References to the Internet of Things (IoT) are everywhere. It’s hard to find anything written in the last few years related to smart manufacturing, supply chain transformation, logistics, transportation, factory automation, data collection, etc. that doesn’t reference IoT or IIoT in some related context.
IIoT is making big waves in the manufacturing industry – primarily on the factory floor. At the heart of many IoT-related solutions utilized by manufacturers are sensors. For those who have yet to implement this technology at your facility, you may be asking yourself: is it best to sense or not to sense? Tohelp determine if your plant is ready to implement IIoT, it’s important to understand why these IIoT manufacturing technologies have taken off. Although there are many, the following four are key reasons why companies are increasingly implementing IIoT-enabled solutions in their factories.
Lower Hardware Cost
In the past, the need for multiple sensors and various hardware devices made strategic installation on a larger scale cost prohibitive. Back in the early 80’s, many of us struggled to see the value in using an incredibly expensive device to provide very little information. That’s simply not the case today. Due to mass production, hardware cost is down significantly, and successful cost-saving results have guided the demand for IIoT integration upward. The biggest challenge plant leadership faces today is determining what kind of sensor to invest in, where it would be best utilized, and which parameters need to be set in place to achieve the most valuable data.
More IoT-ready devices and sensors with capabilities to measure pressure, proximity, contact, vibration, displacement, location, velocity, temperature, current, etc. are coming to the market daily – all with a variety of inputs such as electromagnetic, photoelectric, optical, radio and other signals.
These sensors can also communicate with various types of ethernet, wireless and Bluetooth protocols. Because of this technology influx, the IoT-device market has become saturated with multiple variations of each type of sensor. Research will play a key part in determining which brand and sensor type will work best for your organization.
Availability of Software Analytics Tools
In many cases, software analytics tools are now available at little or no charge from many sensor OEMs. They vary greatly in overall capabilities, but all provide plenty of potential value. By utilizing these tools where real time data is available, it is possible to construct algorithms to predict and monitor real time scenarios and take corrective actions instantly. This is one of the biggest value propositions to using this IIoT manufacturing technology.
To avoid data overload, determining key performance indicators at your facility prior to adopting sensor technology will help weed down the information presented after implication. For more information, continue reading the infographic below!