#1 Predictive and preventive maintenance
Let’s start with a hot topic in manufacturing: predictive and preventive maintenance. Identifying potential machinery problems before they fail, thus reducing downtime and increasing productivity, is one of the key trends in Industry 4.0.
Strengthening the Internet of Things systems in production plants allows you to obtain updates quickly and in real time. Businesses can monitor how long their machines have been running, detect any problems and fix them before they cause a shutdown. For example, temperature sensors can alert when an essential component is about to fail, giving operators time to reorder a new one via IIoT without incurring in downtimes and consequent production delays.
#2 Invest in Cybersecurity
The IIoT raises the need to protect data exchanges in operating environments. With the growing number of devices connected to the network, it’s important to examine the potential problems arising from these interconnections and improve cybersecurity.
To accomplish this, it’s necessary to invest in cybersecurity solutions capable of facilitating continuous monitoring of vulnerabilities, identifying reliable devices, providing prevention, detection and mitigation of threats, and analyzing the security of the plant.
#3 Ensure maximum operational resilience
The COVID19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of work environments. Above all, it has confronted companies with the need to adapt to sudden and sometimes unpredictable changes.
The lockdown to reduce the possibility of virus transmission cost many industries hundreds of billions of euros. This has opened our eyes to the urgency of using IIoT applications to optimize operational resilience to create flexible and reliable work environments. In particular, it is necessary to invest in remote technology and IIoT initiatives that can limit the amount of human activity on site, i.e. the time that operators must be physically present near the equipment.
#4 Remote monitoring
Remote machine monitoring is one of the most prominent IIoT trends on the market. This approach enables real-time and remote decision making and is generally carried out via secure connections that put PLCs and HMIs in communication with devices such as PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
#5 Sentient artificial intelligence
In 2022, social distancing will still be necessary and therefore remote work will continue to be popular. Therefore, companies must develop innovative methods to continue producing efficiently.
Artificial intelligence will play a key role in this, but it will have to be increasingly advanced to support the use of new autonomous systems. In fact, we speak of sentient artificial intelligence, or based on Machine Learning and Deep Learning. Through IIoT and data acquisition, machines become increasingly autonomous and able to learn to make decisions without human intervention.