The Internet of Things Gets Real

Few new technologies have roiled manufacturing (and most other industries) as much and as completely as the Internet of Things, since, well, the Internet itself. From its inauspicious beginnings,the promise of IoT has captured the imagination of business thought leaders and technologists in every industry. (The term “Internet of Things” was first used in 1999 to link the nascent RFID technology to the internet.) But the time for imagining and speculation has past, as first-adopter executives begin to share the results of their IoT initiatives and describe what IoT can do—and has done—for the competitiveness of their businesses. Consider the experience of Navistar International Corp. (IW500/102), manufacturer of commercial trucks, buses, defense vehicles and engines. The company, which traces its history to 1831 when Cyrus McCormick invented the reaping machine,…


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