The smart manufacturing era is all about using IIoT benefits to make your factory floor run more efficiently. The Industrial Internet of Things can help you communicate exactly what you need to do at the right moment. 

Companies can install sensors on their manufacturing equipment to collect data and help them understand the machine’s operation. 

IoT Application in manufacturing

Let’s take as an example the maintenance of a valuable and expensive piece of equipment. The process used to be simple and included the following: 

  • Waiting for equipment failure. 
  • Repairing the equipment. 

Nowadays, you can measure how often the machinery fails and use a preventive maintenance plan that is slightly shorter than the typical period of failure. Companies can now get more information about equipment health by strategically placing IoT application in manufacturing, such as sensors on machines. 

Once sensors collect the data, it is equally important to get insights from it. Managers can now see when equipment requires maintenance or replacement before any urgent situations happen. These are five benefits that IoT offers to the manufacturing industry. 

Higher Energy Efficiency and IIoT Benefits

Manufacturing firms have one of their biggest expenses: energy. The bills arrive several weeks before the end of the billing cycle. They highlight the total energy consumed by the entire factory. These bills show total energy consumption and it is impossible to understand specific inefficiencies by breaking down the bill.  

On average, nearly 77 percent of companies said they were able to obtain energy consumption data via their monthly utility bills, or from energy monitoring tools. Both of these tools have limited data. 

IoT application in manufacturing is closing that gap by allowing data to be collected and analyzed down to the device level. Is your device underperforming? The technology can pinpoint the device and help you improve efficiency.  

This technology can track every piece of machinery in the room and give managers granular insight into energy consumption. You can get actionable insights about how to reduce waste and improve equipment efficiency, as well as potential failures and regulatory compliance issues. 

These real-time data may provide interesting insights such as off-hour consumption and recommendations for optimizing production schedules. 

It can also benchmark equipment and identify which ones are performing well. Managers can also evaluate the locations to find hidden inefficiencies or waste. 

Although manufacturers spend a lot of money on their energy consumption, a large portion of it is wasteful. IoT allows managers to identify where they are losing energy and then fix them. 

Predictive Maintenance and IoT 

The ability to preventively complete maintenance is one of the biggest benefits of IoT for the manufacturing industry. Instead of planning maintenance plans based on historical data, you can receive real-time data that allows you to identify maintenance needs right now. 

Sensors give you data to know what the machine needs. This technology dramatically reduces waste in the manufacturing process. These resources can be saved if parts are not needed or don’t require repair. 

IoT sensors can monitor temperature on key pieces of equipment. Staff will know when the temperature begins to rise, so they can take preventative measures to avoid any future problems. 

Many companies use these technologies, including the French rail company SNCF to anticipate maintenance needs. To gain insights from the increasing volumes of data about their rail network, they are using Machine Learning.  

This allows them to detect potential failure early and fix issues before they impact service. 

IIoT benefits allow managers to view and understand critical data, allowing them to solve maintenance problems proactively. These contextual insights help keep equipment running smoothly and reduce the chance of costly downtime. 

Higher Product Quality and IoT 

According to an IDC report, manufacturers have a primary goal of improving the quality of their products. A better product will lead to other benefits such as lower waste, lower costs, and increased sales. This goal is not always possible, and IoT can help with this. 

Faulty equipment is one of the main causes of product quality issues. Even worse, manufacturers may not always be aware that their equipment is defective, which can lead to product quality problems. They may not realize it until too late. 

These quality issues can have a huge impact on the brand, leading to product recalls, loss of trust, and even damage. Customers affected might jump to conclusions and believe that the paint defect was caused by poor quality or cutting corners. These types of expensive problems can be avoided by using IIoT benefits.  

IIoT Benefits – Sensors

This technology would have enabled the paint station to incorporate IoT sensors into its equipment. Staff members would be notified when the sensors detect a temperature change.  

The alert would notify staff to stop production immediately and resolve the problem. This would prevent customers from becoming angry, causing recalls, and damaging client relationships. 

Companies can use this technology to design and test their products. Sensors can be used to design and measure critical components for the safety, performance, and durability of products such as aircraft, trains, and other transport equipment. 

Customers are demanding more than ever before. Delivering a poor product can have long-lasting consequences. IoT can help you avoid making mistakes and recoup your lost dollars. 

Lowering Downtime with IoT 

Companies can lose a lot of money if they don’t have reliable production. Companies are at risk of serious loss if a machine fails to work in the middle or end of a run. This is in addition to the traditional downtime costs. 

Let’s take, for example, the oven suddenly stops working during a baking session. You will not only have downtime but also the loss of production time and all ingredients. 

IIoT benefits can prevent these types of losses, so, when there are performance drops, sensors immediately alert the staff.

There are many costs associated with downtime, including the loss of product production. There is also the loss of opportunity. You might get a request to fill a rush order but you are unable to fulfill the order due to unplanned maintenance or repair. IoT can help you recover these costs and reduce downtime. 

Make Faster, Better Decisions with IIoT Benefits 

Managers will never be kept in the dark about problems or the performance of equipment when they use IIoT benefits. They might have believed everything was working fine in the past until it broke. The Internet of Things allows for the free flow of critical information about performance to be available to all who require it. 

Managers can now transform their reactive approach that focuses on the replacement of parts according to set dates using historical data into a proactive approach. Stress is reduced, waste decreases, and visibility is increased. Managers can now make quicker and more informed decisions at the moment they are relevant. 

Managers can make better decisions with the Internet of Things because they have access to accurate and powerful data at the right time. 

About the Author

Cesar Agostino

Hardware and Software Design Leader in 4i Platform.

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