The “Industrial Internet of Things;” it’s something you may have heard tossed around lately, and there’s a good reason for it. The Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, has quickly become a corner piece in driving aftermarket revenues, brand competitiveness and overall company growth.
The power of the Internet, granting capabilities like instantaneous exchange of information and wireless serviceability, has expanded the potential for aftermarket growth far beyond traditional limitations.
In this article, we explain exactly what the “Industrial Internet of Things” entails, as well as how it’s helping manufacturers around the world take on aftermarket and remote monitoring challenges with more success than ever before.
What We Mean By the “Internet of Things”
When we say the “Industrial Internet of Things”, we’re referring to the ways manufacturing has evolved with cloud-based computing and remote capabilities. Today, companies can resolve a significant 25-30% of all aftermarket service calls remotely, through cloud-based communication.
Traditionally speaking, machine downtime is the bane of profitable aftermarket service. When a piece of manufacturing equipment fails, operators will typically have to contact a service personnel for an on-site diagnostic test. Manually identifying a faulty or failing part in this way takes time, but traditionally was the most sound way to do so; that is, until the advent of the Internet rewrote the rules for aftermarket support.
With cloud-based systems and inventory databases, manufacturers can often diagnose a failing machine remotely, identify faulty components, and search through inventory caches without setting foot on-site. These systems are at the heart of IIoT, and can help manufacturers save significant amounts when providing aftermarket services.
Remote-access systems can help your company’s aftermarket support in a number of ways, the following being some of the most relevant to revenue and potential growth:
- Performing periodical diagnostics tests
- Performance analysis for stimulus, utilities and usage patterns
- Automated tracking, analyzing and troubleshooting to minimize downtime
- Cloud-based notifications, via SMS alerts, email and web monitoring
The “Internet of Things,” in this case, helps major manufacturers perform predictive maintenance as opposed to reactive maintenance. With cloud-computing and related technologies, companies can anticipate equipment failure and plan for them ahead of time, offering solutions when ultimately needed and avoided costly downtime.
How the IIoT Affects Manufacturers in the Aftermarket
As we’ve stated above, manufacturing equipment downtime is the biggest driving factor behind the idea of the “Industrial Internet of Things.” The IIoT makes it possible for manufacturers to keep their equipment available and productive continually, and simplifies aftermarket maintenance in a way that optimizes cost and keeps partner businesses satisfied.
For many companies in the manufacturing industry, the Internet of Things is a catalyst of profitable, competitive aftermarket services, and helps companies specifically in the following ways:
- Significantly reduced warranty cost
- Instantaneous monitoring capability
- Improved design
- Reduced service cost
- Eliminated travel costs due to remote services
- Increased service equipment and personnel efficiency
- Reduced cost of holding spares
- Sales boost of high margin spare parts
There’s not a manufacturer on the planet that would turn down expanded revenue potential; as it turns out, there are ripe new revenue streams within the aftermarket stage in the product lifecycle that many companies fail to fully realize.
The traditional way of handling aftermarket services just doesn’t work as well with today’s technologies. The Internet, along with all the automated systems and remote-access technologies that have come with it, has made virtually all facets of manufacturing simpler. This rings true during aftermarket support, just as it does during engineering.
Adopting the “Industrial Internet of Things” during aftermarket maintenance, manufacturers can set themselves apart from competitors and generate valuable new revenue streams preventatively, not reactively.