Lifting or lowering heavy objects is a crucial element of industrial sectors such as construction and building, transportation, and maritime logistics – a task typically performed by cranes. Advancements in cranes have further promoted their use in these companies, while miniaturization of cranes have made them applicable in industries like food and beverage and packaging. Likewise, mobile cranes are an evolved version of cranes that have rampantly gained global prominence over the few years. While conventional cranes are stationed in one position, mobile cranes use conveyor belts or wheels to transport heavy loads longer distances. However, the mobility of hefty objects continues to be limited to a minimal distance, and improper steering of mobile cranes can result in asset damage, product loss, and downtime.
For mobile cranes, evolving Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are now being touted as a resolute fix to their shortcomings. A recent study conducted by Future Market Insights projects that growth of the global market for Industrial IoT (IIoT)-enabled mobile cranes will be considerable. Future Market Insights anticipates that predictive analysis data garnered from Big Data technologies will indicate the construction & building industry as largest end-user of mobile cranes through 2026. The study further highlights how the adoption of IIoT technologies will be comparatively higher in Asia-Pacific region, while North American mobile cranes market will continue to grow at a sluggish pace. Some of the key benefits of employing IIoT technologies in mobile cranes include,
- Accelerating production by using improved data and analytics, and rectifying the existing pitfalls incurred during manufacturing
- Using multifunctional sensors and speedy data transfer systems for facilitating real-time monitoring of mobility
- Using machine learning (ML) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication to help develop a network of mobile cranes. Connectivity through M2M communications will lay down a networking framework for mobile cranes employed by a company. Software or intelligence programs will be developed through ML methods, enabling a cognitive response functionality for mobile cranes. Soon, smart mobile cranes will become an evolved variant of mobile cranes.
Nevertheless, irregular standardization is a significant challenge of incorporating IIoT technologies in the global mobile cranes market. Lack of standardization in terms of interoperability protocols and diverse operating architectures will give rise to incompatibility between multiple mobile cranes. However, the Industrial Internet Consortium has begun standardization of IIoT technologies, addressing this obstacle in the IIoT.