The industrial internet of things (IIoT) is helping manufacturers across multiple industries achieve higher productivity and innovate in new directions. One industry that stands to benefit the most from the benefits of IIoT is automotive manufacturing.
The automotive industry has long been one of the primary innovators in manufacturing, notably as the progenitor of the Toyota Production System. This approach to manufacturing principles laid down the foundation for modern lean manufacturing and just-in-time production between 1948 and 1975.
Today, auto manufacturers are taking advantage of the internet of things to attain new heights once more. The $2.7 trillion global auto industry is at the forefront of Industry 4.0 and IoT and is leading the way in new applications.
What Is IIoT in Manufacturing?
IIoT solutions in manufacturing rely on new levels of interconnectedness between machines on the factory floor, control systems, and business intelligence systems. With the current ability to connect countless devices through the internet, IoT for manufacturing is creating new opportunities for data collection, understanding, and control.
IoT benefits include both the increased visibility provided by connecting all possible machines, sensors, and more and the enhanced analytic capabilities offered by cloud and AI solutions. The IIoT solutions that serve as a framework for these machines and devices to work together are continuously developing to be more sophisticated and effective.
How Is the Automotive Industry Leveraging Industry 4.0 Benefits?
IIoT is just one of the benefits of Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 encompasses all of the innovative ways that manufacturers are using connectivity, communication, and advanced technologies like AI and machine learning. IIoT in manufacturing industries is delivering key benefits for automakers around the world.
IIoT Implementation Improves Productivity
IIoT capabilities provide auto manufacturers with a wide range of tools for improving their productivity. There is constant pressure to improve machine availability, reduce material waste, and reduce cycle time. IoT industrial visibility plays a key role in meeting those goals.
The internet of things in manufacturing makes it possible for auto manufacturers to know what’s really happening on their factory floor at any given time. The distributed machines and sensors across both individual facilities and the entire company can now send and receive data in real-time due to their IoT connectivity.
This real-time production data can be aggregated and analyzed by IIoT solutions and presented to stakeholders in intuitive and clear formats. This eliminates the drip-feed of information caused by relying on manual reports from operators or even automated shift-end reports from enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Now, auto manufacturers have this information in real-time – as it’s happening.
Production teams and supervisors can now take a more holistic approach to production. They can identify opportunities for improvement, actively monitor KPIs for disparities, and react more quickly when something goes wrong. Effective IIoT solutions also feature automated monitoring and alerts to reduce latency in this process even further.
The end result is that knowing what’s happening on the factory floor as it happens lets auto manufacturers run tighter operations, improve machine availability and OEE, and achieve higher productivity.
Industrial IoT Makes Robust Energy Monitoring Possible
The auto industry, alongside most other industries, has long relied on one-point energy monitoring. This essentially reduced their insight into factory energy expenditure to an electricity meter that served the entire facility. They could determine when energy use was up or down but did not have the high-resolution overview needed to identify sources of waste and take corrective actions.
With increased IIoT adoption, the industry benefits from improved energy monitoring capabilities. IIoT connectivity makes it possible to monitor the energy use of individual processes or machines with independent meters for each.
While electricity meters at that scale have long existed, they failed to meet key criteria that IIoT capabilities have now made possible. The spread of IoT for manufacturing has led to a reduction in costs for individual devices, making them more affordable for these types of applications.
IoT connectivity also eliminates the need for manual readings and input into ERP and other systems. This additional labor and complexity ruled out the use of individual electricity meters in many applications, but those problems are now solved.
With IoT energy monitoring, auto manufacturers can have access to real-time energy-use information from all machines on the factory floor. This can be used to identify waste and respond to issues that would have been overlooked without this monitoring. Energy use can now be codified with KPIs, allowing for the ongoing optimization of energy management.
IIoT in Manufacturing Industries Streamlines Process Traceability
A car coming off the line today has over 30,000 individual components. Each of these components has gone through procurement, delivery, warehousing, installation, and any number of process steps. Within the auto industry, being able to accurately trace the origin and handling of individual components is vital to the recall process. They need to know which vehicles have parts from which lots and vice-versa.
Industrial automation IoT solutions can greatly improve process traceability. Collecting this important data can now be automated. This eliminates the potential for human error and provides traceability data that is both validatable and more accurate. It also greatly reduces the labor required to collect and manage that data.
Bringing the Benefits of IIoT to Your Manufacturing Operation
Matics provides a versatile solution that lets manufacturers make the most of both IIoT and other Industry 4.0 innovations. Our secure cloud-based platform aggregates data from individual machines, IoT devices, existing MES and ERP systems, and more.
Contextualized production data can then be accessed through our single-source-of-truth platform, along with analysis and alerts to further improve productivity. You can contact Matics today to schedule a demo and see how IIoT can transform your factory floor.