Electronics are found in just about any device and any application in any industry. This pervasion is amplified with the rise of the Internet of Things. An increasing number of devices used by individuals at home and at work are connected to the Internet with the ability to be controlled and customized remotely.
Consumer-oriented Human Machine Interface (HMI) environments blend rich data and real-time processing. Objects are equipped with minute machine-readable identifiers. Fitness and health are continuously monitored and analyzed by connected systems for instant feedback and solutions. Robotics capable of independently handling production can increase manufacturing productivity and efficiency while also offering real-time solutions. This is only a fragment of it’s growing relevancy.
According to a 2018 Bain & Company IoT research brief titled Unlocking Opportunities in the Internet of Things, the combined markets of the Internet of Things (IoT) will grow to about $520 billion in 2021 — more than double the $235 billion spent in 2017 – with data centre and analytics projected to be the fastest growing IoT segment, reaching a 50% Compound Annual Growth Rate from 2017 to 2021.
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) cannot afford to overlook the potential of the IoT industry and be ready to manage the increased demand in order to remain competitive.
Clearly, the possibilities are endless and extend into a multitude of industries.
For instance, the oil and gas industry is confronted with habitual inefficiencies in the maintenance of assets and data collection. In spite of IoT forging a connected network of devices, sensors and software, the oil and gas industry has been slow to harness its full potential.
Embedded sensors and automation of data communications systems allow accurate real-time analysis of the massive amounts of data typically obtained in the oil and gas industry, making for improved operational efficiency. Subsequently, costs of operation are reduced resulting in increased revenue – which is critical in our current world of lower energy prices.
Active risk assessment and identification is an ongoing focused initiative. Improved efficiencies, mitigating risk of incidents, improved employee safety among hazardous or remote site access is critical for sustainability. Therefore, IoT can significantly reduce the oil and gas industry’s environmental footprint — which has always been a contentious issue.
IoT is transforming the power and renewable energy sector. IoT sensors on generators, transmitters and distribution equipment allow remote monitoring of vibration, temperature, wear and tear as well as total system performance for optimized maintenance scheduling. It offers smart grid technology for distributed energy transformation by detecting and intelligently responding to changes in electricity supply and demand.
In agriculture, IoT enables precision farming and smart agriculture. Farmers can use data from IoT devices to control crop and livestock for better predictability and efficiency. Remote monitoring and control of humidity and temperature is just one of the many possibilities that IoT technology offers. According to Business Insider Intelligence, the number of agriculture IoT device installations will reach 75 million by 2020 (an annual growth rate of 20%), while the global smart agriculture market size is expected to triple by 2025, reaching $15.3 billion.
Several other sectors including automotive, health and wellness, industrial, mechanical, and start-ups can derive immense benefit from IoT devices. With growing demand for instant results and seamless connectivity every sector is advancing its technology.
Of course, there are challenges in the IoT industry. Security and privacy are major concerns for businesses and individual clients. The Bain report found that enterprises would buy more IoT devices and pay up to 22% more on average for them if security concerns were addressed. Businesses also worry about how well IoT devices would integrate with existing technology. As this is an emerging focal point among all sectors of industry; business leaders are working to define the synergy of investment and return. Commercial viability and production inherently need to be linked.
Increased implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics among manufacturing also changes the landscape on our economic base and labour force. Finding the balance among efficient construction, reduced overhead and how we use these technologies continues to be explored.
When you consider your contract electronics manufacturing partner, be sure to discuss how IoT can benefit your business.