We are offered countless connected gadgets, but where should we look to find the IoT’s real value? Steve Baker, consultant at TTP, offers a view
hat there are some runaway consumer IoT successes is undeniable. But for every Alexa,
LEFT Companies in sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture are utilising IoT technology
Hue or Nest, there is a cloud-connected pet feeder that leaves cats to go hungry when the servers are down, a ‘digital frying pan’ and ‘companion app’ that want to tell you how to fry an egg, and a ‘smart tap’ that responds to, “Alexa, run the tap” but can’t hear you cry, “Alexa, turn off the tap!” over the sound of running water. They seem to exist because they can, and not because they’re actually useful. However, the biggest impact of the IoT is being felt not by consumers, but by industry. The industrial IoT (IIoT) may not have the headline-grabbing appeal of the consumer IoT, but it does set accountants’ pulses racing. Why? Properly deployed, the IIoT enables companies to reduce costs, manage risks and expand the reach of their business. Let’s look at a few examples. Mayflower – a subsidiary of the energy company SSE – reduced Hampshire County Council’s energy consumption by 20 GWh each year. How? By installing modern street lighting with IoT-enabled controllers that provide individual switching and dimming for each lamp in the county. All businesses face risk, but few understand and quantify those risks as acutely as insurance companies. Charge too little for a risk and they lose money, charge too much and they lose customers. The IoT-enabled ‘insurance black box’, now familiar to all young drivers, enables insurers to accurately gauge the risk a customer presents by monitoring how they drive and this, in turn, allows the company to offer the most competitive premium. Rolls Royce has for some years now offered jet engines on ‘pay
Properly deployed, the industrial IOT enables companies to reduce costs, manage risks and expand the reach of their business"
as you go’ terms. Customers don’t pay for an engine, nor do they even lease an engine, but rather they pay for the hours the engine flies. These engines are bristling with sensors and communication technology, forming a ‘digital twin’, so that even in flight they can schedule maintenance work. This guarantees the airline highest service availability, but for Rolls Royce it secures access to the engine’s service revenues, which could be worth twice as much as the engine itself over its full operating life. Use of IoT technologies has tripled Rolls Royce’s potential revenue for each engine it manufactures. And then there’s Rentokil, which
What’s more, they eliminate the risk of non-compliance with the inspection regime and, better still, free staff from routine trap inspection to concentrate on the needs of their customers. This is a great example of the IIoT in action: reduced cost, reduced risk and better customer engagement. We will see many more applications of IIoT in sectors such as manufacturing, transport and logistics, and agriculture. With the power of the IIoT in hand, a business need never lament, “If only we knew…” Where’s the equipment we need for this job? When will the environmental conditions be ideal for this task? What’s the stock level on our customers’ premises? Will the goods arrive in perfect condition? What can IoT do for you? It can start by answering these questions and many more like them.
engaged TTP to help it develop a ‘connected’ mouse trap. In the
commercial sector, hundreds of traps require daily inspection at, say, a food production plant. Connected traps enable efficient, automated inspection.
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