Connecting your units in the field delivers improved customer value and a stronger service business case.
Connected assets can deliver an enhanced customer experience with less downtime and higher utilisation, improved usage and performance intelligence, and lower maintenance costs.
Business improvements include improved efficiency and lower costs through reduced warranty claims and a lower servicing outlay with timely, predictive maintenance.
If connecting field-based assets is getting easier through harnessing powerful edge computing products, there are still several things you need to consider when implementing a successful connected asset strategy:
Collecting Your Data
An Industrial IIoT deployment usually involves a wide range of hardware, protocols, and data formats. Collecting all this data, in a meaningful way, that allows you to take actionable insights from it to offer improved services and products to an existing installed base – or to new users – can prove challenging.
It is important that your solution deploys edge technology that can collect data and homogenise it, to fit an appropriate data model for meaningful intelligence to be collected.
Connectivity & Security
You’ll need to evaluate your current network and IT infrastructure to make sure you have the connectivity and security you need in place for a smooth IIoT rollout and operation. If your internal platform is not all it should be, you can consider utilising an external, unbiased, secure, and scalable solution that delivers the right network coverage level, signal strength, and bandwidth and can handle the increased data traffic from asset sensors. Market proven IIoT architecture above all else, is often more scalable and secure and can be future proofed to house your data safely.
With the right solution in place, you can also ensure that your connected assets continue to deliver value even if they are offline for periods. Keeping things simple and efficient through edge computing also allows you to analyse your data at the point at which it is generated.
Reducing service/aftermarket costs is often a key objective in any connected asset project and this needs to be weighed up against initial project implementation costs. An IIoT solution needs to be managed efficiently and cost-effectively over the entire product lifecycle to counter equipment costs. By improving asset efficiency over time, both direct and indirect costs can be better managed and reduced.
Speaking the same language
Many organisations that try to go it alone when deploying an IIoT solution, face significant challenges when trying to marry up legacy infrastructure for things such as enterprise resource planning or customer relationship management because the systems simply aren’t compatible.
By deploying the right enterprise focused technology, machine data can be made available upstream for enterprise systems to support analysis and streamline business processes with newly generated intelligence.
Investing in scale
Future-proofing your IIoT solution will involve being able to extend it when needed and make it resistant to hacking or attack.
Scalability is important from a hardware cost perspective and from a data volume point of view, but it also supports you to manage hundreds or thousands of connected assets in the field and their overhead costs.
From a security perspective, you can consider isolating IIoT traffic from other parts of the network and only store data that needs to be stored.
With the right digital backbone in place, service delivery can be tailored to suit individual assets and customers. By deploying the right IIoT solution, organisations can focus on delivering maximum significant business process improvements. By bringing IT and OT (operational technology) data into a closer partnership, workflows and solutions can be aligned and span the entire organisation—from engineering and production through to sales, fulfillment and service.