It’s fair to say that the Internet of Things (IoT) has been revolutionising the way manufacturers work over the last few years. Smart manufacturing has already proven its ability to streamline processes within the manufacturing workplace, whilst also offering those who utilise it a whole host of benefits.
Here, we take a closer look at how IoT technology has been helping the manufacturing industry, and how it can continue to do so for years to come.
The Benefits Of Smart Manufacturing
Smart manufacturing has the ability to improve almost all areas of existing manufacturing processes by giving employees access to a whole host of real-time information on their manufacturing process. IoT technology gives managers access to a huge amount of data, that provide vital insights into things like a machine’s overall health, energy consumption and productivity.
Here are some of the major benefits that any business in manufacturing can expect to see after integrating IoT technology within their existing manufacturing process.
Predictive Maintenance & Reduced Downtime
Planning maintenance schedules based on historical information has long been an issue for many companies in the manufacturing industry. With no hard and fast rule on when equipment is likely to break down and require attention, it can be difficult to make an informed maintenance schedule that best suits the individual requirements of each machine.
With IoT technology, maintenance schedules are based on real-time information which is consistently being fed to those in charge of the equipment. Through the use of sensors, data is fed back to the human operative who can then make more informed decisions about when a machine in your production chain does, in fact, need maintenance work carrying out.
In turn, the information gathered by this technology has the ability to significantly reduce the amount of machine downtime throughout a business. This can be especially useful, as one of the main contributors for lost revenue throughout the last few years was unexpected machine downtime. The IoT technology installed into each machine within a business makes it extremely clear when a machine either needs maintenance work or potentially needs replacing altogether. Over the course of the coming years, businesses could expect to save thousands of pounds in lost revenue caused by unproductive or broken equipment.
Any company in the manufacturing industry will be actively looking to increase their product quality to ensure customer satisfaction, and IoT is capable of enhancing your product longevity.
Improving the quality of products is not only great for customers, but it’s also worthwhile from the manufacturer’s perspective too. Higher-quality products boasting other benefits such as reduced waste, lower overall costs, increased customer satisfaction and loyalty and inevitably, an increase in overall sales.
The major culprit for issues with product quality is often faulty items. Products can become faulty over time, or can be faulty from the time they are manufactured, which obviously causes issues for your company. IoT technology is capable of completely eradicating any problems during the manufacturing process, therefore ensuring that each and every product made is in complete working order.
By utilising sensors, smart manufacturing technologies are capable of identifying the smallest issues, from a temperature change that could affect product quality through to the machine not operating properly. Once an alert is raised, the human operative can stop production and work towards rectifying the issue at hand, potentially saving a manufacturing business a huge amount of money on faulty products.
Increased Energy Efficiency
It’s no secret that one of the largest expenses that most manufacturing firms run into is energy costs. Knowing exactly how much energy each of the machines in your manufacturing process is using can be difficult to determine, with energy bills stating a simple lump sum of your total energy costs; even companies that do offer services to break down the energy consumption by machine are hit and miss at best. This is where smart manufacturing technology comes in especially handy for business owners.
IoT allows manufacturing bosses to collect and understand data for individual pieces of equipment, which allows them to identify if there are any problematic devices within the business. With a constant stream of data to analyse, it’s extremely simple to identify any underperforming machines as energy consumption may outweigh its productivity.
The real-time data delivered by IoT technology allows businesses to make more informed decisions on when it is best to upgrade existing machines in the production chain. By finding any inefficient pieces of the production process, businesses stand to save a significant amount of money over the coming years.
As one of the leading spring manufacturers in the UK, we have moved quickly to integrate IoT technology into our current processes to guarantee the very best products for our customers. You can rest assured we will continually invest in the very latest technologies available to continually provide the very best levels of customer service possible.