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As intelligent, connected products become prevalent and data is streaming back from the field, there will be profound implications for product design and development across industries.

Through the Internet of Things (IoT), one of the largest opportunities for ROI gains in manufacturing is currently with industrial equipment.

Imagine if you could determine if a component choice for a product is the right one based on how it actually performs rather than just supplier relationships?

What if your products could automatically monitor their own performance and predict future health and maintenance?

Imagine if you had insights into how your customer is actually using your product and could predict how they’ll use it in the future?

The IoT is making all of this possible. And it is elevating design and engineering’s ability to drive innovation, value and personalization in the next iteration of industrial products and parts.

And when you think of how one minor modification for efficiency could lead to millions of dollars in savings, the opportunities are truly phenomenal.

The challenge for the engineering department is how to effectively integrate information from the IoT into the product development process and into the product lifecycle management (PLM) system so it can be made actionable and truly drive innovation.

On March 16, I will be at ACE 2016, the annual meeting of the Aras User Community, where I will talk more about how these changes will impact the business of engineering and transform the way manufacturing companies deliver value utilizing a combination of cloud, analytics and PLM technologies.

If you are in the Detroit area and interested in improving your PLM initiatives, ACE is a great way to discover new technology and hear the latest about PLM and Aras.

I’ll also share my thoughts from the conference later this month.

LinkedIn: Simon Floyd

Twitter: @FloydInnovation