Factories are full of automation. It is not surprising that even small productivity gains in factories have a significant scaling factor. Factory automation is a great place to test new ideas, as well as industrial efficiencies and cost-saving measures.
It should not be surprising that IoT is the next stage in digital transformation and offers a variety of applications for factory automation. These applications are a subset of the industrial Internet of Things Applications (IIoT).
As a result, reliable data collection and storage are the foundation of successful IoT rollouts. Beyond that, IoT offers unlimited opportunities.
Gathering Data and Unlocking Apps in Factories
Many applications that exist for IoT technology can be used in factory settings. Here are some templates:
- Remote monitoring of system health
- Asset tracking
- Tracking the process lifecycle
- Management of cold chain
- Safety monitoring for patients
Whatever the applications are, data collection and storage are fundamental to all of them. Above all, companies usually use IoT deployments with one goal in mind and expand to other purposes. In other words, after getting sensors out in the field (the factory), and collecting data, new possibilities open up for how to use that data.
With IoT, it is possible to use machine learning and other analytics to monitor and baseline the tracking capabilities. This will maximize the understanding and use of the sensor data.
The first step is to start with data, so, companies can move on to storytelling to find the meaning.
Increased productivity and efficiency
Most likely, productivity gains are the most important win for IoT in factories. Organizations can build more products with better quality and faster production through increased mechanization.
IoT, for example, allows remote access to any operation of machinery and devices that handle materials in the assemblage line. On the other hand, IoT systems can use advanced robotics technology to:
- Automate QA (Quality Assurance)
- Standardize product creation
- Reduce product error
- Improve product quality
- Speed up assembly line operations
Improve Inventory Management with Factory Automation
Remote monitoring of factory equipment can provide data that will allow for deeper insight into planning and procurement. An IoT system can inform employees when a material is running low by monitoring its fill levels.
It can also monitor material supply over the months to determine how often it needs to renew the material given a variety of factors. It alerts employees when there is a deficiency of material supply orders, thereby lowering unnecessary costs and optimizing stock procurement.
An IoT system can help you decide where to move equipment between different facilities. Also, the IoT system can determine, for example, which equipment needs to stop if there is high usage of one type of equipment in the facility.
Besides, an IoT system can collect data about the use patterns of specific equipment pieces to help determine when they should be maintained.
IoT systems can detect equipment errors by integrating with specific types of equipment. This allows for early flagging and reporting on the source. It is a time-saver for factory administrators, as it allows them to get more out of their equipment and improve safety for those who use it.
Improved Maintenance of Factory Facilities
Factory innovation is not possible without proper facility maintenance. Several factors can be monitored with an IoT system, such as:
- Power consumption
- Anomalies and flag maintenance requirements
- Energy intake
This will help to reduce energy costs and save money, so, companies can integrate security measures into its monitoring to provide peace of mind for facility owners.
Improve Employee Safety
IoT systems improve safety by allowing for less equipment faultiness, fewer product errors, and better process management. An IoT system can send critical information to employees and other data if there is a danger in the factory, for example, a fire or gas hazard.
Besides, Factory automation raises questions about labor. By increase factory automation, it will result in fewer factory jobs. It is possible. It is more likely that manufacturing jobs will change with deeper digital transformation.
However, this could increase employee safety and satisfaction by moving jobs from repetitive and tedious tasks to process management or system management territories. Monitoring the systems that do repetitive tasks can be done in this way. Time will show how much the labor distribution increased in the future manufacturing sector.
Respect Compliance Measures
Remote monitoring of factory facilities is a great way to ensure compliance KPIs that can be easily seen and accessed. IoT systems can be used to help:
- Communicating the KPIs
- Automating reports
- Flagging issues early.
IoT systems can increase productivity, inventory optimization, lower maintenance costs, and improve employee safety.
They can also boost compliance on multiple fronts. Organizations can create new KPIs that were not previously possible.
These IoT applications can be used to lower costs, whether they are financial, material, or legal. In other words, in this era of IoT factory automation, the factory floor is alive and strong.
In conclusion, IoT systems can quickly turn into the best place to begin to improve processes by generating valuable data about them.