Industrial IoT: Learn How Connected Things Are Easily Changing Manufacturing

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The proliferation of smart things has reached critical mass. Products with wireless connectivity (from lightbulbs to thermostats to smart speakers) are more current in individuals homes today than not- – one report says that 79 percent of U.S. customers have at least one connected device at home. 

But the technology actually has its roots in a world that predates the rise of remote control thermostats: industrial manufacturing.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) takes networked sensors and smart devices and sets those technologies to use directly on the manufacturing floor, collecting data to drive artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics.

In IIoT technology, sensors are attached to physical assets. Those sensors gather data, store it wirelessly, and use analytics and machine learning how to take some kind of action.

IIoT is driving unprecedented disruption in an industry that has struggled in recent years because of talent shortages, and this offers hope for the industry’s future. IIoT can transform traditional, linear manufacturing supply chains into dynamic, interconnected systems–a digital distribution network (DSN)–that can more readily incorporate ecosystem partners.

As key enablers of DSNs, IIoT technologies help to revise the way that products are made and delivered, making factories more efficient, ensuring greater safety for human operators, and, in some cases, saving millions of dollars.

The Power of Forecast

Improve Operating Efficiencies

In IIoT technology, sensors are attached to physical assets. Those sensors gather data, keep it wirelessly, and use analytics and machine learning to take some sort of action.

One of the greatest benefits of the IIoT is how it can dramatically improve operating efficiencies. If a machine goes down, for example, connected sensors can automatically pinpoint where the issue is happening and trigger a service request. 

Perhaps more importantly, IIoT can also assist a manufacturer predict when a machine will probably breakdown or enter a dangerous operating condition before it ever happens.

IIoT is driving unprecedented disruption in an industry that has struggled in recent years due to talent shortages, and this offers hope for the industry’s future.

IIoT can transform traditional, linear manufacturing supply chains into dynamic, interconnected systems–a digital distribution network (DSN)–that can more readily incorporate ecosystem partners.

As key enablers of DSNs, IIoT technologies help to change the way that goods are made and delivered, making factories more efficient, making sure you have better safety for human operators, and, in some cases, saving millions of dollars.

Predictive Maintenance

Predict Breakdown and Dangerous Operating Conditions

One of the greatest benefits of the IIoT is how it can dramatically improve operating efficiencies. If a machine goes down, for example, connected sensors can automatically pinpoint where the problem is happening and trigger a service request. 

Maybe more importantly, IIoT can also help a manufacturer predict when a machine will probably breakdown or enter a dangerous operating condition before it ever happens.

Predictive maintenance is a big thing. This lets us limit equipment downtime and enhance safety by being proactive about a fix.

The sensors work by analyzing the sound frequencies, vibrations, and temperature of a specific machine to tell if it is working inside its normal condition. This procedure –known as condition monitoring–is time intensive when humans do it manually. By using sensors to collect and quickly analyze data points in the cloud, prediction gets easier.

Here’s an example of a company that makes packaging materials as a great use case for the prediction capability of connected sensors. When the company outfitted its manufacturing equipment with IIoT sensors, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) improved by 9%.

The heightened OEE decreased waste for the company by calling when machines would have to be maintained before they failed and had to be taken out of service. By decreasing machine downtime.

Beyond saving money and time, IIoT can keep workers safe. If an oil well is about to reach a dangerous pressure condition, for example, operators will be warned well before it explodes. Sensors can even be used to manage and track employees’ locations in case of an emergency or evacuation.

  • Location, location, location
  • Benefits of location tracking

Another enormous benefit of IIoT is location tracking–the industrial version of a connected fob that makes your keys impossible to lose. Workers can spend a whole lot of time locating equipment, gear, and finished goods inventory, but IIoT reduces that time significantly.

When equipment is built, it goes onto a massive stock lot that could be three quarters of a mile on each side. Simply finding equipment on the lot is so time consuming that one of Schmid’s clients saved $3 million each year on each of its production lines after the company’s gear was outfitted with location-tracking sensors.

IIoT and the Leasing Version

Leased vs Sold

While IIoT is already boosting efficiency, productivity, and safety, the future of IIoT could disrupt enterprise business models, also. It is believed that in the near future we can see the proliferation of high-value equipment–ranging from manufacturing robots to aircraft engines–being leased instead of being sold outright.

Rather than sell equipment directly, the equipment can be outfitted with built in sensors and marketed as both a product and a service, where the owner monitors the equipment remotely and provides maintenance, repairs, and upgrades automatically.

This will give manufacturing companies an opportunity to focus on the job at hand instead of worrying about the condition of the equipment that they use to do it, further increasing productivity and efficiency even

As the manufacturing industry continues to adopt IIoT technology, these results provide a clear business case–far beyond the sensors that anticipate (and accommodate) or arrival home.

Partner @ 4i Platform - Data Driven Innovation Electronic Engineering specified in control automation. Master in Stategic Management of Techology. Data scientist. Industry 4.0. IIoT and Digital transformation.
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