The Internet of Things or the IoT is the shorthand term for the various appliances, devices, and other electronics that aren’t necessarily something people originally thought would ever need to connect to the internet. Refrigerators, cars, and even houses are a part of the IoT.
The IoT has even made its mark in manufacturing as more and more pieces of equipment become internet-capable. This has helped improve scale and speed in addition to simplifying tasks. In fact, manufacturing is one of the industries that can take great advantage of the IoT.
The IoT in manufacturing allows you to take the data you’ve gathered from various pieces of equipment and combine it with the analytics to improve your overall asset performance, your equipment effectiveness, and even to create innovative new ideas and manufacturing techniques. Let’s take a look at some of the specific ways the IoT has improved manufacturing.
Get Real-Time Insight
The IoT can provide you with insights in real-time into different areas, including your manufacturing operations. You’ll be able to look at production runs, downtime, quality control, and much more. Everything is captured right on the manufacturing floor and sent to your management team no matter where they are in the world.
Many Areas Can Be Automated
Traceability is one area where manufacturers often face challenges. Thanks to the IoT, lot traceability can be automated so that your team doesn’t have to spend time dealing with this task. The IoT has also brought automation into lot control, tracking, and manufacturing.
Better Predict Your Maintenance Schedule
Thanks to the information provided by your equipment, you’ll be better able to know when it requires maintenance and repairs. By performing more preventative maintenance when it’s needed, you’ll prevent breakdowns that result in longer downtime and more expensive repairs. This helps optimize your production schedule and levels. If you haven’t streamlined your predictive maintenance schedule yet, consider doing so. The savings here are much more than you might think.
IoT Sensors Improve Inventory Control
Using sensors and other IoT systems, you can collect inventory data faster, reducing the costs involved in performing manual inventory. This also helps reduce the number of times you have to turn down sales because a popular item is not in stock. You’ll be better able to predict when you need to reorder or produce another run of the product, improving your inventory management and your profits.
Increase Your Yield Rates
The IoT can give you insights into how to improve your yield rates from the various manufacturing machines and lines you have on the plant floor. This information can quickly and easily be collected from all of your production centers and sent directly to your analysis team to use to determine how to improve yield rates. By applying manufacturing intelligence thought processes to the data collected from the IoT sensors, you can decrease the amount of waste produced and improve the yield rates on all of your production processes.
Improve the Performance of Your Quality Management Division
The days of manual quality assurance inspections are over with thanks to new types of automated inspection machines. The IoT sensors connected to these devices ensure that your team knows the instant quality drops. This information can even be used to trigger an automatic shutdown of your manufacturing systems if too many products are below quality. The changes the IoT allows you to make to your Cost of Quality measurements simply could not be obtained before.
You can also combine Manufacturing Intelligence with the IoT and financial reports to reduce your losses from poor quality products. Taking immediate action when quality dips below your minimum standards will improve your bottom line more than you might expect.
Create Mass Produced Customized Products
Handling custom orders isn’t always an easy task, but the IoT has simplified it by making it easier to capture information about what your customers require. You can now understand how the customization reflects the customer’s needs and wants.
IoT data can be captured from the machinery and equipment the customer is planning on using their custom parts for, allowing you to see better how it will work with the overall device and what workloads and environments in which it will be exposed. This takes what is often a complex task and breaks it down into a set of simple parameters. This type of data sharing is expected to become more and more useful in manufacturing. By 2020, most experts predict it will be done daily.
Are You Ready for the IoT Explosion?
Do you know how to incorporate the IoT into your manufacturing business so that you get the most benefits from it? If not, SafeNet can assist you. Our experts have spent years analyzing innovative technologies to make certain businesses are using them effectively.