June 30, 2020

How IoT is Transforming the Manufacturing Industry?

Don’t you think the smart devices once considered a luxury has become a necessity these days? In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, products with wireless connectivity are making our lives easier. This has become possible because of the revolutionary ‘Internet of Things’.

The IoT has not only transformed our daily lives but is also revolutionizing the way we carry out businesses today. From healthcare to the automobile industry, Industrial IoT is making its way in almost every industry where ensuring operational efficiency and product quality are essential for a higher Return on Investment (ROI).

Gone are the days when patients had to wait in long queues to get consult a doctor. With the introduction of IoT in healthcare, doctors can assure on-time care and effective treatment. From wearable devices such as FitBit to treating chronic diseases such as cancer, IoT plays a significant role in healthcare. According to market forecasts, the IoT in the healthcare market is estimated to reach USD 176.82 Billion, exhibiting a CAGR of 24.5% by 2026. This growth shows that the adoption of IoT devices will increase significantly and used in applications such as remote monitoring, real-time patient monitoring, smart pills among others. In the fight against COVID-19, this technology is of great use and importance.

IoT connects physical objects to the internet so that objects/devices can collect and share data with each other. This helps businesses in enhancing their working potential by eliminating tedious manual activities.

The presence of IIoT is visible across all industries. However, the biggest influence of IoT can be seen in the manufacturing industry. IIoT along with big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning are facilitating the production flow and leveling up quality control in manufacturing industries.

Industrial IoT and Manufacturing

IIoT promises a whole new level of automation that can create a more technically-driven environment. Realizing its vast potential, many factories and manufacturing plants have already started to embed sensors into their industrial equipment and machinery. This helps them in gathering and analyzing data to ensure efficiency throughout the manufacturing process.

Industrial IoT has multitudes of applications across all industries but here we’ll find out how it’s transforming the manufacturing plants in particular. Read further to know the top applications of industrial IoT that help manufacturing industries in reducing cost, improving safety, and ensuring efficient production and supply chain.

1. Predictive Maintenance

To prevent sudden equipment failure, IoT allows embedding machines with sensors that help in predicting equipment failure before it occurs. If any issue arises, the sensor automatically triggers a message to the manager. Connecting devices makes it becomes possible to perform equipment maintenance on time and prevent unexpected downtime.

By using sensors and data analytics, companies can create strategic maintenance timelines. Detecting issues early helps in cost savings by preventing equipment failure, as well as increases machine lifetime. The connected machines also generate data that can detect unsafe operating conditions like surrounding temperature, sound frequencies, and vibrations that can reduce the efficiency of the machines.

2. Location Tracking

IIoT enables location tracking to achieve greater efficiency and productivity. In most industries, especially manufacturing, a lot of time is wasted in searching for tools, equipment, and goods in the inventory.

Factories produce tons of goods every day and sorting through the piles of items can take a significant amount of time. But with the sensors, workers can easily know where the tool, equipment, or good is in the inventory. Asset tracking is a great application of IoT as it eliminates the inefficiency of the entire working cycle.

By deploying location-tracking sensors in the tools and equipment, it has become possible to save time and resources in the production lines. The time otherwise spent on searching and organizing can be used for other tasks. The workers in the manufacturing plant can quickly find product/tool, as well as keep it back to where it belonged.

This will also save money by preventing products or tools from being stolen or misplaced. The sensor provides an exact location for easy asset tracking. Moreover, IoT allows tracking and tracing the inventory system that can eliminate the need for manual documentation.

3. Workers’ Safety

Various industrial activities are hazardous and could cause injury to workers. But with IIoT, factory managers can monitor production processes and send status to the right personnel. In addition to connecting machines, workers are also given RFID tags. The IoT-enabled wearable gathers data about the worker’s location, as well as their heart rate, skin temperature, galvanic skin response, and other parameters.

This helps in detecting unusual behavior patterns like odd heart rates so that timely action can be taken. By monitoring the workers, as well as the machines they’re working with, it becomes easy to avoid accidents, overexertion, and other injuries.

4. Product Quality Control

In manufacturing industries, maintaining product quality is crucial. This goal can be achieved with the help of condition monitoring that allows inspecting work in progress (WIP) as it moves through the production cycle. With the help of sensors, the condition of machines, as well as the quality of manufactured products can be monitored. Unlike manual inspection, data collected from machines is more accurate.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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