Reaping the benefits of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is about measuring just about everything in the factory of the future.
As we enter the Industry 4.0 era, where computers and automation are coming together in an entirely new way, with equipment connected remotely to systems equipped and ready with machine learning algorithms – the benefits outweigh the concerns in many facilities worldwide.
The Industrial Internet of Things brings together machine-to-machine communication, advanced data analytics, and people through a network of devices that results in systems that can monitor, collect, exchange, and deliver valuable information for smarter business decision making.
Benefits of IIoT
IIoT is changing industries and is driving unprecedented levels of productivity, efficiency and performance that allow manufacturers to gain transformational financial and operational benefits.
Optimum Energy Efficiency
One of the largest expenses for manufacturing organizations is the energy bill. IIoT can empower and transform manufacturing leaders to determine when and where they are wasting energy and fixing these areas. The real-time data delivers insights like off-hour consumption and other energy saving opportunities that allows managers to identify operational inefficiencies and waste. Information about attaining higher efficiency from equipment/machines, potential regulatory compliance issues and waste that all offer opportunities for cost savings is provided and leaders can take action sooner rather than later.
Just in Time Manufacturing (JIT)
The Just in Time (JIT) methodology aims at reducing flow times within a production/manufacturing system, response times between suppliers and customers, and increase collective collaboration along the supply chain. Through IIoT, basic metrics are constantly tracked like throughput, uptime, and fail rate, etc… Analyzing this data encourages continuous improvements in manufacturing processes and personnel. Real-time data from IIoT sensors and devices provides information on delivery schedules, manufacturing capacity, staff availability for receiving and loading products and updates on material availability.
Predictive Maintenance (PdM)
One of the main value-adds of IIoT to the manufacturing line so far has been predictive maintenance (PdM). The aim of PdM is first to predict when machine or equipment failure might occur – and to then prevent this occurrence from happening by performing maintenance. In an ideal scenario, PdM permits the maintenance frequency to be as low as possible and prevents unplanned reactive maintenance, creating a more proactive maintenance schedule. This brings about several cost savings like minimizing production hours lost to maintenance, minimizing the cost of spare parts and supplies and the time required to maintain machines/equipment.
While running your machine operation, recording high-frequency sensor data allows you to monitor parameters like vibration, speed and temperature, collecting this data in milliseconds. Repeatability refers to the ability to repeat or duplicate a given set of conditions/circumstances within a specific range or tolerance. IIoT benefits manufacturers with data analytics to offer a faster ROI at a lower cost since. An example of this could be a company that cross-drills holes in a block of steel, monitoring the torque of the motor and referencing this to the data to determine if the holes were crossed straight enough in comparison to the drop in torque.
Fast and more Informed Decision Making
With IIoT, operations managers are no longer uninformed about machine/equipment performance or problems. Like PdM, this transforms a manager’s approach from a reactive one to a proactive one where waste is decreased with an increase in overall visibility. The power lies in the accuracy of the data they have – and the ability to take action based on insights from the data.
Higher product quality, reduced downtime and a real-time competitive edge is what manufacturers of the future are achieving with Industrial Internet of Things technology. The factory of the future aims to be even more efficient, operate with greater profitability and achieve higher customer satisfaction. All the above benefits make IIoT a critical and powerful tool for manufacturing organizations that want to grow and thrive in the digital future.
Interested in learning more about how you can transform your factory into an intelligent manufacturing organization? Visit our Global Manufacturing page and find out how you can achieve operational excellence with the help of IIoT and the latest digital technologies.