IoT in Manufacturing- Top Industry 4.0 Use Cases for Manufacturing Businesses

Updated on Dec 2nd, 2022


IoT implementation has been changing the face of industries. Business-centric IoT app is helping businesses drive value in core processes and reimagine how they serve the customers. As one of the early adopters of IoT, the manufacturing industry is leading the front with Industry 4.0.

The fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing, is completely altering the production lines for the better. From machines being able to communicate with each other to automation that boosts productivity, industry 4.0 has enabled manufacturing businesses to smarten their processes. It is no wonder that the industry 4.0 market is expected to reach 267.01 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 20.71% from 2021 to 2026.

The need for manufacturing brands to become resilient in the post-pandemic era is further attributed to the adoption of industry 4.0. Let’s catch up on how industrial 4.0 is beginning an all-new generation of manufacturing.

  • Adoption of industry 4.0 is a must-have for the manufacturing businesses to stay relevant and competitive. 
  • Industry 4.0 is a notion that focuses on making manufacturing units smarter. 
  • IoT helps manufacturing businesses in multiple ways, covering all its bases for automation and high value. 

What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 or industrial revolution 4 is a globally adopted term to smarten the manufacturing process and capitalize on automation to build smart factories. It offers a notion of the manufacturing process with a smooth paradigm shift from a central industrial control system to a process where smart products define the next step.

Manufacturers operating on the industry 4.0 model leverage an autonomous decision-making model, asset tracking, and real-time process monitoring to create value focused on the personalization of the products.

Industrial 4.0 Use Cases for Manufacturing Industry


Increased Efficiency

Every manufacturing business is exploring ways to maximize efficiency. IoT brings them the right set of tools and technologies to reach this goal. IoT-based software solutions allow companies to capitalize on data-driven insights and create actionable insights that boost productivity. Here’s how:

Visibility into the Process

IoT allows real-time visibility into the production floor. This enables managers to verify production quality even from remote locations, thereby saving time. Even during the system drop-off, resources can be deployed automatically to continue the momentum of the equipment. This visibility leads to optimized resource allocation and deployment.

Automation for Better Results

Process automation significantly reduces manual labor and improves product quality. This also ensures optimum efficiency even in conditions when manual work is limited. Resources can also focus on other tasks that require hands-on experience.

Higher Accuracy

IoT and automation increase accuracy a lot. As a result, more units are produced with fewer instances of measurement errors. Since the unit measurement is automated and the production environment is constantly monitored, overages and short runs are eliminated, and inventory is more precise.

Automated Data-driven Decision-making

Since machines are involved in the decision-making process, much time is saved finding solutions during a system failure or insufficient inventory. For example, if one of the machines runs technical issues, IoT devices can quickly calculate how much effort will be required per machine to match the desired output.

Predictive Maintenance 

  • Unplanned downtime costs $50 billion annually to industrial manufacturers.
  • Aging equipment is the leading cause of unplanned downtimes.
  • The average cost per hour of equipment downtime is $260,000.  

These statistics are clear indicators of why 80% of the manufacturers consider predictive maintenance part of a multi-faceted maintenance strategy.

Predictive maintenance aims at proactive maintenance planning to avoid unexpected equipment downtimes. IoT devices like sensors are installed with the machines to analyze the conditions constantly. They also check the determinants to identify potential malfunctions and send an alert to the authorized personnel. Once the data is collected, it is analyzed on various KPIs to generate reports. Having the maintenance schedule beforehand allows managers to plan resources for the task and shift the load accordingly.

The comprehensive predictive maintenance system benefits the overall production in multiple ways:


Reduced Maintenance Costs

Machines depend on regular maintenance. However, untimely maintenance can hamper the budget. Predictive maintenance allows for scheduling preemptive maintenance routines to reduce downtime.

Better Asset Reliability

Unplanned maintenance and equipment failure causes production efficiency to decrease significantly. This also impacts the company's bottom line. Having forecasts in advance allows for efficient machine usage and avoids unexpected failures.

Better Machine Life
Improve Worker Safety and Compliance

Having real-time data about machine conditions like temperature, RPM, voltage, etc., allows you to flag potentially hazardous situations. Once you know, you can avoid the situation and take precautions measures.

Improved Worker Safety and Compliance

Manufacturing employees are susceptible to a wide range of hazards that can be life-threatening. This has forced businesses to deploy IoT solutions to ensure worker safety and compliance at the workplace. While one of the facets of this application has been discussed above, that’s not it.  

Real-time Monitoring

IoT-powered smart cameras and wearables allow managers to track workers' actions in real-time. For instance, smart devices such as accelerometers and GPS sensors installed in the workers' hats can send emergency alerts to the managers in case of events like a slip, improper posture, etc. This way, they can take emergency measures on time. Wearable also protects workers against unhealthy working environments like chemical overuse. Data from these sensors can also help workers improve the operating environment based on the results.

Safety Systems with Legacy Solutions

IoT can connect existing legacy systems like fire suppression systems and HVAC. This gives managers remote access to this legacy system which they can use in emergency conditions if required. These systems can also be used to detect potential security hazards like temperature increases, chemical release, water penetration, etc., along with spreading speed. Therefore, managers can take the right measures on time and eliminate the life risk.

Quality Control

Quality assurance is an important aspect of the manufacturing process. A small defect in the raw material or inaccurate measurement can lead to big problems. For instance, if the amount of certain raw material exceeds or precedes the required quality in the pharmaceutical industry, it can lead to loss of life. This not just creates a big legal issue for the business but also accounts for life-threatening outcomes.

When the processes are manual, such issues are bound to creep in at one point or another. The carelessness of production staff or manual problems such as tiredness, boredom, and drowsiness can impact the quality of deliverables and hence, the production outcomes.

IoT solves this issue for manufacturing businesses. IoT and AI combinations allow for high-quality inspection at every stage of development. It eliminates the manual process to minimize risk to the quality and decrease the instances of scrap or defect rejects. Defect identification with IoT is also quicker, thus ensuring a faster turnaround.  

Real-time Monitoring

IoT systems use computer vision technology to monitor the manufacturing process in real-time constantly. This allows error detection during the production phase and their automatic correction. This system can also seamlessly work under conditions where human intervention is impossible, for instance, in heat furnaces, chemical labs, etc.

End of Line Quality Assurance

IoT devices like sensors can also be installed to automate defect tracking at the end of the line. These systems use past data and accurate monitoring to ensure no faulty products are scraped. Additionally, they detect microscopic inaccuracies, which may be hard to notice manually.

Asset Tracking

Asset tracking and management have been a critical part of the manufacturing businesses. Traditional systems leveraged satellite and cellular technology to track assets. While the technologies delivered fairly good results, they were technically incompetent, expensive, and did not optimize asset monitoring.

The problems with traditional asset tracking systems encouraged businesses to opt for IoT-powered solutions. Here is how various parts of the manufacturing industry benefit from IoT-based asset tracking:

Read More: How can IoT Improve the Retail Industry?

a. Supply Chain and Logistics

Sometimes, it is required for businesses to track high-value assets on the move. Tracking them in real-time gives managers and business owners peace of mind and makes delivery more efficient. IoT systems enable businesses to gain visibility of the supply chain and know the exact location of the asset, the status of delivery, the condition of an asset, and more.

b. Facility Monitoring

Smart surveillance systems allow managers to know about asset conditions on the floor and make informed decisions. Cameras and sensors are installed within the facilities to track any illegal activity like theft. Once these problems are detected, managers are alerted by the system to take timely action. Similarly, in case of misplacement, the assets can be located to avoid any problems.

c. Inventory and Warehouse Management

Imagine if the production requires one of the raw materials that will soon run out. While manual methods may not be as efficient in detecting such conditions, IoT-powered facilities can. They can send alerts to the managers to order the raw material and even plan the machine output to manage the existing resources optimally. Some of the IoT solutions can also order the raw materials if they run below a threshold value to ensure continuity.


Is Your Manufacturing Business Ready for the Wave of Industrial 4.0?

Industrial automation has been making it to the headlines for now. It is the preferred way for manufacturing businesses to foster evolution, development, and advancement in their factories. While enhancing the processes at their core, IoT-powered systems also allow them to perform product testing, inspection, assembling, heavy-lifting, and more. These factors are expected to continue to bolster the industry’s adoption in the upcoming years.

We at Matellio offer the right technology solutions to the manufacturing businesses on their way to digitalization. Our specialized IoT teams combined with excellent mobile, web, and custom ERP developers help you identify the gaps in your processes and address them with the right digital products. Our state-of-the-art product design and development lab is well equipped to create experiences that enable you to optimize the manufacturing processes and harness long-term value from your investment in IoT-based manufacturing solutions.

We pride ourselves on our IoT development capabilities, that include: 

  • Infrastructural competence to create cutting-edge IoT hardware and software products
  • Experience in building IoT products for diverse industry verticals
  • Certification in the futuristic technology stack
  • Secure data management policies
  • Support for management of legacy and advanced devices
  • High performing analytics and data collection 

Let us know your goals with IoT implementation, and we’ll build the right IoT team for you to achieve them. Share your requirements right away. 

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