The opportunity to optimize Internet of Things (IoT) environments is perhaps the biggest benefit of 5G. However, the new levels of connectivity will also usher in meaningful changes to how manufacturers handle the data management.
“5G wireless connectivity will introduce new solutions that will change the way we live our lives and the way companies do business,” says Darren Sadana, CEO of ChoiceIoT, a telecommunications company specializing in IoT and wireless connectivity. “One of the challenges for companies will be how they manage their data and control data costs.”
As 5G expands, businesses will need a performance-based monitoring solution to easily manage and scale their wireless deployments, while controlling costs. According to Sadana, choosing the right IoT wireless connectivity partner is critical to controlling costs and managing large amounts of data, as customers need access to real-time statistics of each deployment. “This will enable wireless users to monitor performance and make on-the-fly decisions that will impact the bottom line,” he says.
Sadana says the key to controlling data costs is focus in on which data introduces new cost savings or efficiencies in solutions. “Data is the new black gold, but if you are gathering data and not using it effectively then you are paying for data transmission and storage and It just becomes white noise and adds no value,” he says.
A complete analysis as to the relevance of the gathered data and whether it requires transmission to a central location or if it should stay local is crucial. “Edge computing and smarter devices and sensors are reducing the need for data to be brought to a central cloud to be analyzed,” he says. “For example, a sensor for soil moisture level mounted on a sprinkler. It can be a smart device that does not need to transmit data back to a hub for the hub to send a signal to turn on the sprinkler. This can be done more and more locally as devices get smarter.”
Data monitoring is equally important. “Usage alerts and analysis form a good connectivity platform can help see where the data leakage is happening and if the data is relevant,” he says. “Drilled down usage by session level is key to good data analysis. This can help identify rogue/ defective devices or software and help solution providers minimize data connectivity and storage costs.”
Enabling smart manufacturing
Smarter sensors are gathering data and can transmit bigger amounts at faster speeds, explains Sadana. “Also, as sensors and devices are getting more intelligent, they can be programmed to make decisions on the spot (edge computing) vs. sending data to the cloud and have a central application determine the output or decision,” he says. “This will lead to quicker response times, which will result in increased safety and efficiency in the manufacturing plants.”
Discrete manufacturing: As the Intelligence of Machines grows, discrete manufacturing will become more prevalent than batch and process manufacturing. We will see Manufacturers win who can make to stock, make to order and assemble to order. This all requires more planning, data analysis and tracking capabilities which are provided by the intelligence of things. The more complex it is the more valuable it is to create actions around the data gathered.
Predictive Maintenance: Operation efficiencies are improved even around batch manufacturing and assembly. This reduces idle time due to repairs required due to break downs. Sensors can analyze multiple signals like sound frequencies, temperature and vibration to determine if a machine has a higher probability of requiring attention and alert operators to machines that require repair or maintenance. This also contributes to the safety of the workers and can alert them to an emergency evacuation before a situation can result in an accident.
Inventory & Equipment Tracking: This leads to savings of thousands of man hours and results in increased efficiency and profits.