The 4th Industrial Revolution has brought the Internet of Things technology to manufacturing. Implementing this technology provides a way for various devices to talk to one another, exchange data, generate valuable insights and create autonomous responses.
Data gathered from IoT-enabled devices can be used to cut costs, streamline the production process, and boost safety in facilities. This is how the data can help.
More Manufacturers Are Embracing the Industrial Internet of Things
Many manufacturers, including Cisco, General Electric and Rolls-Royce, have already experimented with the industrial Internet of Things. Having started with predictive maintenance, location tracking, condition monitoring, and connected control rooms, some of the industrial companies are forging ahead, deploying Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality to further optimize manufacturing workflow.
In 2018, IoT in manufacturing was valued at $187.33 billion, and that’s expected to grow to as much as $487.30 billion by 2024.
Source: Mordor Intelligence
Companies that have started implementing IoT into their workflows are expected to experience a 30% growth in revenue.
Benefits of Applying Iot to the Manufacturing Process
Here are some of the most important benefits manufacturers experience in deploying the Industrial Internet of Things to their production workflows:
Production facilities remain an accident-prone zone for those working there. The International Labour Organization claims that, worldwide, every 15 seconds, 151 workers suffer work-related accidents.
For this reason, staff members are required to be highly qualified and trained according to safety standards. And the worksite itself must be designed in a way suitable for the workers to carry out their tasks.
Industrial IoT solutions on worksites can help reduce accidents. For instance, Internet of Things devices can detect equipment breakage and report it fast, so that staff can respond more quickly than they would otherwise. Timely response reduces casualties and injuries and provides an opportunity to shorten downtime while equipment is being repaired.
Also, IoT-based predictive maintenance helps improve safety in the workplace. Sensors can track the condition of manufacturing equipment, predict possible accidents, and suggest ways to remove the defect before the equipment actually breaks down.
On top of that, the devices can make use of Artificial Intelligence to calculate the long-term effects of the workplace environment. If there are potential ill effects, AI provides ways to prevent them, to make sure workers remain safe at all times.
IoT can be applied to ensure that the workers are qualified enough to work in a facility, and also to monitor their health condition. As for the equipment, the technology prohibits the staff from using it improperly and prevents the equipment’s failing:
Clear Inventory Management
Managing a big factory with tons of moving parts is not an easy job. Industrial IoT solutions such as various sensors can track the location of products as well as keep an eye on supplies.
This way, factory workers can get realistic arrival times and have detailed information on materials and their condition available to them at all times. They can also get notifications if a product or material is missing, runs out of stock, breaks, or goes bad.
Moreover, manufacturers can get precise information on the number of products that are in warehouses and never get sold. They can analyze the data and decide if any of those products can be reused or recycled.
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Enhanced Quality Control
Nowadays, manufacturers typically take a reactive approach to quality control: after the item is produced, it undergoes quality tests. If there are flaws, they are eliminated.
With the new technology at hand, IoT-enabled devices can monitor for any defects in the raw materials and unfinished products during the production process. Sensors can also analyze the equipment’s condition and performance. These insights provide opportunities to further optimize workflow and enhance the quality of the finished product.
There also many automation options for production equipment. Automated equipment makes mistakes only if not configured properly. With the appropriate setup process, facilities can produce goods with little or no defects.
Digitized Remote Facility Management
The Industrial Internet of Things lets operational managers manage various units of the factory more easily. Sensors can monitor temperature, humidity, vibrations, and other factors that may be crucial when manufacturing a specific product. If the parameters are not optimal for production, the managers get an alert.
Also, the IoT system allows overall monitoring of the production process: the inventory, security, and equipment condition. IoT development opens an opportunity for automating the workflow for more secure and optimized manufacturing.
The administrator of a digitized facility receives the data from every aspect of the production process, and he is able to respond accordingly. For example, he can set tasks, schedule maintenance, analyze the quality of the product:
In an IoT-powered facility, every aspect of the production process can be easily monitored and controlled.
Logistics is a sphere of trade that faces many challenges, such as transportation costs and quality control. IoT development brings efficient solutions to many problems in logistics.
Internet of Things technology presents an opportunity to track production materials and equipment, connecting production facilities and suppliers.
Senior/Lead Software Engineer
We have developed an IoT software solution for a vehicle manufacturer. With beacon technology at hand, we have managed to build a multisensor system which allowed tracking and measuring data from vehicle at vehicle components in real-time. Each vehicle can be tracked individually.
Finished goods can be tracked as well, which allows clients to know the estimated time of delivery at any given time.
On top of tracking abilities, logistics can be upgraded up with IoT-enabled transportation. IoT-enabled vehicles can be connected to Smart City Infrastructure, with additional perks such as optimized routing that minimizes accidents and avoids roadblocks. That cuts down fuel consumption, making transport more cost-effective.
Artificial Intelligence can be applied throughout logistics management, helping to determine the most effective ways to run the process.
Starting with large industrial behemoths, IoT is being implemented in the workplaces of manufacturers looking to upgrade their workflows.
Most manufacturers start by deploying various IoT trackers and sensors. The technology allows for extracting valuable data that can be used to further optimize the manufacturing process.
There is also room for more advanced tech, such as AI. The IoT system not only provides information but also generates an autonomous solution to the potential problem.
Industrial IoT has the following advantages:
- Improves safety of equipment and staff at the worksite;
- Simplifies tracking and analysis of production materials;
- Ensures proper quality of the manufactured product;
- Streamlines the connection between suppliers and facilities; and
- Upgrades control of the production facilities.
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