Modern tools and equipment are built for the Internet of Things (IoT), offering easy, plug-and-play connectivity options to share and use data across the entire manufacturing process. However, most manufacturing plants still contain assets that pre-date these innovations, making full IoT deployment a challenge. Nevertheless, manufacturers that fail to integrate these legacy systems do so at their peril. When unlocked, the quantity and value of data produced by older equipment and systems contribute to an IoT-based system that can transform not only operations but the entire business.
The data within legacy equipment is relatively untapped. Siemens estimates that only 3% of the world’s machines within plants are monitored because so much of the world’s industrial capacity involves outdated infrastructure—much of it decades old with limited digital electronics or communications features if any.