IoT in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the production of merchandise for use or sale using labour and; machines, tools, chemical and biological processing, or formulation.

The term may refer to a range of human activity,; from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production,; in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale. Such finished goods may be sold to other manufacturers for the production of other,; more complex products, such as aircraft, household appliances, furniture,; sports equipment or automobiles, or sold to wholesalers, who in turn sell them to retailers,; who then sell them to end users and consumers.

So what has IoT to do with manufacturing?

Manufacturing, for the majority of human history, has been conducted by skilled workers. In the mid-1700s,; the Industrial Revolution ushered in an era during which people and machines began working together to speed production times, improve quality, and otherwise drive process efficiencies. Now, the Internet of Things (IoT)—geared toward asset efficiency, reliability, and availability—is poised to usher in an entirely new way of converting raw materials into products ready to enter the market.

The idea with IoT for manufacturing is straightforward: Manufacturers will make capital investments into technology, which will, in turn, create long-term reductions in operational expenses. Networked machines, sensors, and so forth, don’t make mistakes or require breaks,; sick days, or training, and thus offer a reliable and cost-effective way to improve efficiency.

3 Use Cases For IoT In Manufacturing

Work-In-Progress Tracking

For manufacturers that build large or complex assets (such as aircraft components),; tracking the components to be integrated can be extremely valuable. While many organizations rely on barcode scanning to track work-in-progress assets, this method doesn’t allow for quick access of a lost part. If you use tracking technology, you can avoid the wasted expense of having to actively track down misplaced parts. It can also be useful for exception reporting, which allows you to find out if a part is in the wrong area immediately so you can remedy the issue.

Tracking Tools & Fixtures

Some plants and factories rely on expensive tools and gauges for their day-to-day operations. Any misplaced tool could cause delays to the factory workflow, which could have a negative impact on your completion and shipping timeline. Additionally, if your organization uses government furnished equipment (GFE) and is required to be accountable for that equipment at all times, having the ability to track such fixtures can keep your organization out of hot water.

Cold Chain Monitoring

It’s critical to ensure that temperature-sensitive goods, such as vaccines, are handled appropriately during the creation, storage, and shipping process. IoT technology can be used to ensure the components are handled properly and that finished products stay within a predetermined temperature range.

Process Automation

G2 Technologies, which delivers a broad range of process automation and related products, works with an automotive foam manufacturer to use machine vision to better manage product quality. The foam is delivered to automotive manufacturers in 20-foot-wide rolls; the material moves down a line at the rate of 600 feet per minute. It goes without saying that visual inspectors were missing defects, including tears and variations in thickness, during their once-overs. To address the issue, G2 introduced an automated process in which a camera array captures images of the foam. The images were then examined, in real time, for defects, which were cataloged. In addition to gaining a new level of reliability in its production process and turning over repetitive tasks to machines, the manufacturer was able to use the information to offer up products with noted defects at a lower price point.

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is a name for the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing. Industry 4.0 is commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution.

Industry 4.0 creates what has been called a “smart factory”. Within the modular structured smart factories, cyber-physical systems monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralized decisions. Over the Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans in real-time both internally and across organizational services offered and used by participants of the value chain.

How To Handle Change Management When Implementing IoT In Manufacturing

  • Make sure you get early buy-in from stakeholders who are likely to object.
  • Make sure you get internal buy-in well before you begin testing or deploy a pilot.

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