Transforming the supply chain with IIoT and automation

December 03, 2021 // By Eric Wendt
Transforming the supply chain with IIoT and automation
The supply chain has been continually evolving over the years with the rise of advanced technologies like sensors and Artificial Intelligence (AI), with the goal of keeping the supply chain lean. Technology like IoT sensors and AI can help create a more robust system and fix many of the cracks in the supply chain revealed by the pandemic.

Lessening the amount of inventory in the pipeline means using components and raw materials in the most efficient and cost-effective ways, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it caused disruptions in the global supply chain like never seen before – from lumber to chicken wings, and of course, electronics components.

An initial dramatic drop in end product demand sent a shock through the system, and later on in the pandemic we experienced the exact opposite issue amidst a surge of demand for products and a delivery and inventory storage shortage. This revealed major shortcomings in the supply chain – mainly, a lack of robustness. The process had become so centralized that when an event affected even just one manufacturer, it had a broad impact around the world. When demand came back so rapidly, the supply chain was not robust or diverse enough to bring enough raw material into factories, and many of them shut down entirely. The labour shortage also added to the disruption – with closures or staff shortages causing delays in steps along the entire supply chain.

Technology like IoT sensors and AI can help create a more robust system and fix many of the cracks in the supply chain revealed by the pandemic. The impact the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has already had on the manufacturing industry and the supply chain as a whole cannot be understated, as it enables new functionalities and more intelligent, predictive, and proactive processes that lead to enhanced efficiencies. Let’s dive in to how these technologies are already transforming the supply chain for the better.

Improved asset tracking

IIoT is bringing sensor usage to a new level, primarily when it comes to asset tracking for assessing where assets are in the supply chain at any given time. For example, if a container has an asset tracker, a customer can see if that container is still on a ship or if it

Picture: 
Eric Wendt, director of automation and electrical products for Digi-Key Electronics

Vous êtes certain ?

Si vous désactivez les cookies, vous ne pouvez plus naviguer sur le site.

Vous allez être rediriger vers Google.