Manufacturers today must leverage IoT and 5G technology. Source: Shutterstock.

Manufacturers today must leverage IoT and 5G technology. Source: Shutterstock.

It’s a match: IoT and 5G can take manufacturing to new highs

TODAY, disruptive technologies surround the manufacturing industry.

To avoid losing ground to competitors, each manufacturer needs to transform digitally. Agility is required, and leaders must develop and implement strategies to adopt technology quickly.

One technology that can take manufacturers far is the internet of things (IoT).

Loosely defined, IoT is a network of connected ‘things’, where any device can be connected to another or made to send data to a business or host, in real-time. These ‘things’ could be anything from coffee machines to smartphones and fitness trackers.

When manufacturers integrate IoT into their businesses, what they get is a hyper-connected enterprise. The connectivity IoT brings enables manufacturers to break through traditional silos, creating an integrated ecosystem with streamlined processes.

With IoT, all stages of the planning-to-sales process can be digitally connected in a continuous loop.

Sensors are installed throughout the operations of manufacturers, suppliers or at times, customers. These sensors constantly collect data, and feed them to analysts in real-time, enabling them to make better decisions.

The rapid proliferation of IoT devices unleashes flows of data in unprecedented quantities, and offers endless opportunities for manufacturers to draw insights from it.

From the seemingly senseless sea of data, artificial intelligence (AI) powered analytics can spot trends and patterns that can predict outcomes in various scenarios.

This enables manufacturers to undertake predictive maintenance, where problems are anticipated and resolved without ever materializing.

Also, manufacturers can also plan to retool for product redesigns whenever the need arises.

With the increase of devices created with Wi-Fi capabilities and sensors in them, along with decreasing internet costs, the number of connections to the IoT created will only rise exponentially.

While existing 4G networks will be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data generated by these devices, 5G network will provide the perfect platform for the full deployment of IoT.

With download speeds up to 2.7 times faster than its predecessor 4G, 5G can send data to and from as many as a million devices per square kilometer. It offers manufacturers benefits in terms of speed, latency, reliability, and security.

Designed to be as dependable as fiber optic cables, 5G can support a wide array of solutions.

5G’s capabilities allow technologies like virtual reality, autonomous operations, and AI-based digital capabilities to come to life, delivering solutions that bring big gains in productivity and accelerate innovation.

IoT offers many attractive gains- less machine downtime, efficient operations and the ability to conduct predictive maintenance.

With 5G as the underlying fabric of the IoT ecosystem, the opportunities for business growth are endless.

Manufacturers must seize the IoT-5G opportunity, and use it to gain a leg up in this already competitive landscape.

Integrating the convergence of 5G networks with the IoT system into digital strategies can accelerate the path towards an agile ecosystem, with the enterprise at its core.

Its time for manufacturers to put their heads together and reorient their digital strategies around 5G- IoT given the significant gains they can capture.