At the first wave of the pandemic, employees at the manufacturing industry were among the hardest hit. Many manufacturers across the country saw enormous clusters break out at plants and factories — including one incident at Tyson where 95 percent of evaluations came back positive — that rightfully caused stress and concern among both workers and the general public.

As the nation faces still another surge of cases, manufacturers need to do everything in their power to stop outbreaks, keep their people safe and maintain operations. And the Internet of Things (IoT) can help manufacturers accomplish this lofty goal.

The IoT can offer critical insights that inform strategic decisions about warehouse or plant operations. Additionally, the IoT can be used to impede the spread of the virus and ensure employees are following social distancing guidelines.

Here’s how the IoT can help manufacturers increase employee safety, reduce costs and ensure efficient operations.

Remote Tracking

With many manufacturers trying to limit interaction and the spread of germs, the IoT can enable the remote monitoring of several aspects of the facility.

By placing devices on tanks, power sources, utilities and trash, manufacturers can know when they need to deploy workers to fix a problem, and therefore restrict the amount of contact workers have in different parts of the facility.

Optimize Procedures

One way to decrease costs and keep plants and warehouses operating smoothly is to optimize processes and keep disruption to a minimum.

Manufacturers can implement IoT devices to monitor metrics such as the strain and vibration in machinery, as well as temperature, humidity, switches and voltage through the facility. Likewise, these sensors can also detect openings, leaks, battery charge, current, tilt, flood and more in pipes and equipment.

Because these items are tracked automatically, rather than manually, facility managers can be notified if a metric appears off at real-time. For example, if a water heater’s pressure appears low, the facility manager can send someone down to see if there’s a leak.

This helps manufacturers avoid accidents and inefficiencies through predictive maintenance, thus speeding up the detection process and keeping operations running smoothly.

Boost Warehouse Safety

With valuable machinery and goods saved throughout factories and warehouses, safety is always top of mind for manufacturers, whether or not there’s a pandemic happening.

IoT devices running on a 5G network back-up communication medium can enable manufacturers to procure any building at low cost and tackle the largest weakness of alarm systems at the same time. Most security alarms are connected via the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM), however using GSM jammers now widely available, almost anyone can break in.

5G transmissions use ultra-narrowband technologies, which is resistant to jamming and can help make sure your alarm system continues to operate normally, even if an intruder attempts to jam the signal.

Additionally, a security system can also be a5G-enabled secondary connection to offer a”last gasp” message in the event of a”smash and grab” scenario, or a malfunction. This added layer of security can keep products and machines safe — especially in unpredictable times.

The IoT can help manufacturers keep workers safe as operations start to pick up again and facilities seem to make up for lost time. By leveraging this technology to streamline procedures and reduced prices, manufacturers can be prepared to ride the rest of the pandemic, and any other disruptions yet to come.

About the Author

Santiago Picco

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.

View All Articles