The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the growing network of connected products that is changing manufacturing at a scope comparable to the Industrial Revolution. IoT is inevitably changing how engineers design products. While the mechanical engineer of the future needs the same foundation of technical skills and savvy for creative problem-solving as always, additional characteristics will soon be necessary.
What is the Internet of Things
By now you have probably heard the hype surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart products. In a way, it is analogous to the dawn of the desktop computer.
Maybe the notion that computers would populate desks seemed implausible at first, but the new technology had significant impacts in time – everyone has some kind of desktop or portable device today.
The Internet of Things may feel like an overused term, but it has real benefits for engineers, businesses and consumers. IoT introduces countless opportunities to disrupt the status quo across top industries with reimagined products.
It offers enormous quantities of product performance data, functions that improve consumer experiences, predictive maintenance possibilities, and new service lines, each paving new avenues for engineers to design better products.
In an increasingly connected world, engineers are uniquely positioned to steer the course of innovation by embracing IoT.
Why Does IoT Matter?
A massive network of disruptive smart products will require learning new skills and adapting to changing industries, but the payoff will be great for engineers, businesses and consumers. As a mechanical engineer, you will most immediately gain from closed loop design, while benefits such as increased consumer value, predictive maintenance, and new service lines ultimately involve a bigger picture of IoT for business operations.
Closed Loop Design
Engineers can acquire a more complete picture of how products perform in the real world and apply these insights to improve future designs.
Increased Consumer Value
Consumers have a better experience with products that can communicate valuable information with them. Smart products have a greater capacity to cater to the needs of users, adding convenience and flexibility with improved functions.
Data about ambient conditions and product performance helps to prevent unplanned downtime as maintenance can be executed before failures occur. This increases customer satisfaction and machine uptime.
New Service Lines
Businesses can obtain new revenue with IoT by offering maintenance programs, remote monitoring services, and software updates that make improvements with product fixes and new features.