seventy-seven percent of decision makers agree that using emerging technologies in combination with data insights maximizes the success of their digital initiatives, justifying the increase in funding. Even more compelling: 79% of respondents say using emerging technologies and data insights puts them ahead of the competition.
Manufacturers are up against some big challenges and are in the
process of navigating their way to becoming data-driven decision
makers and are relying on sensors to extend the life of their existing
investments. Firms are:
•Struggling to find and recruit staff with the necessary technical
skill set but prioritizing it nonetheless.
•Increasing the number of sensors on their existing equipment to
extend its lifecycle and get the most out their investments.
•Getting serious about the need for data to drive decision making,
with half having increased their budgets for maintenance-related