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Smart Manufacturing Systems Can Create Even More Than Uptime from IoT Implementation, at IoT Evolution Expo 2020

By Ken Briodagh February 04, 2020

IoT Evolution Expo 2020 is coming up fast, and we interviewed several of our speakers to get a bit of a preview of what to expect from their sessions.

Here, we spoke to two of our featured panelists, who will be sharing the stage February 12 to kick off our Smart IIoT content with a pointed discussion on “Smart Manufacturing, Beyond Downtime.”

At IoT Evolution Expo 2020, which is taking place February 11 to 14 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Logan Maxwell, Solutions Engineer, WISER Systems (Booth #629), and Wesley Mershon, Senior Product Manager, KUKA, will look at the two simple rules of OT: if it’s running leave it alone, if it’s not, get it running. Those two rules do not sound like innovations, yet IoT is delivering on Industrial 4.0 by increasing the data coming from sensors and enabling the SoftPLCs. They will discuss how smart manufacturing can take us beyond measuring uptime and bring us to a new level of efficiency and production.

To attend this session, click here to register.

Here is a little preview of their thoughts:

IoT Evolution: What are some key ideas you plan to cover in your session?

Logan Maxwell: Real-time location data can be incredibly useful in a number of different facets of industry.

Wesley Mershon: Already established security protocols and policies from customers means that IoT products will typically start off small and more focused. The promise of a grand solution or product will come only after an IoT provider can guarantee a secure pipeline that adds value on a small scale with room to increase over time. Ideally, IoT products or solutions will stem from a distributed approach leveraging cloud, edge and hardware technologies.

IoTE: What insights do you hope attendees will take home?

LM: Once you can quantify, you can establish metrics. Once you can establish metrics, you can improve.

WM: The idealistic solutions that are discussed in articles are possible, but there are steps that need to be made to get there. More importantly, it requires buy-in from the companies that want it. The incremental improvements of IoT in manufacturing will happen one meeting with IT at a time. Or a startup will adopt the security practices to send information to the cloud from the beginning.

IoTE: Can you identify a few important trends influencing your sector of the IoT which will shape the path of the industry? Why these?

LM: WISER focuses on location oriented data points within the IoT. The largest trend we see are seeing is organizations slowly becoming aware that they can even track dynamic locations of their objects beyond gate-based systems. Most tracking projects are still rooted in manual scanning and passive gate-based architectures. While it means education and proof-of-concept deployments slow down the sales cycle, it works to our whole sectors advantage that interest is increasing in this area.

WM: We have to push IT departments to adopt processes that send information to the cloud. We have to utilize best practices in doing so, but it's the first step. Meanwhile, big data solutions need to grow once we gain access. Predictive maintenance is a muddy term. 

IoTE: What are the biggest challenges facing the IoT right now? What are some strategies you recommend to overcome those challenges?

LM: IoT faces a serious challenge in separating the hype from the noise. There has been a significant amount of buzzword fascination, over-estimating ROI, and pure over-selling of systems and ideas. IoT needs real technology and real ROI, which have to come from real-use cases and deployments, not marketing.

WM: The biggest challenges include buy-in from IT departments and overcoming the general fear of the cloud. A strategy to overcome these challenges would be to provide small wins to companies to justify the risk of aggregating data. Creating a product that can easily translate a dollar amount saved helps with the approval of the next project that might require access to more sensitive data. Build the product with management in close consideration. 

IoTE: Which vertical markets have the most to gain from IoT implementation? Which are leading and which are still behind the adoption curve?

LM: This question is difficult because IoT is such a broad topic, and IoT deployments can look incredibly different from industry to industry. Speaking from our small corner of the IoT--micro-location--we are seeing the most gain from verticals associated with manufacturing high-value metal machines (aerospace/auto/specialty equipment). Traditional tracking doesn’t work due to the complex metal environments, and each second a part or project is delayed costs a significant portion to the bottom line.

WM: Behind the adoption curve, with the most to gain:

  • Manufacturing 
  • Medical 
  • Food and Beverage 
  • Government 
  • Legal 

Ahead of the curve:

  • Telecommunications - lead to a complete shift in the business strategy 
  • Social Media
  • Finance 
  • Banking
  • Advertising 
  • Media 

IoTE: What session(s) are you most looking forward to attending at the Expo? Why?

LM: I’m excited to be attending and presenting during the TagoIO Connect luncheon on Tuesday. I’ll demonstrate live how easy it is to link up systems in real-time leveraging APIs. TagoIO will be taking real-time WISER data from the luncheon room and using that to create a location-based Tago Dashboard.

Register now for the IoT Evolution Expo and Get 20% off your full conference with code IoTTime and be there for all the information you need to drive your IoT strategy in 2020.   


Ken Briodagh is a storyteller, writer and editor with about two decades of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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