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What is the Internet of Things and How is it Transforming the Manufacturing Industry?

Mike Jeffries | August 23, 2016

automatedmanufacturing.jpegA network of physical devices, buildings, vehicles and other manufacturing tools that can been connected to each other using various kinds of software and sensors is referred to as the Internet of Things. IoT contains within it the infrastructure of an automated informational complex used for aiding the manufacturing process.

Related Blog: Collaboration vs. Automation: Humans and Robots Working Together

What is its purpose?

The main objective of the IoT network is the collection and exchange of data that helps the individual pieces of the network work together in harmony for a overall operation whose efficiency has been greatly increased. Objects within the framework can be remotely controlled and directed, and a steady stream of data relating to each individual machine's performance is curated and analyzed.

How does it help the Manufacturing Industry?

The arrival of the Internet of Things is believed to herald the start of the fourth industrial age for mankind. Proper application of IoT has the potential to transform the manufacturing industry, through the use of the following techniques -

  1. Using IoT to apply the principles of 'Smart Manufacturing' for increasing the efficiency of the manufacturing process. This includes compiling and reviewing data collected by sensors and reacting immediately to potential problems in the manufacturing process.

  2. Applying digital control systems for automating the control processes within a factory unit. This allows for remote controlling of the factory assets, leading to reduced costs and increase in safety of the operators.

  3. Predictive maintenance of factory assets using sensors and their controlling software. The job of the sensors is to ceaselessly gather information pertaining to each individual machine's performance and immediately send an alarm in case a machine malfunctions.

  4. Compiling data for the performance of individual machines for their statistical analysis. This is an important aspect of factory maintenance and the data collected from the sensors can be used to estimate the working life of the machines and prepare for their replacements or repairing.

  5. Applying the principles of a 'Smart Grid' system of manufacturing to promote real time energy optimization for the factory. This practice makes the cyber world an integral part of the manufacturing process for greater communication and assistance for the factory workers.

  6. An automated system of safety and health management greatly improves the response time during an emergency that can help save lives and equipment during the crisis. 

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Topics: manufacturing, internet of things, factory automation, Florida factory, manufacturing trends, smart manufacturing

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