The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a wave of innovation that turns machinery into intelligent equipment through cloud-networked sensors and software. IIoT has the potential to become one of the biggest drivers of global productivity in the next decade as machines, technology and humans further integrate and unleash an unprecedented level of efficiency.
Such sweeping change is not difficult to imagine now that billions of previously inert pieces of equipment can be digitized. The pump sector, with complex machines throughout all major industries, is well-positioned to reap the rewards of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
At its most basic, IIoT connects industrial machines using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage and process data. IIoT makes this information and automation available 24/7 from anywhere in the world.
Field-based assets and information can be accessed securely from any web-enabled device, which makes remote programming, troubleshooting, alerting and reporting available in a simple and affordable format for end users.
Users have access to the latest software stacks, multiservice gateways and sensors to bring actionable data from the field into business operations. IIoT’s technological versatility allows the base technology to be easily adapted to a wide array of industries.
IIoT’s core customers are industrial equipment manufacturers and end users seeking reliable, secure and cost-effective connectivity solutions for their product lines. Many of the largest multinational companies have recognized the transformative value of IIoT, notably in the development of more service-based business models. Companies such as GE, Schneider Electric, Siemens and Rio Tinto have positioned substantial portions of their business models around IIoT.
The ability to generate outsized productivity gains, competitive advantage and additional revenue streams is driving this shift. In a 2015 Accenture survey, 84 percent of C-Suite business leaders stated they could generate new income streams from the integration of IIoT.
The widespread integration of IIoT products and services into the global economy is estimated to generate up to $14 trillion of additional output over the next 15 years.
Pump equipment manufacturers and their end users are equally poised to derive connectivity and pump efficiencies from IIoT. By providing automated alerts based on system optimization, IIoT allows manufacturers and end users to benefit from full-time monitoring and control that reduce downtime, wear and tear, and water and energy consumption. This kind of automated and predictive control produces considerable savings and productivity gains that offer competitive advantage.
IIoT connectivity also allows for the creation of valuable new databases that manufacturers can use to enhance products and establish closer customer relationships.
Since their inception, industrial manufacturers have struggled to shrink the distance between themselves and their customers. Connectivity allows pump manufacturers to know who their customers are, where their machines are installed and how those machines are being used. IIoT provides an unprecedented level of market intelligence and relationship building in a currently fragmented marketplace between vendors and clients in the pump industry.
IIoT’s value proposition for pump manufacturers and end users is commoditization from IIoT. IIoT can enable pumps with connectivity and build vast associated services and data accumulation. As manufacturers and contractors struggle in a price-sensitive market, it is imperative for them to differentiate themselves on a service level. By leveraging the power of IIoT, both manufacturers and contractors can open up new revenue streams based on service models while at the same time reducing their associated service costs.