The Internet of Things is one of the foundations of Industry 4.0 — and for good reason. From smart buildings and appliances to automation and infrastructure, IoT technology is increasingly a prerequisite for innovation and market competitiveness.
Managing all these systems, however, can be a difficult task. Exchanging large levels of data quickly and reliably requires a robust computing application. This is especially true on the manufacturing floor.
Why the necessity? For one, manufacturing has historically focused on digital technologies solely for automating and improving control of factory machines. As factories developed, complexities grew — but the data produced by those machines has never needed to be shared outside of its Operational Technology groups. IoT changes that. AI, machine learning, and other cutting-edge tools all require large-scale data exchange to operate properly.
The other difficulty arises from the changing factory workforce. Data management and curation — traditionally under the IT umbrella — are increasingly falling to other professionals. This requires the data to be transformed for broader use. Data that once only needed to be understood to control the machines must now be repackaged for dozens of other uses, from AI algorithms to machine learning modules.
To overcome these difficulties, manufacturers must invest in proper edge applications — and these guidelines will make sure any application you develop or invest in will be well-suited for your business environment.