Industrial and manufacturing businesses are advancing with technology in a series of leaps and bounds. Whether it’s the adoption of industrial IoT (in 2019, nearly half of surveyed industrial manufacturers were already utilizing IoT-related solutions for logistics, supply chains and customer experience), AI or robotics, the landscape of manufacturing facilities is changing. As a result, industrial parks have become hubs for digital transformation. However, for the industry to enable its IT transformations and sustain the pace of its evolution, the networks that support these parks must first be capable of handling highly demanding technologies.
Slow, unreliable networks are kryptonite for data-centric, always-on, smart applications like IoT, AI and robotics. To gather real-time information and provide timely feedback to manufacturing personnel and systems (say, for predictive maintenance or other monitoring processes), all nodes and technical systems must be highly available, responsive, and able to transfer data at a lightning-fast speed.
Before we delve into the importance of the network for industrial transformation, let’s take a look at a few exciting use cases that are changing the face of the industry as we know it — and changing infrastructural demand from manufacturing organizations too.
Next-Gen Industry: What Does it Look Like?
Requirements for factories are evolving. Global demand for products and materials is climbing ever higher, and efficiency levels must remain at an all-time high to cater to these needs. As a result, new and innovative methods are crucial for reducing instances of errors and keeping machinery and operations running smoothly. Furthermore, as the pace of industry increases, personnel need to be kept safe and informed about a host of new variables across the manufacturing floor.
Technologies like AI and IoT are the keys to improving efficiency, system visibility and operational management. With Artificial Intelligence and IoT sensors, pieces of machinery across the factory can practically talk to one another — and to the teams that manage them. Whether something is not functioning right or a part is due for replacement, personnel can be notified so the problem can be quickly and safely resolved, and all other elements of the assembly line can adjust to ensure neither the factory environment nor the product is compromised.
When it comes to customer experience and retention, manufacturing is incorporating technology that allows for better interaction, reduced response time and increased quality control. Any necessary communications can be done in real-time with online platforms and chatbots, and crucial customer insights about products (if any recalls become necessary, for instance) can be made quickly and reliably. This not only helps develop brand loyalty for businesses but also keeps the consumer safe and informed.
As more data is collected and managed, much of manufacturing management is also moving to the cloud — much like many other industries are looking to the cloud for increased agility, mobility, availability and more. Still, while all of these components offer necessary advantages for the competitive manufacturer, they do require more advanced network resources. Now, network improvement is the task that many industrial parks are faced with as businesses look to incorporate more innovative technological strategies.
Manufacturing a Better Network
High-capacity, high-speed. and highly reliable fiber networks are the new, undeniable backbone infrastructure that manufacturing businesses must have access to keep pace with digital transformation.
Not only does the right network enable IoT nodes and AI applications to gather and share data in real-time, but it also offers the speed and latency necessary to run cloud-based programs. Furthermore, to meet production quotas and keep mission-critical operations on track, a truly robust network delivers protection against downtime and other security threats. The right network partner can offer all of this — along with scalability, around-the-clock support and more.
This is why Horizon delivers unlimited bandwidth capabilities and speeds up to 100 Gigabits per second. With flexible fiber solutions, businesses can enjoy custom-designed options that fit every individual need — whether data needs to be shared across many industrial locations, or networks need to cater to massive amounts of information from next-gen applications. Whether you’re looking for a new Ethernet service, a dark fiber solution, or a complicated multi-site dedicated and managed solution, we’ve got you covered — with 24/7/365 support through our local Network Operations team to boot.
Learn more about our fiber networking solutions here.