The ROI of Wireless Sensors

October 13, 2016

These days, you can’t go five minutes without hearing about the “massive and fundamental” ways in which the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing our world, with connected devices impacting the way we live, the way we work— even the way we dress.

Networks of devices talking to each other, processing data from the physical world and turning it into useful information will become increasingly present in our daily lives. But they’re already transforming business operations in big industry across sectors worldwide.

Wireless Sensors, Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things
Called the next industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 predicts a new economic phase driven by a connected, analytics-focused and often automated manufacturing sector. McKinsey & Company describe this new era as a time in which “as objects become embedded with sensors and gain the ability to communicate, the new information networks promise to create new business models, improve business processes, and reduce costs and risks.”

We can’t ignore the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)– its rise, and subsequent impact on global economies is simply too great.

Industrial IoT is an expanding market. Industry ARC predicts the global industrial internet of things market is projected to “reach $123.8 billion by 2021” and forecasts that market to grow at a CAGR of 21% through 2016 to 2021.”

Industrial IoT is helping drive economic growth. According to Accenture, “current policy and investment trends in IIoT products and technologies” can help stimulate economies across the globe. Research points to “cumulative real GDP contributions of US$10.6 trillion by 2030” with a potential to rise up to US$14.2 trillion.

Industrial IoT is driving profits. Cisco sees potential in IoT technology to “increase global corporate profits by about 21 percent,” anticipating shifts in market leadership, creating “new and redistributed value” depending on how well companies take advantage of the opportunities presented by the industrial internet of things. Even small changes can add significant value. A GE report on industrial connected devices emphasizes that “the compounding effects of even relatively small changes in efficiency across industries of massive global scale should not be ignored…even a one percent reduction in costs can lead to significant dollar savings when rolled up across industries and geographies.”

With so much opportunity in connected devices, how does the average business actually unlock the value of the industrial internet?

Wireless Sensors in Industrial IoT
With its low barrier of entry, no industrial IoT technology makes the benefits of connected devices more accessible to businesses than wireless sensors. Easy to deploy, scalable, and offering the greatest impact on operations with little overhead, wireless sensors are poised to bring the promise of Industry 4.0 to businesses of any size.

Wireless sensors are a major piece of the Industrial IoT pie. Connected devices are rapidly becoming key tools for business operations across sectors. Market trends reflect this evolution: Gartner predicts that IoT supplier revenue will reach $309 Billion by 2020– 10% of that revenue will come from sensors. Market Research Reports predicts that by 2021, 64% of sensors used in IoT will be deployed in industry.

There’s massive potential in sensory data. Wireless sensors offer businesses the opportunity to capture data from anywhere in the physical world, enabling measurement and optimization of manual processes, as well as the ability to get a truly complete overview of the business– breaking down silos between digital and physical business processes. Focusing on sensor driven computing as a key area of innovation and growth, SparkLab Ventures describes the data potential of Industrial IoT: “With over 13 billion connected devices in the world and millions more coming online every week, the amount of data that we are collecting is amazing. From street signals to manufacturing plants to construction cranes to jet engines, the aggregate data companies collect will be overwhelming and exciting at the same time.”

When it comes to data, long-term sustainability is key. Whether you’re working with two sensors, two thousand sensors, or none yet at all– chances are the volume of data you work with will rapidly expand in the coming five to ten years. Whatever size your business, it’s crucial to have a complete solution that can not only capture sensory data but refine it into actionable insights, complete with a solid and scalable cloud architecture to handle growing data needs. End to end solutions like the 30MHz Sensor Toolkit give you the power to analyze sensory data deeply, instantaneously and from any device, all on a network that’s designed to accommodate new sensors without interruption.

How do wireless sensors work in my business?
We believe that sensory insights can augment human capabilities to make organizations more effective, efficient and productive.  We built the 30MHz Sensor Toolkit to make it as easy as possible to apply data from the physical world to business decision-making. We link sensors of any kind, capturing any metric– whether it’s vibration, people counting, heat, moisture or any other metric our customers need– to a network providing real-time analytics, alerts and visualizations from locations and devices to a desktop, mobile or tablet. A scalable and expanding mesh network guarantees network stability even if an individual sensor goes down, and because sensors act as routers, network strength increases as more sensors are added.

What industries work with wireless sensors? Sensor technology is not just for the enterprise. Businesses of any size stand to benefit from measuring and optimizing their physical environments– even a few strategically sensors can have a significant impact. 30MHz works with customers in sectors ranging from ports, museums, agriculture, logistics, education and real estate. But as we’ve seen, the value of collecting insights from physical environments is universal.

What kind of metrics can I measure with wireless sensors?
The 30MHz Sensor Toolkit is built to connect to any sensor– making it easy to capture any metric on the physical world. Explore our sensors to see just a few of the metrics we work with and read our customer stories to see some of the ways our customers put wireless sensor technology into practice.

Are wireless sensors right for my business?
If you’re asking yourself whether wireless sensors could make a difference in your business, consider these benefits:

Wireless sensors make business decisions data-driven. Alerts and analytics on your office building, cargo ship or production line enable you to set strategic objectives, benchmark performance and ensure compliance. Real-time data keeps you up-to-speed on conditions as they develop, and historical data makes sure you’ve got the best information looking forward.

Sensory data enables evidence-based optimization in the real world. Digital marketers have been testing and optimizing the online business for years. Data captured by wireless sensors empowers businesses to test real-life operations based on real-time data, streamlining processes and cutting costs.

Wireless sensors break down barriers between the digital and physical business. The more information you have, the better your ability to make decisions. But the greatest advantage comes in observing how different variables work together. Wireless sensors help connect online and offline environments. Integrating physical insights into your online environment gives a truly 360 degree overview of your business.

Wireless sensors measure the previously unmeasurable. Wireless sensors can be placed anywhere, even in the most difficult to reach places or most extreme of environments. From sealed storage rooms to mooring posts on a harbor, they enable businesses to gather previously inaccessible insights and discover opportunities for cost-cutting and efficiency.

Wireless sensors turn any asset into a modern, connected device. Attaching a sensor helps extend the lifetime of any resource or piece of equipment. Wireless sensors track where your assets are, monitor their condition and save time by predicting upkeep needs.

Wireless sensors are a low-risk technology to implement. Because they’re inexpensive, scalable and easy to deploy without costly consulting or development, wireless sensors demonstrate the value of real-time environmental data immediately.

Have questions about how wireless sensors can transform your business? Let’s talk.

In the Netherlands this November? Join our seminar on the real-world business applications of IoT on November 17th at 30MHz headquarters, Prodock. Sign up here.

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