This is a list of various use cases of IoT. Some of them have been detailed, because of current or potential challenges and usage trends.
There are two types of systems: old systems with hardly any/nil instrumentation, and the relatively new ones with instruments which generate lot of data using automation systems, robots, NC machines, PLCs, digital gauges, cameras, sensors, wireless tools and others devices. These data can’t easily be combined and analyzed, creating a challenge that traditional manufacturing systems were not designed for.
In 2016, manufacturing operations accounted for a total IoT spend of $102.5 billion (on the mentioned total of $178 billion), according to the same IDC 2017 release. With current thrust of Make in India, and the appetite of the industry and start ups, this perhaps has the biggest potential in India.
Manufacturing has three areas of use cases:
a. Manufacturing operations
Operations of manufacturing include asset management, intelligent manufacturing, performance optimization and monitoring, planning, human machine interaction, end-to-end operational visibility and these cyber-physical systems IoT.
b. Production asset management and maintenance
This is the second largest IoT use case in manufacturing and in reality also consists of a range of potential applications. It includes production asset monitoring and tracking, from location to the monitoring of parameters in several areas such as quality, performance, potential damage or breakdowns, bottlenecks, the list goes on. On top of performance and optimization, there is of course also the dimension of maintenance (as a result and/or in a predictive way).
IoT-enabled systems can sense signs of warning, use real time data to create a maintenance timeline and preemptively service equipment. E.g. a gas turbine noise levels and frequency spectrum can be a great source of information on health of the blades and bearings.
c. Field service
This covers manufacturing plant, warehouse, extended supply chain and customer (site).
Some examples of detailed use cases and the benefits IoT offers:
• Production flow monitoring: optimize flow, eliminate waste and avoid unnecessary work in process inventory.
• Remote equipment management, including setting specific limits and parameters to save energy and costs.
• Condition-based maintenance alerts: optimize machine availability, minimize interruption and increase throughput.
• Usage of data (product, customer sentiment and more) for quality monitoring, origin/sourcing of material and enhancement in function of outcomes.
2. Energy & Utilities
ii. Renewable energy: solar, wind etc.
• Weather and demand to supply optimization and control – solar, wind being the infirm energy supply sources, but penetrating rapidly in the overall system and using free/renewable resource; has a high impact and attention requirement in planning and control in an overall system of energy generation to usage chain. IoT has a large potential to benefit these systems.
• Monitoring, Ops and maintenance -large remote and generally unattended power plants, as well as distributed smaller systems will be better served with IoT systems.
• Cost, bidding (short and long term), considering time of the day & seasonal, specific events – a large decision making input can come from large network of IoT sensors across the Globe, starting with weather data (and rapidly erratic one thanks to climate changes). Load demands in large industries as well as urban/rural areas can be assessed and managed when smart equipment with logical, machine learnt decision making systems are implemented.
Example: Peak demand: curtailment of peak to generator response; and optimized cost of generation with a mix of generators (and storage) could be greatly benefited from IoT.
b. Transmission & Distribution
Two-way communications and smart devices extend your real-time capabilities to include distribution automation, demand response and distributed energy resources.
Applications allow you to accurately monitor, measure and predict your business performance. From billing data access and reporting—to powering solutions like phase detection, voltage imbalances, harmonics (with most energy efficient loads: lights, computers, variable drives etc. being the cause of harmonics).
Rural, remote applications including micro grids, supported by energy storage, multi sourced supply (including renewable energy) can make use of IoT for improving customer experience, supply-demand management (DSM), reduced costs and maintenance.
Example: Maximizing asset life and utilization
Most transformers are over designed and right voltage, temperature, old condition, GIS data, e.g. can help optimize their capacities, location and thus reduce cost, maintenance, down time.
c. Smart grid and Smart metering
Smart meter helps utilities to:
• Reduce operating expenses by managing manual operations remotely;
• Improve forecasting and streamline power-consumption;
• Improve customer service through profiling and segmentation;
• Reduce energy theft; and
• Simplify micro-generation monitoring and track/manage renewable power.
With built-in capabilities to enable auto shut-off, conservation voltage reduction (CVR), phase detection, and net metering (for solar e.g.). Consumers can enter an event, such as purchasing a new water heater, solar photovoltaic system, and compare usage before and after. Each piece of information empowers them to make some impactful decisions. Should they leave a light or computer on, considering that frequent switching is also not recommended? Small decisions with a potentially big return.
d. Ops & Predictive Maintenance
3. Oil, Gas and Coal:
a. Exploration – help in site survey, data analysis and improving success rates. Estimates of Return on investments will be possible considering, resource availability, cost of drilling, transportation, and even price bidding.
b. Wells/mine and environmental metrics – from production trends to environment – all areas can be benefited. The current industry uses basic tools like excel.
c. Optimization for improving profits – operations, maintenance and supply-demand can have high impacts, and considering the size of the energy market, investment in IoT has a very high potential return.
d. Sale: Data analytics and Price strategy, forecasting with consumption trends – save the consumers from wild price fluctuations, including the very sensitive industrial users.
4. Govt. & Public Services
a. Smart cities
b. Traffic optimization
Thousands of cross linked road, millions of vehicles, and drivers, airports, ports can be helped with weather data, signaling, movement optimization, and major event & VIP managements.
c. Public safety
Use of visual monitoring and personnel movements data collected and learnt, can help decide deployment of vigilance personnel, roster duties. Emergency services such as Fire, ambulance, police, disaster management are in dire need of IoT help e.g. for traffic, location of victims, crime etc.
a. Telematics and Fleet management
It will help improving efficiency, productivity and reducing overall transportation and staff costs. Asset tracking is becoming used more and more by cities for waste management purposes by giving trash collectors the most efficient routes to collect the buildup of trash in urban environments.
b. Automatic vehicles
Accident avoidance is a major incentive because the car can respond faster than a human. The ultimate manifestation is the overall reduction of vehicles. Driverless taxis can replace a family’s second car that sits idle all day. More vehicles can travel closer on the road at the same time and the computer can operate the vehicle more economically than most people.
c. Asset tracking and remote monitoring
To allow an enterprise to easily locate and monitor key assets (e.g. raw materials, final products and containers) and to optimize logistics, maintain inventory levels, prevent quality issues and detect theft.
d. Condition based maintenance/predictive maintenance
i. Real time diagnostics
ii. Remote vehicle management
iii. In car connectivity and infotainment
a. Automated checkouts
b. Footfall analytics & promos
c. Inventory optimization
a. Network maintenance
b. Connected Homes/cars
c. Data monetization
a. Proactive and connected monitoring
b. Early detection and diagnosis
c. Remote measurements
e. Health and fitness tracking
f. Support for Disability
Currently, over a billion people including children (or about 15% of the world's population) are estimated to be living with disability. IoT can offer them the assistance and support they need to achieve a good quality of life and allows them to participate in the social and economic life.
a. Usage based insurance
b. Telematics for insurance
c. Insured asset management