These days, any organisation that hasn’t dipped its toe into the internet of things (IoT) technologies risks dropping to the back of the race.

After all, it’s IoT devices that are helping businesses optimise their operations, boost innovation, improve quality, get to market faster, and keep their competitive edge — and the electronics manufacturing industry is no exception.

In fact, a recent study discovered the value of IoT in the manufacturing industry is expected to reach $397.86 billion (£321.25 billion) by 2026.

For future-focused electronic manufacturers, investing in the internet of things is the best way to stay ahead of the curve and improve your bottom line.

Benefits of IoT in manufacturing

The internet of things is already transforming many companies across the industrial electronics sectors — and here is how…

Boosted productivity

Perhaps the most significant benefit of IoT for electronics manufacturers is that it increases productivity by eliminating repetitive tasks with autonomous manufacturing.

Thanks to IoT robotics and automated machinery that can operate 24/7, workers can focus on strategic and more responsive tasks — boosting output and becoming more competitive.

Reduced errors

By digitising many manual processes and entries, manufacturers can reduce the biggest risk associated with manual labour: human error.

With significantly fewer defective items coming off the production line, businesses become more profitable due to increased customer satisfaction and brand reputation.

Cost savings

Manufacturers can save significant costs by utilising IoT-connected devices to streamline their workflows, reduce downtime, save on labour efforts and improve product quality.

Plus, using IoT technology for data-driven insights into operations, production, marketing, sales and trend forecasting can even steer businesses towards higher profits.

Applications of connected devices

Clearly, there are many upsides of IoT. But how can this technology be successfully utilised within your electronics manufacturing business?

Predictive maintenance

IoT sensors can monitor machinery performance in real-time, predicting possible breakdowns or errors.

For manufacturers, this can prevent costly downtime and increase overall equipment effectiveness.

Real-time data monitoring

Tracking and collecting real-time data has numerous benefits for electronics manufacturers.

Firstly, connecting with and drawing data from machines on the shop floor gives supervisors and managers visibility and the chance to identify and fix problems at the root of the cause.

The internet of things also boosts performance in areas vital for mass customisation — such as inventory, operations and supply chain management.

By informing manufacturers of the exact status of every item at each part of the production line and supply chain, IoT enables cost-effective mass production of customised products.

Asset tracking

From keys and computer screens to warehouse machinery, most businesses rely on various tools and equipment to get the job done.

So, companies need to track where their assets are, who is using them and what condition they are in — as this can directly impact their bottom line and security.

The power of IoT means real-time asset tracking applications can now be conducted remotely at the touch of a button, allowing for 24/7 monitoring of anything from equipment and tools to employees and vehicles.

Staff safety

If an accident occurs, all staff can be alerted, operations can cease and the incident can be resolved. With collected data, IoT technology can also help prevent a repeat occurrence in the future.

Some manufacturers are also starting to introduce wearable IoT devices among their teams.

Wearables can monitor work conditions and alert employees to any missed safety procedures, allowing them to correct their actions and stay protected on the job.

Considerations for electronics manufacturers

Despite its many advantages, introducing IoT technologies into the electronics manufacturing industry will inevitably still face challenges…

With so much data collected and stored in the cloud, the issue of cyber security is prominent. Manufacturers must set up robust safety processes and disaster recovery plans to ensure that their systems — and businesses — are appropriately secured to avoid any sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.

It is also fair to say that IoT is an investment for manufacturers. The initial implementation is costly — and maintenance will need to be carried out by a skilled professional, adding further expenses. Manufacturers should weigh up the costs and benefits of IoT technology, ensuring it is suitable for their business.

Plus, as technologies become smarter by the minute, companies will need to upskill their workforces for these new technical roles — and factories must prepare their teams for this new pace of advanced technology.

However, instead of replacing electronics manufacturers, IoT technologies can enhance and expand human skills — streamlining the workflow and helping businesses achieve more…

The future of IoT for your business

As IoT becomes more mainstream within the electronics industry, how critical will it be to the success of manufacturers to implement these technologies?

Like any emerging technology, there are still problems that need addressing. But going forward, we expect to see IoT positively impact operational processes and speed, as well as the trust and dependability of manufacturing companies.

Utilising this advanced technology has the potential to help manufacturers boost production and reach a bigger market — with electronic products and components that showcase a commitment to quality.

At Swan EMS, we are excited to see where the internet of things takes the manufacturing industry. Are you ready to reach new heights with IoT?

To discuss how our electronic manufacturing services can help with your next IoT project, get in touch at 01495 320 989 or email