Gaining the Technology Leadership Edge, Episode #58

The Critical Role of IoT in Modernizing Manufacturing and Bridging Technology Gaps

Show Notes

About the Guest(s):

Adam Livesay is a seasoned professional with over two decades of experience in the tech industry, primarily focusing on the fusion of technology with industrial and manufacturing processes. As a pioneer in the field of the Internet of Things (IoT), Adam has dedicated his career to bridging the gap between sophisticated machinery and the pivotal business systems which inform and streamline their use. His work involves integrating advanced sensors and technology to create smarter, more user-friendly machines. Currently, he is significantly contributing to the IoT space, applying his expertise to revolutionize industrial operations through innovative solutions.

Episode Summary:

In this episode of “Gaining the Technology Leadership Edge,” host Mike welcomes guest Adam Livesay to discuss the transformative impact of IoT in the industrial sector. At the core of this episode lies a conversation that delves deep into Adam’s journey within the tech world, specifically his contributions towards making industrial machinery more intelligent and interconnected.

Adam’s initial interest in IoT was sparked by observing a substantial gap in the ability of industrial companies to relay crucial machine data back to their businesses. This recognition led to the founding of his company, which aims to revolutionize manufacturing by harnessing the power of connected systems. Adam discusses the challenges faced during the early days, from educating an industry unfamiliar with IoT to adapting to nascent technology frameworks. Further along, he shares pride in his team’s expertise and the significant progress they’ve made.

With remarkable technological strides, Adam’s company is popularly coined as the “Fitbit for machines,” offering unparalleled real-time insights into machine health and performance. The unique ability to update software across various industrial components sets them apart in the market. As the conversation unfolds, Adam provides a glimpse into the future of IoT, underscoring a shift towards smarter edge computing and the potential of AI to empower manufacturers with rich, actionable data.

Key Takeaways:

  • The adoption of IoT in manufacturing is closing the information gap, leading to smarter, more efficient machines.
  • One of the biggest challenges in the IoT space has been educating the industry and developing robust tech infrastructure.
  • Adam’s company is frequently referred to as the “Fitbit for heavy machinery,” highlighting its pivotal role in machine health and performance monitoring.
  • The capability to remotely update software across various suppliers’ components is a profound differentiator for Adam’s company.
  • Looking ahead, Adam anticipates the rise of smarter edge computing and AI integration to drive industry-wide innovation.

Notable Quotes:

  • “We’re working with their competitors right below them. Right. And these are folks that don’t have massive budgets to build their own IoT team and solutions.”
  • “If we could get data off these machines, we could, we could inevitably build these machines.”
  • “The very inefficient design work, and not for the fault of the people designing the machines, the fact they didn’t have the data and the information to be able to design a better machine.”

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Episode Details

Harnessing IoT’s Potential in Industrial Innovation: Lessons from Elevāt’s Trailblazing Journey

The rapid ascension of the Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized industries by connecting devices and systems in ways that once seemed fantastical. Elevāt, a company rooted in advancing IoT within the heavy machinery space, embodies this transformation. Their tech-forward solutions, which resemble a Fitbit for machines, signify a significant industrial shift. Adam Livesay, co-founder and a key player in Elevāt’s rise, shares insights into the journey, challenges, and breakthroughs of integrating IoT in manufacturing and industrial applications.

Key Takeaways

  • Empowering Smaller Companies: By offering IoT solutions that help optimize and update machinery of all scales, Elevate levels the playing field for smaller manufacturing firms.
  • Navigation of Challenges: Overcoming technical and industry resistance, Elevate has facilitated a new information-driven paradigm for the manufacturing industry.
  • Foresight on Future Trends: Looking ahead, the integration of AI and smart edge technology with real-time data can greatly enhance decision-making in the industrial sector.

Pioneering IoT Adoption: Empowering the Underdogs

Bridging the IoT Knowledge Gap

Elevāt’s mission began by targeting a significant issue: a disparity in the adoption of IoT between large, budget-rich manufacturers and their smaller counterparts. Livesay notes, “we were not working with the largest companies… these are folks that don’t have massive budgets to build their own IoT team and solutions.” This observation led to a profound realization – the untapped potential of IoT in small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) presented not only a business opportunity for Elevāt but also a chance to democratize technology for manufacturers of various scales.

The Fitbit for Heavy Machinery: A Technology Equalizer

What differentiates Elevāt from the pack is its ability to update and manage software from various machinery suppliers. This effort is not just about including more data points but also about centralizing control, reducing design inefficiencies, and optimizing machine utilization. As Livesay emphasizes, this approach embodies the aim “to build something for the industry, from the industry.” By equipping smaller manufacturers with capabilities similar to their larger counterparts, Elevāt not only champions innovation but fosters an environment where David can indeed stand toe-to-toe with Goliath.

Overcoming Initial Resistance: The Education of IoT

The Premature Tech Landscape

In its early stages, IoT was a concept many could not fully grasp. Elevāt faced a myriad of challenges, such as a lack of understanding about APIs, cloud services, and data governance. Livesay recalls, “we’re talking visionary about what IoT is going to do… people thought we said IOU.” The role of educators emerged as equally crucial for Elevāte, highlighting the often-underappreciated necessity to align clients’ understanding with technological capabilities.

Balancing Vision with Pragmatism

Success depended not only on Elevāt’s innovative solutions but also on its ability to navigate premature technological conditions and barriers within the industry mindset. For Elevāt, progress meant not simply charging ahead with advanced tools but fostering an ecosystem where those tools could be effectively adopted and leveraged.

The IoT Frontier: AI and Smart Edge

AI: The Future Pathway to Efficiency

Elevāt predicts that machine learning and AI technologies will profoundly influence the industrial sector’s future. Livesay envisions a world where accumulated data interfaces with AI to predict maintenance needs, customize machine output, and refine operational efficiency. This proactive approach could revolutionize how companies approach design, supply chain, and customer service.

Smart Edge: Democratizing Data

The move towards smart edge technology illustrates a broader trend – the decentralization and democratization of data insights. Livesay forecasts an environment where peer-to-peer machine communication can happen on-site, allowing for a more intimate and immediate understanding of machine health and functionality.

A Reflection on Technological Trajectories

As technological adoption marches forward, the reflections of Adam Livesay shed light on how IoT and edge technologies might rewrite industrial narratives. The empowerment of smaller companies through Elevāt’s solutions betokens an era of greater inclusivity and efficiency in manufacturing. Tackling initial resistance head-on, Elevāt reinforces the notion that the future belongs to those who not only create but also educate. And with expected advances like AI, the future holds a promise of unlocking machine potential like never before. The collective industry stands to benefit from such foresight – embracing innovation, nurturing sustainability, and cultivating workforce development in harmony with these tech advancements.

Contact Information for Adam Livesay

Timestamp Summary
0:00:00 Adam discusses the implementation of IoT in industrial companies
0:01:20 Challenges faced in building Elevāt.IoT
0:03:13 The impact of advanced technology on IoT development
0:03:46 Adam’s pride in his experienced and passionate team
0:05:39 Adam describes his leadership style
0:07:58 Advice for new leaders: listen and understand different communication styles
0:10:57 The help desk lead learned about the dBA’s job and could support them more in the future.
0:11:32 Encouraging teamwork and respect for other positions.
0:12:49 Hiring internally for a better cultural fit.
0:13:37 Elevate is like the Fitbit for heavy machinery, monitoring important data for machine health and efficiency.
0:14:57 Elevate’s ability to remotely update software is a massive differentiator.
0:17:11 The next big trend in IoT for the industrial world is smart edge data sharing and AI services.
0:19:18 Real-time data from Elevate helps companies make informed choices about inventory, manufacturing, and sales.
0:21:53 Customers using real-time data to make business decisions.
0:23:11 Using focus groups to gather live data feedback.
0:24:01 Remote machine repair based on real-time data.
0:24:45 Inefficient design of machines and the need for data.
0:26:11 Innovation from small companies being swallowed by big companies.
0:27:19 Using Elevate technology in the 1980s to accelerate innovation.
0:29:28 Concerns about children being constantly connected to phones.
0:31:22 The importance of setting boundaries with phone usage for children.
0:32:11 Adam discusses how social media influences his workout habits.
0:32:37 Adam observes that younger kids use phones as learning tools.
0:33:01 Adam expresses hope that the younger generation will use phones less.
0:34:11 Mike shares Gary Vaynerchuk’s prediction about live streaming.
0:35:05 Mike expresses his concerns about live streaming becoming popular.
0:35:34 Adam hopes that younger generations will resist excessive phone use.
0:35:53 Adam acknowledges the challenge of fighting against social media addiction.
0:36:01 Adam shares his contact information and invites further discussion.
0:36:14 Mike concludes the conversation and thanks Adam for his time.