Why should your manufacturing company look at the Internet of Things?

Your manufacturing company likely has business goals which include growing revenue, margins, and profits, as well as beating out the competition.

In today’s market, those goals are increasingly difficult to achieve.  Companies must continue to become more efficient, increase output, work for more demanding customers, work under increasing regulations, all the while continuing to earn current or better margins, and profits.

In the past, installing ERP systems or using Lean and Six Sigma frameworks was enough to improve the business. Many businesses can still benefit from those kinds of efforts. However, more and more those efforts aren’t enough to get the required efficiencies, production, and competitive differentiation.

The Internet of Things, which is a set of technologies put together into a system to convert data into useful information, is the next solution for enabling a business to accomplish its goals.  Here are a few ways IoT becomes the next solution:

  1. Digging Deeper: ERP and MES (Manufacturing Execution System) systems are set up to provide data down to a certain level of detail for manufacturing processes. That used to be enough for companies to make major improvements in production efficiencies. However, IoT can provide data that is another level or two deeper. It can, among other tasks, provide data about conditions inside the equipment. That data can be used to understand how close the machine is to its effective operational limits, in addition to providing production output and related data.
  2. More Uptime: The internal data can also be used to provide information on the condition of machines and even predict if and when they might break down. This allows maintenance and service technicians to fix the machines before major issues occur and keep them up and running longer, thereby increasing OEE (Optimal Equipment Effectiveness).
  3. Sharing Data: The information that comes from an IoT system about production and equipment conditions can be shared beyond the manufacturing plant floor. Equipment often has an HMI (Human Machine Interface), or a screen from which users can view status information. However, that data is often not available outside of the shop floor. Utilizing the “Internet” portion of the Internet of Things allows maintenance technicians, management, and business leaders to see important data as needed.

Once the IoT system is in place, people across the organization can use the deeper, more useful data from equipment, manufacturing processes, and other areas of the business to drive decisions and actions. This is where the data becomes valuable information, and thereby becomes the differentiator in moving the business to the next level of growth in revenue, margins, profit, and also in competitive advantage.

These Industrial IoT systems give you access to data that has never been available before. We now have the ability to pull a large amount of new data from machines instantly. This all happens in real-time and is a game-changer for the manufacturing industry. Instead of tending to a machine that went down, diagnosing the problem, and trying to determine what you need to fix it; You can let your manufacturing IoT system pull the data you need to prevent this problem before it happens, or if something does break, you now have all of the information to determine the cause a lot faster. This also helps you understand your machines better, if you can see the data and watch everything that is going on inside your equipment, you will be able to run an efficient plant while making confident data-driven decisions.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to Contact us for more information. If you enjoyed or found some insightful information in this article, check out our blog, we have many more IIoT based articles to help you take your business to the next level.