SCDigest Editorial Staff
As the number of networked pieces of equipment continues to explode, is it time for most manufacturers to develop a comprehensive machine-to-machine (M2M) strategy?
What is M2M?
There seems to be a number of definitions, and different opportunities across different industry sectors, but in general, M2M leverages connectivity to enable machines—including manufacturing and telecommunications equipment, data centers, storage tanks, property-security products, industry-specific assets such as public-utility systems, and even vending machines—to communicate directly with one another.
Inherently appealing, M2M technology may be coming to the fore at an opportune time for many manufacturing equipment providers facing aging work forces and high costs for on-site repair and service.
Benjamin Friedman, an analyst at IDC/Manufacturing Insights recently noted in a research report that M2M is not just a new type of technology, but also offers “a significant shift to not only current IT practice but also legacy operational and support processes, as well as long-standing corporate habits.”
In other words, M2M carries the potential to serve as a “game changer” that can dramatically reshape a company and how it goes to market, and how customers interact with their suppliers, taking the Internet to machines, and not just people.
“If manufacturers fail to consider the process changes resultant from the inclusion of M2M, opportunities will be missed for additional uses and applications of this framework,” Friedman says.
(Manufacturing Article - Continued Below)