Infinite IoT: IoT is Changing the Manufacturing Industry

A massive influencer in the manufacturing industry is a growth strategy, consulting, and venture development firm, Harbor Research. Glen Allmendinger, President,and Founder of Harbor Research joined Infinite IoT’s Mat Ackley to discuss the IoT trends affecting the manufacturing landscape and how this technical innovation is driving growth.

IoT has gained familiarity over the past several years, but as Allmendinger pointed out, manufacturing’slegacy with IoT goes back to the 1980s, when computers first began integrating with machines. “What’s happened is networks allowed people to collect data,” Allmendinger said. Data started to impact how manufacturers organize and think about running their operations, which has been quite an evolution.”

There are many technological innovations for manufacturing, but it can be a challenge to sift through them to make the critical strategic decisions to make the most optimal and efficient operations. That’s where Harbor Research comes in. “Our role is an intermediary and interpreter between the technology supply side and the users and adopters of these technologies,” Allmendinger said.

Anyone in manufacturing knows that equipment isn’t free. Legacy equipment must be adaptable to take advantage of new technologies such as 5G. So, what is the impact of trying to integrate such legacy systems with the latest and greatest technology?

“If you look at all those legacy systems, people aren’t going to rip all that stuff out; they will evolve it over time,” Allmendinger said. “But the value of 5G in this story, probably more than anything else, think of it like throwing a blanket over a plant that can collect data from all those legacy systems. If you understand the evolution of networking and computing, and manufacturing in general, you have this IT/OT story. And in many respects, those worlds have been engulfed, historically, but they can now come together.”

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