Industry 4.0: IoT in Manufacturing
 

 

October 20, 2020

With IoT’s rising popularity, it comes as no surprise that the manufacturing industry has started to utilise and harness its benefits. In the past decade, manufacturing companies have had to struggle to adapt to the evolution of the economic landscape. Fortunately, integrating IoT into production and supply provides many of these companies the tools needed for modernisation.

In what is described by some as the 4th industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, IoT and robotics are changing the way things are made and work like never before. A significant number of manufacturers are convinced that the integration of digital facilities into production will be beneficial and even mitigate risks.

So how will industrial IoT help manufacturers?

With Industrial IoT, manufacturers and manufacturing companies can achieve a wide range of objectives, including:

Improved Quality control

IoT is applied in the quality control processes of manufacturing companies at the product development stage. Here, data is analysed and the results are used to tweak product designs. This can directly address quality concerns that may have arisen over time.

Preprogramed criteria are also observed and fine-tuned automatically. This gives quality control officers an edge. The automation that IoT brings is a huge leap from the traditional method of adjusting parameters after sampling.

More efficient production

The production floor is one of the most important areas of a manufacturing company. Forward-thinking companies install IoT devices into their latest equipment. This connection of IoT to equipment affords operation managers the rare privilege of monitoring production operations as it occurs.

This is a very handy planning and project management tool as it helps managers easily adjust plans and reassign manpower to make the production process more efficient.

Faster production and supply time will reduce the time it takes for the product to hit the market. This means that more products can be in circulation at any given point in time as consumers have supply meeting demands. This way, companies that use IoT in their machinery and processes stand to gain greater market share.

Predictive maintenance

Each year, manufacturing companies all over the world pump millions into operational and maintenance costs. Most manufacturers are accustomed to scenarios where a piece of equipment breaks down mid-production. To avoid these instances, it is advisable to carry out equipment maintenance on time.

But how can companies do this if they can’t even predict downtime before it comes knocking? It’s simple. With the aid of industrial IoT facilities like sensors, data, and analytics in equipment, manufacturers can easily detect and predict failure before it occurs.

Greater automation can lead to improved reliability.

Monitoring in real-time

IoT allows manufacturing companies to monitor their assets in real-time. Through the use of communication channels and virtual assistants, everyone involved in the production process can stay abreast of any incidences or occurrences.

By enhancing communication within the production chain, it speeds up the manufacturing pace and, of course, saves time.

Previously, manufacturers had to be physically present to assess the state of machines and equipment. However, with the aid of connected sensors, any manufacturer can now oversee and assess equipment remotely.

Fewer accidents

IoT tracking equipment use is going to help make manufacturing safer. Many workplace accidents are a result of machines malfunctioning. However, with the volume of data processed by IoT about the equipment, it will be easier to identify defective machines and work on them before they pose health risks. Automation requires fewer operatives on the shop floor, again this reduces their exposure to risky working conditions.

Conclusion

IoT is fast becoming an integral part of everyday life, with the use of IoT devices only set to increase in the coming years. As this increases, we will see IoT become integrated with everything from manufacturing to car sharing and shopping, making every experience more seamless.

With a need to keep costs low and react quickly to market changes needs and wants, the manufacturing industry is one that is fully equipped to harness the potentials and benefits of IoT. As the technology develops, manufacturers will increasingly look to work with leading service providers on these complex IoT deployments as they embrace Industry 4.0.

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