Internet of Things Industry Applications Explained

Posted: 06 January 2021

Eventually every manufacturing business will apply IoT technology in some shape or form. 

Manufacturing businesses can have numerous machines working on a production line, and if they are all communicating with each other at high speed, productivity and efficiency can benefit dramatically.

Manufacturers also usually have critical high-value equipment which could be difficult and expensive to repair or replace, and even a short period of outage can incur huge costs. Introducing smart devices can help predict or prevent breakdowns and mitigate these risks.

Manufacturing equipment can incorporate connected sensors, or these sensors can be attached to equipment retrospectively (turning it into an IoT enabled device). For example, in equipment such as pumps or turbines, the sensor can be attached to collect acoustics, vibration or temperature data. The data can then be collected and utilised to predict and prevent failures, and plan maintenance ensuring minimal disruption.
Telematics is one type of smart technology that is the most prevalently utilised in a commercial setting. The main benefits are the reduction of risk, optimisation of operations, and ability to monitor the vehicle’s health through sensors. Businesses are also able to leverage other data such as GPS to feed into algorithms which calculate optimum routes between a number of locations, for example on a delivery schedule. 

 

New technology carries risks, so we should not expect vehicles with a high level of technological assistance to be risk free. However, this new generation of assisted or autonomous vehicles should overall prove safer than those driven manually.

In retail stores, smart sensors and cameras can be used to collect real-time data like foot traffic and customer behaviour. This insight can be used to adjust store layouts and customise shops to improve the shopping experience. 

The end customer will benefit by seeing better convenience and their shopping experience tailored to their wants and needs. Shop assistants will be able to spend more time looking after customers, as smart cameras will take care of the more mundane activities such as recording how customers move around the shop and which items are most frequently considered by them for purchase.

Implementing smart devices can help to break the barriers between online shopping and high street stores, moving towards a more seamless journey for customers. Retailers can use IoT devices to gather and analyse rich data to help optimise operations and the customer experience, whilst reducing theft. A topical example would be to use smart cameras to understand and optimise the flow of people in the shop in the context of social distancing – to ensure a safe environment for customers and staff.
High street shopping is having a hard time at the moment, so any technology which can help to optimise the customer experience can only be a good thing. If shopping in person becomes easier, then it can better compete with shopping online.

James Tucker
Transformational Propositions Manager
Allianz UK

As Transformational Propositions Manager, my job is to help with the development of new, disruptive propositions for our customers at Allianz. I provide both strategic and technological input as well as manage the various projects and proof of concepts we are running. 

Shanna Serrano
Transformational Propositions Consultant
Allianz UK

As a Transformational Propositions Consultant, I explore and prototype new value propositions in order to make step changes in market. This means investigating opportunities and challenges across our business by delving into customers’ needs and problems to find solutions. One of my specialisation areas is the Internet of Things in the commercial setting and its application.  

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Commentary and guidance in this article are provided for information purposes only and are not intended to amount to advice on which reliance should be placed.  Readers should seek further advice when dealing with their individual and particular situations. Allianz Insurance plc shall have no liability for any action taken as a result of and in reliance on the information contained in this article.