IIoT in Asia: Challenges need to be resolved
With IIoT, operators can rely on data generated by connected devices to make the production floor smarter than ever. Being the manufacturing powerhouse of the world, Asia is in a good position to deploy IIoT and reap its benefits. However, certain challenges still remain and need to be resolved before deployment becomes even more widespread.
One of the challenges is the fact that, being price-sensitive, Asian manufactures are somewhat hesitant to deploy IIoT. “The costs of just the hardware itself for IIoT becomes cost prohibitive. Hence many manufacturers in Asia are still at the pilot/trial stage. Manufacturers will engage with the purchase of a few of these sensors for a trial, however even from a single facility roll-out, it can be a financial and ROI challenge,” said Willson Deng, Chairman and Founder of Singapore Manufacturing Consortium.
Secondly, manufacturers lack a clear understanding of how they can be helped by IIoT. “Identifying a strategy of implementing IIoT is the most critical aspect. A lot of manufacturers want to do PoCs (proof of concept) without really setting clear goals for such projects. Bringing in consultants definitely helps in making the strategy more likely to succeed,” said Kiran Nataraj, Founder and CEO of Entrib. “The adoption of IIoT can be seen akin to that of ERP software adoption. Although not quite the same, one can definitely draw parallels in how ERP projects have failed and then succeeded. A lot of IIoT adoption failure can be attributed to simply a lack of a top-down driven approach or bad project management.”
Since IIoT is all about data, maintaining the security and integrity of data also gains importance. “Another area of concern in IIoT adoption, not only in APAC region but throughout the globe, is security. As millions of devices and sensors are enabled to connect with each other and store information on cloud based servers, it makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks,” said Keshab Panda, CEO and Managing Director of L&T Technology. “Backbone infrastructure like servers, storage and communication is evolving, but the reluctance towards addressing data thefts and cyber-attacks is holding back the pace with which it would have grown.”
Once manufacturers fully understand IIoT and the benefits it brings, it will become even more widespread across the region. “By monitoring a machine’s interaction with the operator and how, when and exactly why a product is rejected, insights can be made regarding the machine’s performance, planning production capacity and many other functions. This then leads to performance optimization to generate a totally different experience and ultimately driving their factory’s production and more importantly, the firm’s revenue with savings,” Nataraj said.
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