Part 1: How the Internet of Things will Improve the Product Creation Process
The Internet of Things (IoT) has already been changing the way Manufacturers work. In fact, by its very essence, IoT is meant to disrupt the way things are done now to provide greater efficiency, speed, and higher quality for processes and products. There are many ways that IoT will change manufacturing for the better, but I think the most interesting is how it will reduce time and cost involved in the actual creation process.
Efficient Customizable Products
For example, the Internet of Things can make the process to create products even faster. If we take this one step further, we can look at what it can do for an even more involved process: creating customizable products. Customizable products have been around for a long time, and they are very popular. Unfortunately, they can also be very costly to manufacture. IoT can help bring the cost, time, and effort down to customize products so they can offer more to customers.
A future customized product assembly process might look like this:
- The customer chooses a product and adds customization options (through a website or kiosk), then purchases the product.
- The sale is sent to different departments including the factory production floor.
- A centralized machine that acts as a “manager” for the other machines on the production floor receives the sale.
- This centralized machine can read and parse the sale’s information because there is code that allows it to assimilate that information into usable instructions.
- The centralized machine sends instructions needed to each machine in the assembly process.
- Each machine acts on those instructions, making the product to the customer’s specifications.
- The product is finished, and the shipping department is alerted to deliver the product to the customer.
An automated process like this reduces the time involved in producing the product, because it eliminates the need for an employee to process the sale and program it into a machine or multiple machines. It also allows the company to consider new ways to use this process so they can offer more customized products to the consumer.