February 18, 2014
The manufacturing sector has traditionally implemented a variety of wired networks to automate plant floor operations. However, emerging machine-to-machine (M2M) systems, such as short-range wireless and long-range cellular networks, are offering alternatives to factories. M2M systems can supplement or replace wired networks to enable advanced robotics and enterprise mobility on the plant floor, enabling connectivity in inaccessible areas, communication across barriers, and simplified installation based on wireless local area, wide area, and sensor networks.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “M2M Communication in Manufacturing,” finds that telecommunication companies (telcos) will be an important stakeholder in the provision of M2M solutions and the growth of the Internet of Things in the manufacturing sector in Europe.
The pace at which M2M communication is adopted may, however, be slow as the traditionally conservative manufacturing sector will be apprehensive about potential downtime and the risk to the value and quality of output. Security concerns also can make manufacturers reluctant to use wireless networks. Apart from these technical challenges, the relative inexperience of telcos in this market dissuades manufacturers from using their services.
Educating manufacturers on the benefits of advanced M2M technologies, ensuring secure functioning of wireless networks, and consulting with manufacturers to tailor solutions to their unique requirements will help telcos make smart manufacturing a reality that much quicker.