The industrial internet of things (IIoT) is a phenomenon that brings unique opportunities to manufacturing environments. Manufacturers around the world are starting to take more advantage of the benefits of IIoT by applying the principles of Industry 4.0 and IoT across their operations. There are few areas of production where IoT in manufacturing isn’t proving to have a significant impact.
IIoT Manufacturing Principles
IoT and Industry 4.0 can serve to improve metrics across many different parts of a manufacturer’s operations, thanks to a few core principles. These IoT benefits improve efficiency, productivity, and other KPIs for various departments.
- Connectivity: The simplest IIoT definition is that it’s a network of interconnected devices and systems. By having everything, every machine, sensor, controller, and more, connected together, manufacturers can improve visibility, control, and management.
- Real-time: With IoT in manufacturing, machines and sensors can report production data to ERP, MES, and other solutions in real-time. Rather than relying on manual data entry and reports, production teams and managers now know what’s happening on the factory floor as it happens.
- Automation: IoT manufacturing solutions provide ample opportunity for automation. Control, data collection, monitoring, and more can all be automated to higher degrees with interconnected IIoT technology, improving efficiency across the board.
Together, these and other benefits of Industry 4.0 and IIoT can provide manufacturers with the tools they need to improve KPIs across their organizations.
Aspects of Manufacturing That IIoT Implementation Can Improve
There are many distinct areas within any manufacturing operation that IIoT solutions can improve. These are just some of the ways that manufacturers can enjoy the benefits of IIoT, with new applications arising rapidly.
Internet of things manufacturing solutions allow manufacturers to take a more proactive approach with predictive maintenance. While every factory floor will have routine maintenance that must be carried out, this is often based on set schedules rather than an understanding of which machines really need it.
IIoT capabilities let manufacturers monitor individual machines with more accuracy and insight than before. The wealth of production data that industrial IIoT provides can be used to identify KPI trends that indicate decreasing performance, showing which machines are likely in need of maintenance.
Effective IoT manufacturing solutions can implement long-term predictive maintenance, using analysis of past events to develop forecasts showing which machines need servicing to prevent reduced availability or productivity.
The real-time visibility that the industrial IoT can provide with the right solution can greatly improve quality control. The key IoT benefits here are the ability to monitor KPIs in real-time and the improved reaction time that comes with that.
When production encounters quality issues, the production team can’t resolve those issues until they find out about them. In some cases, this might not be until the entire run is complete, resulting in significant wasted material and time. IoT industrial automation solves this problem.
IoT devices can monitor quality criteria automatically, in real-time, during every second of production. The right solution can take this data and use it to monitor trends and instantly alert production teams when production falls out of specification.
Production scheduling can become an incredibly complex task, even for relatively straightforward manufacturing operations. The production data provided by having all machines and sensors connected serves as an extremely valuable asset when it comes to developing more optimized schedules.
With every machine and sensor connected to an IIoT solution, every bit of production data can be collected and analyzed in real-time. This lets production teams and management make more effective decisions in every aspect of their operations but has additional potential as well.
As machine availability and efficiency vary over the course of production, these trends can be identified with an effective IIoT solution. From there, they can be used to develop even more accurate and optimized production schedules in the future.
IIoT opportunities can provide a wide range of benefits throughout the entire supply chain. These include many unique applications in shipping and also uses in the warehouse and on the factory floor. IoT technology can make inventory management more accurate and reduce labor requirements.
The use of various different types of IIoT devices can largely replace manual inventory tracking methods. These devices can remain in constant communication with an IIoT solution that automatically keeps track of their location.
Even incorporating existing barcode and scanner systems into an IIoT solution can have fantastic results when it comes to making inventory data more accurate and reliable.
IIoT technology can help manufacturers reduce both material and energy waste through improved control and monitoring. First, manufacturers can gain the ability to monitor material and energy use in real-time with IoT devices or by incorporating existing sensors and machines into their IIoT network.
Second, production teams can be made aware of and respond to waste more quickly. An IIoT solution can monitor production data from machines and IoT devices and notify production teams as soon as KPIs are outside of their appropriate range.
With better access to real-time data and more control over their processes, organizations can use IoT for manufacturing to reduce both material and energy waste and their associated costs.
Enjoying the Benefits of Industry 4.0 With Matics
The Matics solution serves as a vital central hub for all of your machines, IoT devices, ERP, MES, and other existing solutions. By aggregating and analyzing production data, our platform can provide production teams and management with the contextualized information and alerts they need to act quickly and effectively. To find out more about Matics, you can contact our team to schedule a demo today.