Industrial IoT (IIoT) refers to devices, sensors, and industrial applications networked together via Internet connectivity to collect, exchange, and analyze data.
For Industrial OEMs, gateways and sensors mounted on equipment in the field collect real-world data that is integrated into a number of systems via APIs to better inform decision-making. Devices used to collect data are hardened for industrial environments, with shock resistance, extreme operating temperature support, and IP ratings for dust and water ingress protection. IIoT adopters utilize these capabilities to achieve operational visibility, productivity, efficiency, financial, and other benefits.
The Market for IIoT
Usage of IIoT dramatically expanded prior to the pandemic and that pattern is continuing post-shutdown. While individual projections vary, analysts consistently forecast double-digit compounded annual growth over the next decade.
The world’s most prominent industrial equipment manufacturers in construction, agriculture, mining, and other industries are contributing to this momentum, increasingly relying on IIoT for critical insights that deliver empirical financial benefits. Examples include:
- Securing cost reductions based on better-informed product requirement decisions, along with maintenance and support process and capability improvements
- Creating new revenue opportunities tied to real-time customer needs
- Strengthening cash flow by minimizing the number of delinquent accounts
- Building a more competitive product and bolstering customer satisfaction with competitive feature differentiation
Inform Product Requirements
Product development teams often operate without reliable data on equipment utilization, location, maintenance and diagnostics, and warranty-related details. This lack of transparency impedes decision-making, forcing manufacturers to act on assumptions in making consequential decisions.
Reliable IIoT technology helps OEMs grapple with these challenges by centralizing valuable data on asset history, utilization, trends, location, hours of operation, mileage traveled, diagnostics codes, service records, and more. With accurate data, product teams can avoid speculation before finalizing decisions about design, component selection, and warranty coverage. Reliable data from the field data informs feature trade-off decisions, helps target and streamline functional design and testing efforts, and avoids inclusion of unnecessary components in the final bill of materials.
Strengthen Maintenance and Support
A lack of consolidated data on maintenance, diagnostics, and product usage impedes customer support teams’ efforts to troubleshoot problems in the field, uncover recurring failures, and provide necessary warranty claim support. This inevitably leads to added support costs for manufacturers and partners and unnecessary downtime for customers.
IIoT gives support teams a start date, usage data, and service records for warranty coverage. Remote troubleshooting, coupled with over-the-air (OTA) firmware and machine configuration update capability streamlines root cause analysis and mitigation for both localized and recurring issues.
Enabling technologies, such as CalAmp EdgeCore with EdgeApp development capabilities, bolster OEM customers’ maintenance management as well by streamlining mobile app and 3rd party sensor integration. By capturing better data and provisioning it for customers to easily consume, manufacturers enable asset fleet operators to employ more effective preventive maintenance programs. In doing so, users can slash downtime, increase productivity, and amplify returns on equipment investments. OEM customers can even boost resale value by retaining maintenance records for older equipment.
Grow Revenue and Improve Cash Flow
Beyond product design, testing, maintenance, and support benefits, field data provides a catalyst for increasing revenue as well. To this end, automated notifications based on pre-defined usage and maintenance triggers can initiate targeted customer communications that make a difference. When there is an immediate or looming need for replacement parts, service, or equipment upgrade, customers have substantially more motivation to sign on the line which is dotted. Manufacturers have the option to act on this information directly and/or make it available to partners on a subscription basis.
In addition to finding new revenue, the right IIoT solution can also help finance teams resolve nagging cash flow problems. By derating systems operated by customers with egregious payment behavior, OEMs can compel customers to accelerate remuneration. As anecdotal evidence, one industry leading CalAmp customer successfully employed this strategy to achieve a 75% reduction in customer delinquency (over 120 days late), totaling $450 million.
Boost Customer Satisfaction with a Better Product
A number of IIoT capabilities, some mentioned previously, help OEMs bring a more competitive solution to market. The resulting improvements in maintenance management, asset utilization, costs, productivity, and operational efficiency significantly boost value perceived by OEM customers. Examples include:
- Preventive maintenance, remote troubleshooting, and OTA updates: together, help equipment operators avoid unnecessary downtime and minimize total cost of ownership.
- Easier integration of 3rd party sensors: amplifies breadth of data available for maintenance and other issues.
- Comprehensive service record retention: increases the resale of older equipment.
- Asset location tracking: enabled by precision GNSS capability, reverse geocoding, and geofence support with alerts; supports theft avoidance and mitigation, proof of equipment delivery, increased productivity (not hunting for equipment), and proof of service.
- Asset utilization: based on detailed usage data (hours of operation, distance traveled, idle time), maximizes return on investment and reduces costs by avoiding underutilization and unnecessary equipment rentals.
- Mobile app support: ensures field data is more easily consumed, for greater precision in asset fleet management.
- Tiered performance settings: enables equipment rental companies to map functionality to tiered pricing (e.g., boom lift can only reach a certain height at a lower price).
- Equipment operator tracking: documents critical performance indicators (e.g., engine RPMs, hydraulic pressure, oil temperature) to identify training and coaching needs. This results in reduced maintenance costs and improved safety.
CalAmp is a global leader in IIoT technology, providing industry leaders such as Caterpillar, Kubota, Bobcat, and Toro with reliable solutions that perform day in and day out in harsh environments. We offer a complete array of rugged IoT solutions to capture the right data to make more informed decisions, reduce costs, fuel new business opportunities, and propel your business.
Contact us today to discuss your Industrial IoT needs.