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Impact Of IoT On Manufacturing

– Contributed content –

IoT graphic

(Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

3 May 2019. The Internet of Things (IoT) in the manufacturing world is all about data and how to get more of it. However, process manufacturing companies looking to take advantage of this need to do their homework to understand its full benefits.

Any company who wants to be part of the “IoT revolution” should make sure their aim is based around using strategic data capture to make more money for a business rather than just trying to be part of the IoT movement.

IOT in the manufacturing industry is usually associated with more information and the more information that can be gathered means the more benefits to the industry and the process. Data collection, including OEE metrics, uptime, reliability, manual input, measuring thin-film stress, the ability to calculate the cost of production per equipment and energy output are all vital and are revenue areas which can be increased by improving data collection.

The benefits of IoT are endless because of how many production processes and technological advances that occur daily. However, as mentioned, rather than just jumping on the bandwagon, companies need to ask what they would do in their facility with improved process visibility, extended equipment life span, and reduced total cost of ownership – how will it benefit them and what would they do with the new information?

Implementing any virtualized solutions is not a one-size-fits-all approach across manufacturing disciplines as the final product depends on hundreds of variables that need to be taken into account for that repeatable perfect batch. However, IOT can be used to identify and analyze stable common causes and particular cause variations. Process engineers can then create control practices that can help to increase the ever challenging repeatability of the process. The introduction of more data can fine-tune those variations even further.

While most people focus on real-time visibility as the IoT’s primary objective, there is more information that can be gathered and companies need to use that visible data then to create algorithms and predictive models that mitigate future production discrepancies to an acceptable level. When it comes to modern manufacturing, preventive action is critical.

If your company is always responding to the last issue, the only way to improve productivity is to respond faster and to work harder.  In a high-performance environment, it is easy to see the red flags as they happen and, as the severity of the situation will be displayed. Predictive control can be programmed to take action on pre-approved faults and request manual intervention on the others.

The IoT is developing each day, and there is no way to know to what extent. But many people are calling it a movement that will be the fourth industrial revolution. However, it is essential to discuss the wants and needs of the manufacturing industry with qualified engineers and system integrators that have experience and knowledge of improving processes and implementing solutions surrounding more significant data capture.

While it is likely true that the more data that can be obtained, the more efficient production can become, the relationship between the return on investment (ROI) and data capture is not linearly dependent and can change drastically with the influence of IoT threats.

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