The United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade hosted an Internet of Things showcase on Capitol Hill today. The showcase was followed by a hearing in the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee called “The Internet of Things: Exploring the Next Technology Frontier.” NAM members companies Toyota, BigAssSolutions and Corning were front and center at both events sharing with Members of Congress and the general public the transformative impact the IoT will have on our industry.
Big Ass Solutions was one of the demonstrators that brought their technology in from Kentucky to share with lawmakers how the IoT is driving solutions for their customers – and saving them money on their utility bills. ABB shared with Members of Congress its Asset Health Center which allows utilities to leverage new smart grid technology investments. Toyota highlighted the features of its Lexus Enform connected services which enhance the driver experience with new navigation, safety, and maintenance features. Fiber optic manufacturer Corning, Inc. displayed how their latest technology is connecting the IoT and helping to deliver big data to every corner of the manufacturing supply chain.
At the hearing following the showcase, Members of Congress turned their attention to this new economic engine and what role government can play. Rose Schooler from NAM-member Intel Corporation’s Internet of Things group testified how her company has deployed the IoT in its facilities and how it has saved money and lowered product costs. She cited the excellent opportunity the IoT has for all manufacturers in the form of predictive maintenance, improved yields, and increased uptimes on shop floors.
As the hearing progressed, the Members of Congress and the witnesses coalesced around a number of themes. They all stressed the need for government and industry to work together to ensure this revolutionary technology benefits all Americans. There was agreement that protection of private consumer information is of paramount importance and security and privacy features must be included at the beginning of the design and manufacturing processes. And last but not least, there was consensus that America holds the technology leadership in this space but if the United States does not come together on a national strategy to leverage the IoT, we risk falling behind those countries that already have.
The NAM is addressing these issues with more than 120 manufacturing executives in Chicago on Monday, March 30. We encourage you to follow us here on ShopFloor as well as on Twitter for live updates on what other leading manufacturers are saying about this tremendous and transformative opportunity.