One of the more popular solution manufacturing industry is incorporating the Internet of Things (IoT) to their facilities. Source: Shutterstock

One of the more popular solution manufacturing industry is incorporating the Internet of Things (IoT) to their facilities. Source: Shutterstock

Manufacturing industry management benefits from IoT

THE MANUFACTURING industry is on the cusp of a revolution — one that’s driven by engineering precision and powered by disruptive technologies.

Equipment damages, dysfunctional systems, and anything else that can compromise manufacturing efficiency is one of the first challenges that the industry’s leaders seek to overcome with the help of technology.

Their tool of choice? The internet of things (IoT), a technology that brings connectivity and new visibility to each machine and segment of their ecosystem.

Manufacturers realize that IoT can help them improve their overall production and supply chain processes.

IoT benefits manufacturers by enhancing facility management, production process monitoring, plant safety, and quality control, and allows for the optimization of the supply chain.

A digitally connected factory enables machinery to transmit relevant information to their operators, allowing them to manage factory units remotely with process automation and optimization. After some time, a digitally connected factory can help managers identify and optimize Key Result Areas (KRAs) as well.

Facility management solutions that incorporate IoT sensors not only monitors manufacturing equipment but also trigger alerts when there are issues. The sensors allow manufacturers to cut down on downtime and repair costs, reduce energy consumption, decrease machine downtime, and increase production efficiency.

Real-time IoT can also help production process monitoring by providing recommendations about possible adjustments to eliminate wastes and further reduce costs.

Manufacturers are also exploring how combining big data analysis and IoT can improve worker’s safety and plant security — by tracking the facilities’ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of health and safety, and quickly addressing Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE)-related problems.

Implementing IoT sensors in quality control can collect mass product data and other syndicated data such as raw materials used, temperature, and environmental data of the final product.

Using the sensors can also help collect data on customer’s input when using the product, which helps with identifying and correcting quality problems.

Providing real-time information in the supply chain is something that deeply interests manufacturers because it helps optimize the business to meet global demand more effectively by feeding data into Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), and other systems.

The information connects manufacturers with other relevant parties in the supply chain, which allows all parties to trace the production process. The collected data helps to predict issues, decrease inventory, and reduce the funds blocked in working capital.

IoT, in the manufacturing industry, is not a foreign concept, and among the examples of IoT in manufacturing are Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), TOTO Vietnam, and Airbus.

There’s no doubt that IoT offers many benefits to manufacturers seeking to optimize their facilities and deliver better products to customers at a lower cost. Despite the competition, those that implement the right solutions quickly might find an opportunity to win over customers before the market adjusts.