IoT and Industry: Tailoring Production for the Future
While there has been a marked focus on Internet of Things technologies applied to everyday household products (and related concerns on the consumer's end), it is becoming more and more important to consider how IoT could possibly affect the manufacturing of these items. This applies for both consumers and manufacturers: for consumers, it is a question of how Internet integration can work to make not only the household more connected, but urban centres and commercial spaces as well. For manufacturers, a more efficient flow of operational data, more finely tuned machinery, and real-time management of supply chain logistics will mark this shift.
Oil and gas production, as well as agriculture, are two industries that could benefit greatly from IoT sensors exchanging data from machine to machine. In the future, when food and natural resources become more and more scarce, industries will need to tailor production and distribution in a more accurate, seamless way, and IoT could be the solution to this problem.
Oil and Gas Refining
With companies like Moxa designing wireless Internet strategies for oil refinery, extraction, and distribution, we see the industrial IoT at its most potentially innovative. With oil refinery and extraction sites spread across states and countries (especially off-shore drilling projects), transmitting workable, operational data across satellite is time-consuming and very expensive. Wireless solutions for data collection (which yields terabytes of data for oil refineries on a daily basis) allows for not only an easier method of gathering data into a central hub, but can also act as a more accurate predictor of product yield, which will benefit consumers and investors as more up-to-date oil prices can be made available.
Food Production and Agriculture
The availability of both food and arable land is going to become a concern in our lifetime. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that the world will need to produce 70% more food to feed 2.3 billion more people by 2050. How will Internet of Things help with food production?
Using IoT sensors for agricultural purposes goes far beyond just your connected “smart-fridge”. As this article from The Guardian points out, IoT technologies are capable of a variety of things, including monitoring the health of cows, monitoring soil, water, and air conditions for growing vegetation, and even help to eliminate mites from beehives. Though mites are not the sole cause of the massive drop in the world's bee population, this added measure could certainly help to further protect bees from these mites and other environmental threats.
Using these technologies for agriculture in developing countries could prove to be hugely beneficial in places where agriculture and meat production may be difficult, often due to the scarcity or inferiority of resources necessary for growing optimum foods. Data exchange helps to regulate food production, as well as any problems that can now be spotted almost immediately. Self-learning machine-to-machine interactions will eventually be able to diagnose and remedy the issue much more effectively.
There are many game-changing applications of the Internet of Things to industrial processes, but oil and agriculture are the two most significant industries. As the world becomes more populated, traditional methods of industrial data sharing, food production, and resource management will not support current consumption patterns. For companies and industries looking towards the future of manufacturing and production, the Internet of Things will prove to be essential in creating more sustainable, widely available resources such as food, oil, and gas.