In today’s world – it seems like everything is “smart.” We have smart homes, smart cars, and smart phones. Automation and connection are a part of our daily lives in ways that were only imagined a mere 10 to 15 years ago. For the manufacturing industry specifically, the proliferation of smart tech is presenting new opportunities on a global scale. We call this tech “The Internet of Things (IoT)” and “Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)” – or the collection of devices and the information “highways” they take to reach each other.
Today, connectivity and device performance is at the forefront of what’s next for the manufacturing industry. In this article, we’ll explore some of the benefits of current technology, and what’s on the horizon.
Telecommunications, oil and gas industries, as well as power generation, have been already reaping the benefits from IoT devices implanted into distant control systems. Remote production control allows for efficient, centralized supervision for multiple machines. This reduces overhead costs, and mitigates mistakes and miscommunications on and off the factory floor.
In the manufacturing industry, operational efficiency is highly dependent on equipment maintenance. In factory settings particularly, if one segment of the mechanism fails, the entire assembly can be affected. To prevent these issues, keeping a digital monitoring system connected to the condition of the machinery prevents costly issues and allows for efficient preventative care. Within the scope of IoT solutions, much of this reporting is automated – making it cost effective in addition to time efficient.
Maintaining consistent records on machines, supplies, containers, and finished goods also assists in operational efficiency. Having accurate records and tracking delivered to the right devices at the right time helps management make informed decisions to avoid supply chain flow.
Once a product is ready for distribution – the responsibility of a manufacturing company doesn’t stop there. Managing the transportation portion of the supply chain requires ongoing monitoring. IoT devices and systems provide consistent, reliable tracking of the shipping fleet vehicles, drivers, and delivery status. It can also effectively monitor fuel costs and maintenance diagnostics to keep your products moving.
Both on and off site safety protocols and monitoring increases the safety for manufacturing employees and mitigates costly risk. When paired with wearable devices, IIoT allows monitoring of workers’ health state and risky activities that can lead to injuries. Along with ensuring workers’ safety, IIoT addresses safety problems in potentially hazardous environments often found in factory environments.
Better Connectivity for Manufacturing
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