The First Industrial Revolution was characterized by mechanization, water and steam power. The Second Industrial Revolution brought electricity and assembly line mass production. Electronics and automation ushered in the Third Industrial Revolution. We are now on the cusp of, or some would argue that we are well into, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0, is the current trend of automation and big data exchange in manufacturing technologies combining cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things (IoT). Approximately 5 million new “Things” are connected to the internet every day and the most conservative estimates show that by 2020 there will be over 20 billion connected “Things”.
I’ve recently attended the Industrial IoT, Big Data & M2M Summit put on by IoT Events. The Summit brought together industry players with an interest in exploring IoT, and vendors offering solutions and platforms to help companies better monitor, control, optimize and automate their operations through IoT.
It’s clear that incorporating IoT into manufacturing processes can reduce costs and increase productivity. A great industrial application of IoT is predictive maintenance. IoT systems can enable a company to monitor the health of equipment using sensors to quickly assess current conditions, recognize warning signs, and schedule the necessary maintenance process including scheduling maintenance staff and ordering necessary replacement parts, before the equipment fails. No lost productivity due to failed equipment. No need to keep an inventory of expensive idle assets should a failure occur. At a time when profit margins are razor thin, the ability to collect and analyze data in real-time and ensure the process is fully optimized is invaluable.
Mississauga’s aerospace manufacturing sector is the largest across all major Canadian centres. As well, Mississauga is Canada’s largest automotive sector by employment, 2nd largest by number of businesses. The Economic Development Office contributes to the growth of these industries through the retention and expansion of existing companies, as well as the attraction of new businesses. This Summit was a great opportunity to network with IoT stakeholders and understand how IoT can lower costs, increase productivity, and optimise manufacturing processes in order to keep Mississauga’s companies innovative and competitive.
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