Vertical Market Spotlight—IoT in the US Manufacturing Industry, an End-User Perspective

Emerging Growth Opportunities for IoT Service Providers Focusing on Asset Management and Supply Chain Solutions
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Published: 19 Dec 2017

In the overall Internet of Things (IoT) market, industrial applications have gained the most traction, as traditional systems are in need of automation to collect data and prevent downtime in systems. In the manufacturing sector, applications such as asset monitoring and supply chain or logistics are being implemented globally, as manufacturers seek improved operations and data collection. Connecting older machines would require investments in the millions. Most manufacturers amortize these machines over many years. As the majority of manufacturers are small, with fewer than 500 employees, investment in redesigning factories or purchasing connected machines is not an option. However, these manufacturers are looking for low-cost solutions to collect data from machines and automating the process to reduce downtime and unplanned maintenance. Keeping these factors in mind, this study aims to understand customer motivations and purchasing behavior for IoT solutions in the manufacturing sector. The manufacturing industry has been very receptive to implementing smart IoT solutions to improve productivity and reduce waste. Between April and June 2017, Frost & Sullivan conducted an end-user survey to understand the motivations behind implementing these solutions and types of technology that customers were looking to procure. This study is a culmination of these efforts to better understand the customers in manufacturing and provide insights to vendors and service providers looking to sell IoT solutions to this industry. The survey covered 150 respondents in North America over process and discrete manufacturing, and includes breakdown by small, medium and large manufacturers. One key finding is that Smart IoT solutions are perceived mainly as a way to achieve operational efficiency, effectiveness, and overall competitiveness. About 1 out of 2 companies is driven by a desire to be on the cutting edge of manufacturing technologies and to be more responsive to market conditions.

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