Looking to streamline or upgrade your manufacturing process but not sure you’re ready to be catapulted into Industry 4.0? You’re in the right place. We are the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) experts.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the typical steps of IIoT implementation, help you avoid any pitfalls, and show you how to implement IIoT solutions in your business.
What Is IIoT Implementation?
IIoT implementation refers to the process of adding smart factory technology like IIoT devices and sensors to your equipment. IIoT implementation allows manufacturing businesses to automate tasks, and monitor and control machinery, often remotely.
How to Implement IIoT Solutions
Here is your IIoT implementation roadmap.
1. Define Your Goals
Fail to plan, plan to fail. For your first step, you’ll want to define exactly what you want from this digital transformation. Here are some suggestions:
- Reduce machine maintenance and replacement costs by using predictive maintenance technologies.
- Automate assembly lines using smart devices like programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and advanced human-machine interfaces (HMIs).
- Increase product quality and consistency by implementing pressure, temperature, and velocity sensors.
2. Create a Change Management Roadmap
Digital transformation affects every member of your business. For this stage, we suggest:
- Asking project management and leadership team members for their ideas and concerns
- Earn buy-in from employees by keeping them informed and engaged
- Outline the benefits of IIoT implementation with examples from daily workflows
- Work with a consultant to create user adoption training plans so each employee knows how to use your new software and hardware
3. Architect Your Infrastructure
Once you know your goals and who they will affect, it’s time to start creating your infrastructure architecture. You’ll need an IIoT consultant to work with your IT team to understand what and how many devices you need, how they will communicate with your software, and how employees will need to change their workflows.
All hardware and software will need to be configured to perform properly, track, store and communicate data.
4. Select Your IIoT Solution
Again, your IIoT consultant will be able to help you select an IIoT solution. Now that you know what devices you need and what operations they will be performing, you can select an IIoT solution that can accomplish your goals.
It’s important to pick the best IIoT software for your business. This doesn’t mean you have to spend an arm and a leg, it just means you need to find the “right size” software. If you’re a growing business, choose IIoT software that can be easily scaled, like ProphecyIoT.
5. Pick Your Sensors and Devices
Now that you know what IIoT solution you’re going with, browse an array of sensors and devices. In fact, you may find devices that you didn’t even know existed, like IIoT devices that offer edge computing. This will mean you need to return to step 3, Architect Infrastructure, and that’s perfectly OK. IIoT implementation is a process of continuous optimization and improvement.
6. Connect Your Ecosystem
Work with project management and your IT team to connect your new IIoT ecosystem. This means installing hardware and connecting it to your software. Depending on the size of your business, this process could take a day, a week, or a month. Moreover, you may be so thrilled with the results that you continue building. Any decent IoT software will easily allow for this.
7. Encrypt and Secure
Your proprietary data is your company’s biggest asset. It’s crucial that your cybersecurity is top-notch and all your communications are encrypted. This will be the responsibility of IT and your IoT consultant.
8. Test, Test, Test
You know by now that IoT infrastructure is complex. This means your team needs to be actively collecting and analyzing data and processes. Many companies will run pilot tests before deploying their IIoT solution, which we also recommend.
Whether you run a pilot trial or not, be sure to make it easy for employees to report system errors to keep your IoT ecosystem running smoothly.
9. User Adoption Training
User adoption training is a crucial step. It’s the process of teaching your employees how to use the upgraded system. Training should be part of your change management plan, and you should have front-loaded that this process would happen to your employees in the beginning.
Fortunately, many IoT consulting firms like ProphecyIoT have ample experience in user adoption training. Not only can we assist in the training itself, but we can also offer tips for navigating employee pushback and improving team morale.
10. Roll Out
Now that your infrastructure is in place, your system has been tested, and your employees are trained, roll out the changes. Be sure to pick a date for the official roll out so no one is surprised or unprepared.
11. Monitor, Analyze, Tweak, Repeat
Because the manufacturing landscape is constantly evolving, it’s crucial that you continuously monitor, analyze, and optimize your system processes. As your business grows, so will your IIoT needs. The truth is, you are never truly done.
IIoT Implementation Can Fail
But it doesn’t have to. If you need help implementing an IIoT infrastructure, we’re here to help. Contact our experts as ProphecyIoT today.