Manufacturers can improve their operations and thereby generate better revenue and profit with IIoT.
They can do this by unlocking data from their equipment, calculating the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) for the equipment, and use the resulting data to find the issues, and even fix them right then and there.
Let’s start with a bit of perspective. Manufacturers have historically struggled to determine whether or not the equipment was performing at its peak performance. It has often required a labor-intensive effort manually collecting data from machines, either by operators or maintenance staff. Often that data was collected and filed, and never compiled and analyzed.
Think about how much money and resources it really requires to keep up to date on all of the information on every machine in your lineup. Historically, you would have to pay someone to do all of this work. That is a lot of money on a regular basis for someone to get this done. However, that isn’t even the worst part, the worst part is the substantial amount of downtime. Downtime accumulates fast in these situations where a machine or a lineup of machines will have to be down to gather this information for preventative maintenance. Fortunately, there is a better solution today.
Large companies with large budgets have had the resources to purchase or build systems to automate the collection and analysis of that data.
However, technology has changed to allow smaller companies to purchase, setup, and then get immediate access to valuable information on their equipment. These changes include not only IIoT software platforms for collecting, analyzing, and visualizing the data for human consumption, but also changes in other areas such as PLCs with automatic fault codes, and low-cost devices to get data from older machines. This completely changes the manufacturing landscape. With this revolutionary technology now readily available to small-medium sized companies, the standards in all levels of the manufacturing industry are changing. Automation for better asset utilization is the direction everything is moving towards.
Now more companies are using IIoT and OEE to improve asset utilization. Some studies suggest nearly 80% of manufacturers adopting IIoT do it for machine health and asset utilization (World Economic Forum’s Industrial Internet Survey). Respondents said the top reason they are adopting IIoT is for optimizing asset utilization ratios. Some even said near-term adoption was “extremely important” or “very important”.
To get the benefits of improving asset utilization ratios for equipment, manufacturers must use IIoT and a KPI such as OEE. The company should start by using the IIoT solution to calculate OEE (How to Calculate OEE Guide)
PwC research suggests industrial companies can achieve more than a 30% increase in revenue if they make efforts to digitally transform their operations, including using IIoT for improving asset utilization and the related asset utilization ratios. Some companies report they can find and fix issues within even a few weeks. This enables a fast and significant ROI from the investment in focusing on OEE using an IIoT solution.