One of the most critical expenses for businesses is unscheduled equipment downtime which is why the Internet of Things (IoT) is signiﬁcantly impacting industrial applications. Industrial IoT (IIoT) provides users with advanced technology for predicting maintenance needs, optimize their production lines, and provide solutions for monitoring and controlling their entire facility to reduce costs.
IDC and SAP predict that 60% of global manufacturers are going to use analytic data from connected devices to identify optimization opportunities. Additionally, Business Insider predicts global manufacturers are investing $70 billion in IoT solutions in 2020.
In fact, some would argue industrial applications have the most to gain by implementing IoT solutions. Savvy engineers are networking protocols like Modbus, Profibus, CAN and others with high-performing wireless sensors to provide essential real-time data on equipment, robots, and even their HVAC and lighting systems. From vibration, temperature, and other environmental sensors to asset tracking, smart controllers, and artificial intelligence, IoT provides the structure for better decision making that reduces costs and optimizes production lines and facilities.
Let’s look at three key areas where Industrial IoT solutions are highly beneficial.
Industrial IoT is significantly reducing costs through predictive maintenance capabilities. Some sources estimate:
• 25% reduction of maintenance costs
• 25% reduction in equipment breakdowns
• 50% reduction in downtime
• 25% increase in productivity
This impact is possible because IoT enables equipment and product performance to be measured through the use of advanced sensors and analyzed in real-time. Critical measurements for vibration, fluids, servicing, run-time, and temperatures from sensors are transferred to a cloud-based database, analyzed and displayed so users can quickly determine if any of the data points are out of range, indicating the equipment is about to fail or underperforming. Real-time alarms can be set-up to be sent automatically via text, email, or automated telephone calls to technicians based on specified parameters from the users. Failure prediction can allow maintenance to be automatically scheduled during off-peak operational hours to reduce financial impacts. IoT’s ability to combine real-time analytics with active alarming is the foundation for predictive maintenance. Field engineers and support personnel can now intelligently determine core issues causing trouble and perform the maintenance on the equipment before the machine actually breaks down, which could cause more damage and extended downtimes. OEM manufacturers can analyze data to understand how their equipment is operating in real environments.
Having this real-time data, alarms, and predictability signiﬁcantly reduces repair costs.
Similar to predictive maintenance, sensors can provide condition-based maintenance alerts to facility managers and real-time energy monitoring. Lighting and HVAC are vital areas where facilities costs are being reduced significantly. An obvious solution for lighting is to have occupancy sensors, timers based on manufacturing schedules, and exterior and parking lights on astronomical schedules, thus only lighting areas that are occupied or that actually need light.
With the use of environmental sensors such as temperature, humidity, temperature, pressure, and occupancy, HVAC Systems can be optimized to efficiently divert climate comfort where only needed and not in unoccupied areas or where equipment is not running. Both HVAC and lighting systems are essential to controlling energy costs and part of a total energy management system for facilities. Some reports estimate that IoT can cut lighting expenses by as much as 60% and HVAC expenses as much as 30%. The need to reduce the energy costs is a global concern, and IoT solutions enable real-time analysis and alarming for lowering peak-demand usage and subsequent charges.
Industrial IoT is making headlines in production flow because intelligent sensors and video cameras are actively monitoring inventory, supply chain, and manufacturing events. The ability for equipment to transmit critical operational information enables managers and OEMs to take advantage of process automation and optimization while users can be immediately advised of significant deviations from the plans or production process for immediate correction. Additionally, connecting units can establish better lines of command and help identify key result areas for managers.
Solutions also involve visibility into inventory, providing realistic estimates of available material, Work-In-Progress (WIP) and new material arrival time estimates. These tools and sensors reduce costs, increase eﬃciency and create more reliability for production facilities.
About Axsys Automation
Axsys Automation’s is a leading provider of IoT sensor, gateway, connectivity, mobile applications and cloud-integration solutions. We have over 20 years of industrial and commercial ODM/OEM engineering design and new product development. We have implemented Bluetooth Mesh networks by partnering with Silicon Labs and creating a long-range wireless networking solution. For more information about our Bluetooth Mesh capabilities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.