What hurdles do manufacturers see in the evolving of IoT and Industry 4.0?

May 12 2021

What hurdles do manufacturers see in the evolving of IoT and Industry 4.0?

IoT solutions are rapidly being adopted by industry and business that’s evolving to meet challenges using various technologies and synchronized on a digital platform that is critical to the evolution of Industry 4.0.

Trending words that pervade the world of technology are Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT). The two have overlapping interests but there are differences and progressive smart manufacturers are leveraging them. IoT is a melding of many technologies and innovations in computing, communications, in smart devices and sensors.
Industry 4.0 refers to the data turnover and automation that is involved and the changing manufacturing and factory environments. This actually is the beginning of all these things, but with computing power increasing over time, Industry 4.0 promises to be highly potential growth engine.

Obviously, IoT has gained fast adoption in commercial and municipal entities. It involves networking technologies linking various smart devices and sensors at the edge with the cloud. Alexa powered devices like Echo speakers are an example of edge computing. There is now a demand to link together Industry 4.0 and IoT, which is not surprising. But there some hurdles or challenges facing this evolution.

The Challenge of Security

Linking independent systems and devices also brings into the picture a shared concern of security. As the usage of linked smart devices at the edge increases considerably, it is going to be harder to manage all the devices together, or track the data breeches and vulnerabilities, or thwart hacking or cyber-attacks. To address the security concerns, stakeholders in industry and technology are melding standard IT technologies with new tech like network security and encryption.

The Lack of Standards
Another challenge that IoT and Industry 4.0 is addressing is the lack of standards. Because of the use of various protocols to operate a plethora of devices and sensors deployed in various industrial settings, the challenge of inter-connectivity and interoperability plus integration, is complicated and a stumbling block to set up standards. An example is the automated smart factory that uses IoT and wireless narrow band networking channels to manage data and sync systems.

Transition Stage

There are other additional challenges rising out of the transition of IoT and Industry 4.0, from the immaturity of some of the technologies being adopted or integrated. This transformation is marked by the lack of talent development and IT integration, plus the transition to hybridise older or legacy systems comes along with risks and rewards.

The Challenge of Data Processing & Analysis

Industry 4.0 points to the generation of data in enormous quantity that has to be collected and stored, processed and analysed, for developing new insights to support industry in informed decision-making and create a competitive advantage.

Assimilating massive amounts of data, efficiently and effectively is going to be the hurdle or challenge of Industry 4.0 that will make way to new opportunities in future. The relevant information has to reach the talented humans, personalised for them and their task at hand. In fact, Search Engine is the original technology for Big Data. Industry 4.0 will benefit from Digital Twins to actual components or devices that have to be tracked, organised and understood.

In Conclusion

World-wide trends seem to be pointing to greater IoT support in future and also for backward compatibility or even IoT retrofitting. We seem to have just scratched the surface of a potential technology, but we see how quickly IoT is being adopted at commercial and consumer levels.

Today’s businesses, services and industries seem to be the first to be impacted or benefited by IoT and IIoT technology proactively aims to benefit all stakeholders involved in manufacturing. IoT development is also gaining demand, as it is proving to win new or more revenue streams for more business and industries.

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