How Is IoT Transforming Manufacturing?

This column is authored by Tarun Aarya, Digital Marketing Executive, Tangence

iot manufacturingInternet Of Things (IoT) is at the center-stage of industrial transformation efforts across the globe. Take a look at the following facts, and you’ll realize the importance.

With companies planning to spend USD 736.54 billion in the coming year the segment is too big to ignore. When it comes to manufacturing, it is a leader in the industrial internet and the broader IoT in reality. According to IDC, the manufacturing segment estimated the total IoT spending of USD 178 billion in the year 2016.

IT Spends From 2017-2020

In the US the IoT spend in the manufacturing industry will account for nearly 15 percent of the total IoT purchases. It means a significant opportunity for the IoT solutions provider in the US. So, why the manufacturing industry is emerging as a leader? The IoT deployments are offering rapid returns and help the manufacturers realize the benefits of the digital transformation such as efficiency, automation, customer-centricity, and use of data to find new revenue sources.

Key Areas Where IoT Will Play A Key Role

While IoT will gradually affect the entire value chain, but few areas will be affected earlier than the rest others.


There are several things included in the Manufacturing Operations Management (MoM) such as asset management, responsible manufacturing, performance optimization and monitoring, planning, human-machine interaction and so on. It is the largest area of investments for the companies looking to invest in the IoT.

Production Asset Management

It includes the asset monitoring and tracking, quality, performance, damages and breakdowns, bottlenecks and the list grow. On the top of it all, there is the dimension of maintenance. Thus the asset management in the manufacturing industry goes beyond real production assets.

Field Service

It includes the product the service related to the product and the other services that are related to the business services. They are the important drivers of the growth and the margins of the company.

Other Areas

The safety, security, productivity and the many links between manufacturing with other connected services contribute to the large IoT related solutions. Besides, vehicle asset tracking, connected factory applications, staff and safety applications, monitoring of the health, the list is long.

Role Of Data In Manufacturing

The value of data coming from the various devices connected with IoT is tremendous. It is collected, measured and then acted upon to bring the different enhancements in the processes and the systems.

IoT Solutions

Some of the IoT-based big data analytics solutions are based on the IPF. It’s non-invasive, cost effective and a small technology. The solution supports, the asset performance, cost performance, batch analysis and maintenance. They allow the collection of the data from any source and are highly scalable.

When it comes to reporting there are many kinds of reports that can be generated such as shift, machine, product and batch manufacturing, batch cycle time, etc. The available solutions can be integrated easily with the QA/Qc module, ERP/SAP module, and the other modules.

Case Study: How Intel is Transforming Manufacturing?

1. The Solution

Intel accelerates the deployment of the solutions. It brings in cost–savings, brings new efficiencies with more focus on safety. It yields in high production owing to:


With interoperability, you can scale up the operations of the business as per your needs. Using a single interface, you can connect tens, hundreds, thousands of devices or even wearable sensors.

Simplified Operations

With streamlined operations, you can easily connect all the things to the cloud. It allows you to make updates to manufacturing automatically.

Better Security

The hardware assisted and the software-based security provides multilayered protection of the data and secures the connections.

Intel has collaborated with Dell and the other ecosystem partners to bring a solution that can be applied to factory equipment and sensors to increase the operational efficiency and manufacturing performance.

2. It’s High-Level Architecture

The solution is meant for small to large data sets that may span from one to many factories. It supports the acquisition of the data, its aggregation, and the analytics as well. It opens up data mining and visualization possibilities to create the new business intelligence. Let’s understand how it works:

Data Acquisition

Tools and sensor networks collect and send the data from the factory to the IoT gateways. They filter and secure the information before sending it to the data store platform.

Data Collection And Aggregation

The data store platform that’s based on the Hadoop core collects the data from the factory. This data has structured data from the existing databases and also the non-structured data from the sensors, log files and SMS messages.

Data Analytics

The collected data is then analyzed by the analytics software and the other high-level factory applications which run on the data storage platform.

Data Visualization

The result of the analysis is presented to the various users. It uses the visualization functionalities of the business intelligence layer of the network.

These three functions can run in the cloud, the enterprise data center or an industrial data center. It is a platform that is situated between factory equipment and the enterprise data center.  They are meant for analyzing the manufacturing data in motion. For manufacturers, the IDC allows multiple decision points throughout the business to deliver improved operational insight.  It also gives reports in real-time that help them become more efficient, productive and competitive.

3. Use Case 

Minimizing the yield losses by reducing incorrect ball assembly in ball-attach equipment.

Existing Process: Intel’s ball-attach manufacturing module places on the underside of the packaged chips so that they can be mounted on the PCBs. The solder balls are then placed into a ball-attach land of a packaging substrate using the solder paste to hold them in the place. Essential equipment in the process is the placement head which holds the solder balls with the help of vacuum pressure before they are attached to the substrate. The head is then inspected for the lost balls. It is then aligned to the substrate, and the balls are then placed on the substrate. Once the balls are released the placement head is then inspected for any remaining balls, and the camera checks the substrate for any missing or shifted balls.

The Problem: Units with missing balls are defective and lead to yield losses. One cause is placement head with inappropriate pressure.

The Solution: With the help of visualization and correlating with readings from the sensor with data from the various machines and the execution system, Intel reduced the yield losses. It optimized the maintenance costs and led to sudden equipment downtime. The entire solution used Big Data for the purpose.


IoT establishes knowledge based manufacturing platform for the customers. The production department benefits by getting rid of the inconsistencies in the production parameter for the given quality of the product. What it helps them is understanding what goes wrong with the production processes in real-time and respond to it in a predictive manner. For any IoT solutions provider the market is too big to ignore and the for the customers the gains are too much to put off the decision.

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