As technology advances there have been a lot of content written about current trends as well as the technology anticipated in the future. Over the past few years, these content pieces have featured a few common themes: robotics (and artificial intelligence), virtual reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Each one of these technology developments has been influencing how different organizations operate and how they create products and services, but it is the IoT that has had some of the most practical applications and benefits.
The Internet of Things: An Introduction
Gartner defines the IoT as a “network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal state or external environment.” This simplified explanation addresses a complex, interconnected system by identifying the two key characteristics of an IoT system: a sensor and a method for communicating the sensor’s data. Essentially, the IoT is composed of devices that collect information and the systems that analyze and make use of that data.
As a result of its many applications, the IoT takes a variety of forms - and has already been integrated in both the professional and personal lives of many. For some types of connected devices, the sensors simply collect data and analyze it through a software solution, such as my smartwatch sending pedometer data to an app. It’s then up to the individual to decide how to use that data. For other systems, the analyzed data is incorporated into a system that automatically takes action, such as purchasing a needed product or scheduling a maintenance appointment.
The Internet of Things and Industry
There are many examples to be found of how the IoT is transforming business processes and efficiency in a wide range of fields. From smart agriculture using farming drones to location- and behavior-based targeting in advertising, Internet-connected devices are making permanent changes in how these groups operate. Solutions provided by IoT devices and software are being used to create improvements in more industrial fields, such as manufacturing, construction and transportation.
In one case, a global manufacturer of trucks used the IoT to add a brand new, related revenue stream to their business. They have outfitted sensors to their vehicles that will transmit over 10,000 points of data for each truck every day -- all focused on predicting the vehicle’s maintenance needs. Going beyond alerts to needed checks and replacements, this integrated system will also auto-schedule repair appointments and order any parts that the vehicle will need. By employing the IoT, the truck manufacturer was able to add to their profits while providing more services to their clients, saving them money and time in the repair process.
On the production end, Internet-connected devices and analysis systems are being used to make improvements in manufacturing quality and efficiency. Harley-Davidson’s manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania uses the IoT to track both equipment and processes. With more detailed, data-backed insights into each step of their manufacturing system, the plant has seen huge benefits: productivity has increased by 2.4 percent and net margin received a 19 percent boost. The advantages for decision-making and process efficiency can be translated to nearly any industry.
The Internet of Things and BSM Technologies, a Geotab Company
The benefits of the IoT, based on the examples above, can be significant -- especially when it comes to improving current processes and products. Internet-connected sensors and devices provide greater visibility into every system with more precise data that has real-time relevance. From tracking inventory to making processes more efficient, this information can help industrial businesses adopt leaner operations and make better decisions.
The industrial Internet of Things (IoT) can also be used to improve safety, reduce asset downtime, control costs in manufacturing processes and other industrial systems, and more. It can also make services such as custom manufacturing and upgrading devices to connected devices a possibility for industrial firms.
At BSM we fully recognize these advantages by embracing the technology that drives the IoT. We want to pass on those advantages to each of our customers, allowing them to improve operations, make better informed decisions, and increase their bottom line. Our solutions are designed to connect any industrial asset to the Internet, bringing that data together under one convenient platform. Specifically, our fleet and asset management solution connects various sensors to capture data points and converts them into reliable information that will improve fleet and asset visibility and health, driver safety and operational performance. Contact us today to learn more about how a partnership with BSM , a Geotab Company brings the advantages of the IoT to your firm.