Written by: Paul Matthews
The idea of the Internet of Things isn’t new. It was first pioneered by tech companies pushing for a more efficient future in the age of the internet. Though just some decades ago it may have seemed a complete foreign concept, but recently the idea has truly come into fruition.
But what exactly is the Internet of Things, and how can it benefit our industries?
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is essentially about connecting devices over the internet, allowing them to talk to us, applications and each other. When we think about the IoT, smart home appliances may be one of the fist things that comes to mind. Smart meters can tell you exactly how much energy your home is using, advising you what appliances are the biggest culprits. Similarly, some can even allow you to control your heating remotely, simply by connecting through an app on your phone. This sophisticated technology is quickly becoming the norm for several industries, including industrial and manufacturing businesses.
How it is Benefiting the Industrial/Manufacturing Industry
Some companies stand to benefit a great deal from the IoT, here’s a look at exactly how it can help:
Improving Energy Efficiency
For industrial businesses and manufacturing firms, it’s no surprise that energy comes as one of the businesses biggest expenses. From machinery to lighting, bills for the company will highlight every expense for the entire factory. One of the issues with this is that there is no way to break down the bill and detail exactly what machines are using the most energy. The IoT allows them to monitor their energy efficiency with a device that can collect individual data from the machines.
Helping Facility Management
Many factories require precise temperature control, which is why they install ventilation systems. This can help with the flow of air throughout the factory while also improving the quality of air. The introduction of the IoT will considerably help industrial businesses to manage their facilities better, including air flow. Sensors throughout the building can create condition-based maintenance alerts that can send signals whenever the equipment deviates from its settings.
Higher Product Quality
Improving product quality is always a priority for industrial and manufacturing businesses. After all, higher quality products lead to customer satisfaction and recommendations, as well as reduced waste and lower costs. One of the issues that can lead to poor product quality is bad quality control. The IoT can collect product data and other data from the stages of the product cycle. Using this information, businesses can then alter their practice by analysing the identified issues.
For industrial businesses, inventory management is highly important. IoT applications can monitor a series of events across the supply chain, from when materials enter the factory to when the goods leave. It can provide the managers with real-time information regarding inventory.
Safety and Security
Lastly, safety and security is a huge concern for every business, no matter whether they’re based online or in physical premises. Data analysis from the IoT can improve the employees overall safety in the factory by monitoring things like the number of injuries sustained, illness rates, absences and vehicle incidents.
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