Industry 4.0 Foundations: Internet of Things


IoT2.jpgLast week, in the first installment of our weekly Industry 4.0 blog series, we explored how Big Data enables manufacturers to make more informed business decisions. Building on this foundation of information, manufacturers can gain enhanced interconnectivity and real-time visibility through the Internet of Things.

In business, information is gold – but it shouldn’t be treated like a hoard of treasure. Manufacturers must have information available to those who really need it when it is needed, not just as a report to look back on to see what could have been done differently. With the Internet of Things (IoT), that no longer is the case.

IoT involves the use of sensors and communications technology to collect and share data in a more efficient manner. With this increased level of interconnectivity, factories can function like a well-oiled machine, with technology in all areas communicating with each other in real-time to create an environment of complete visibility and productivity.

Is your business: Spending more time and/or money fixing equipment than maintaining it? Creating finished products, only to discover they are defective after the fact? Looking to eliminate sources of bottlenecks or flaws in production?

Internet of Things can help by:

  • Providing real-time visibility into operations. How effective are your processes? When is your next machine going to break down? Where are most defects coming from? These questions and more can be answered with IoT. By incorporating technologies such as sensors into the plant, key information about operations can be communicated directly to workers instantaneously. This data gives manufacturers greater insight into different elements of production, enabling them to predict when machines are about to break down, locate sources of bottlenecks and identify any areas in production that can be improved.
  • Optimizing performance. Once manufacturers have access to this insightful data, they can respond to any issues in production, ultimately avoiding or minimizing all negative impacts. New levels of productivity and efficiency can be achieved as manufacturers now have the tools needed to better utilize resources, improve workplace safety and optimize production quality.

Reach new levels of productivity and visibility in your plant with IoT. To learn more about how IoT can empower your production improvements, contact us at and stay tuned for next week’s blog where we will explore System Integration.

Whether your company is well into its Industry 4.0 journey or just getting started, The Center’s experts can help ensure you achieve the maximum return on all investments. To assist Michigan’s manufacturers with understanding and adopting Industry 4.0 technologies, The Center has partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Automation Alley to drive awareness of the many uses and benefits of these innovations. From conducting an initial Technology Opportunity Assessment to identifying and applying relevant technologies, The Center guides manufacturers through technological implementations in a way that makes sense for their businesses.

Learn more about how The Center can support your company’s Industry 4.0 journey by contacting or visit


Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at

Categories: Industry 4.0