Industrial IoT can be defined as a Critical Digital Transformation Technology or a set of Technologies & components enabling Digital Transformation for the Industries. The biggest input IIot provides Complex, Sensitive and Critical data which needs to be managed and is a great challenge for Digital Transformation,” that’s what Sreenath C. Lakshmanan Founder & CEO at i4DigitalValue had to say on “How Industrial IoT benefits from Digital Transformation in the Current & Post Pandemic Era?”


Q. According to you what are the challenges faced by the Industries and how Industrial Internet of things adoption and usage can support them?

A. “In today’s era, all the industries are under tremendous Stress & Pressure to mitigate the risks of the Global Pandemic situation. Some of the challenges faced by the industries are to increase efficiency & productivity, eliminate barriers, Improve Product quality, Increase Safety & Security, Sustain the declining market demands, Optimize Supply Chain, derive new business models and yet yield profitable earnings”

We all understand that Industrial 4.0 leverages IoT, Cyber physical systems and advanced networks which provides solutions for adopting to crisis management and transforming the entire supply chain to be more agile & efficient. Further leveraging IIot solutions all the industrial applications get connected with more sensitive and precise industrial sensors, instruments and devices.

When IoT is all about Data and can be categorized as advanced Digital Solution, IIot is multi fold and with large volume of sensitive data can be categorized as Extreme Digital Solution.

Why I say this is? because

IIot connects mission critical devices and sensors wherein Reliability, Sustainability & Stability of these systems are highly crucial because if there is a failure in the systems then the result can be devastating.

See, in healthcare if the IIot solution fails there could life threating impact which results in high risk.

In Aerospace, if the IIot solution fails there could life threating at a larger scale which could impact many human lives and related resources damaging at a higher scale.

Industrial Data gathered from the IIot solutions need be used to make Data driven decisions which is critical for any IoT business Value for the industries. It’s important to find cost optimized ways to innovate with the Data and make effective use of it to make critical decisions during this pandemic.

Focusing on the new challenges and areas to segregate the large volume of Data, generating appropriate Data, aggregating this Data, Optimizing the Data further, Consolidating the Data and finally analysing data for relevant business decisions in the industries suiting the pandemic situation.

Additionally, choosing the right IOT Industrial Devices and Industrial Sensors, IoT Cloud Platforms, Cellular and Satellite communications which caters to the customized specific needs of the IIot solutions is the key for success.

Apart from Data Management and Connectivity, equally important is to focus on Data Security solutions.

Q. Can you share your point of view on how industries can focus in using industrial IoT applications and technology to drive their business forward in the pandemic situation?

A. As we all know IIOT applications is today reinventing the industry sector. While Industry 4.0 provides new industrial revolution, IIot focuses on increasing predictive maintenance, improves product quality, enhances operational efficiencies, improves connectivity, scalability and cost savings further powered with the right analytics solution. Automation plays a key role in this area.

If we look at the 4M’s Man, Machine, Material and Methods, in today’s pandemic world there is a need to enhance, leverage efficiently and optimize the 4 M’s to streamline business operations for example in Smart Factories, Smart Machines, Smart Agriculture, Smart Mining, Smart Automation and many more industrial sectors.

Let me explain my point of view using Smart Manufacturing as an example:

Usage of Connected Robotics innovation for real time monitoring of predictive maintenance is now widely researched and used wherein the connected sensors can detect failure of the machinery or a part before it fails which can save substantial money for the manufacturing unit or their clients. Also, it facilitates in handling more than just a single, repetitive job.

Use of Intelligent IoT logistics for supply chain requirements of planning storage of goods, in warehouse, transportation, cargo handling, distribution and transition to Intelligent machines are some of the use cases.

Wearable technology in manufacturing is another innovation in smart Industries contributing to Safety requirements, Increasing productivity and process efficiencies
We also know about the usage of 3D printing and Micro manufacturing for tiny products manufacturing in healthcare and aerospace industries is gaining vast popularity.

Hence using the combination of collaborative technologies and tying up with all aspects of business transform the way manufacturing gets done.

If Industrial Internet of Things is further powered with appropriate Big Data, Cloud computing, Augmented/Virtual reality (AR/VR) & Robotics Solutions the business value scales up to create a hyper compute and automation environment.

Q. Can you explain how Digital Transformation can help the Indian market & industries to choose the right IIOT solution in the pandemic situation?

A. In my opinion, Research & Implementation should vary and change during and post pandemic situation, IoT Digital Transformation avoids disruptions for the industries and helps to cater to Changing Industrial IoT market & business needs for the industries to stay ahead of the competition.

The IIot product/solutions built should be focusing on the specific needs during this pandemic for example: A customer using the product or solutions should experience business value, improved productivity, Increased product quality, benefit from new revenue opportunities, Comfort with Security standards like IIot Custom Gateways and data encryption and of course no frustrations and should go through a simple experience.

Digital transformation in simple terms can be based on Strategy, People, Process, Technology and Data Management powered by advanced robotics and automation for Industrial IoT solutions.

For Digital Transformation, Strategy is the first step to have the senior leadership buy in, prepare for a Cultural Change, Start to Ideate and get inspired to believe in the IIot solution being developed. Then Upskilling & Reskilling of people for Digital Tools, embracing behavioural change. Implementing the right processes are the next step where they may be innovation and even invention involved. A process has loading of IIOT tasks, execution of IOT tasks and outcome upon completion of these tasks. Finalizing the IIOT Devices Technology Stack for collecting the sensitive, large volume of data and process it. Finally managing the Data using advanced analytics to take critical business decision aligned to the current and post pandemic needs.

I would like to mention again that in India there are many Industries trying to build a high level of digital literacy within. But there is also an older generation of industries and customers who have struggled and will struggle with the recent rise of the digital mindset and they need to be addressed by offering simplified highly productive Industrial IoT Solutions.

Q. How can the cutting Edge Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Other technologies support the Indian market & industries for developing Industrial IOT solution during the pandemic situation?

A. Bringing AI and Industrial IoT together results in analysing sensitive and large volume of data to make intelligent data decisions which further results in delivering the required business value for the organization and their customers and should eliminate the lack of Data value and lack of Data Insight.

Usage of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming prominent and lot of research is being carried to leverage AI in Manufacturing: Be it for quality checks, Monitoring supply chain, Development, Design, Production, Predictive Maintenance, enhancing customer support & service.

Using Machine learning algorithms there is significant benefit in leveraging the sensitive and complex data collected from the IIot Solutions for example Machine learning can recognize the repeated patterns and teach the device to be vigilant next time for eliminate security risks in industries like healthcare, aerospace, Financial Institutions which are prone to high security risks.

Using Edge Computing can accelerate the processing and analysing data for quicker results and faster resolution of issues in high risk industries with higher security and compliance.
Using Blockchain can improve trust in products, accelerate trusted transactions, Controlled tracking of maintenance, IoT Device Validation and Certification

Summarizing I could say that Artificial intelligence features can be applied to Cloud computing, Machine learning, Quantum computing, NLP, Robotics Chatbots & Intelligent Bots, Facial & Speech recognition/interpretation, Intelligent Predictive analytics & Computer Vision, Machine Vision/Robotic vision.

I have already explained some of the use cases in the above question.
While we all understand that using cutting edge technologies have tangible benefits all new technologies are accompanied with risks and it is very important risks are assessed and analysed thoroughly to have contingency plans in place before the implementation.

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