There is a growing need for manufacturers to develop more efficient manufacturing processes as well as assembly systems. One way smart manufacturing will help meet this demand is through the use of Internet of Things technology.
IoT refers to technologies that connect devices and objects, sharing data about their status and activities in real-time.
In today’s environment, businesses can’t afford to be connected. If they don’t, they risk losing out on potential customers, clients, or business opportunities from competitors moving faster than ever before.
This article will explore how companies are already using IoT to bring smart manufacturing into their operations. We’ll look at four specific ways it enables enhanced efficiency:
- Connecting machines
- Tracking worker productivity
- Monitoring environmental conditions
- Creating new business opportunities
Connecting Machines For Improved Productivity
In today’s highly competitive global economy, manufacturers have to be on top of their game, from their products down to how quickly and efficiently they can assemble them. In many cases, this is contingent upon how efficient they are in using the machines on their assembly lines. This is where IoT comes in.
Today, many manufacturers are outfitting their machines with sensors that enable them to share information about their status and activities via networked computers and software applications.
By connecting these components and sharing data about machine utilization and production output (among other things), companies can streamline processes in the following ways:
- Streamlining Operations: Companies can streamline operations and avoid wasting time and resources by eliminating bottlenecks and improving maintenance with better visibility into what’s happening across production floors.
- Reduce operating costs: Installations such as telemetry-enabled heat, vibration, motion, and gas sensors like a MSA ALTAIR 4XR, that detect potential machine problems before they occur can save a lot of money through pre-emptive repairs.
- Improve worker safety: This technology helps prevent accidents or injuries due to malfunctioning machinery or improper operation.
Tracking Worker Productivity
More efficient use of machines is only one way IoT impacts productivity in manufacturing. Through the use of wearable devices, it’s also possible to monitor the activity levels of workers on production floors in real-time.
Most often, workers wear computing devices that require them to perform different tasks throughout their shifts. In some cases, these tools that help track worker productivity also have sensors that monitor environmental conditions on production floors.
Monitoring Environmental Conditions
In any manufacturing plant, it’s essential to know the current state of your machines as well as the environment in which they operate. In some cases, this might mean monitoring humidity levels or heat temperatures to ensure equipment is being cared for properly. So it can maintain optimal performance and avoid malfunctioning.
In other instances, you might want to monitor external factors such as wind speeds and rainfall to ensure everything is safe should there be a climatic shift at certain times of the year.
Accessing this type of data quickly enables manufacturers to react accordingly by modifying their operations (if necessary) before issues arise that could ultimately damage production.
Creating New Business Opportunities
IoT also provides manufacturers with an opportunity to create new revenue streams through the sale of data. This type of information is valuable to companies in several different industries that may use it for things such as predictive maintenance and marketing purposes.
For example, energy providers might use IoT-generated data to analyze and determine when and how much power is used in certain areas and by specific businesses at any given time. This could help them figure out where they can make changes that will lead to reduced operating costs or more efficient operations.
IoT and the data it generates give manufacturers a significant advantage into what’s happening on production floors. While this technology provides many opportunities for manufacturers to improve their efficiency and productivity, it also creates new revenue streams manufacturers and business people can tap into.
Better monitoring of environmental conditions is not just good for worker safety. Still, it saves companies money by enabling them to keep equipment running smoothly and decrease downtime that would otherwise be spent making repairs or replacing components.
Ultimately, IoT combined with a NetSuite Solution Provider puts manufacturers in a position where they can make better business decisions that lead to improved efficiency while at the same time-saving money.