How Can IoT Optimize Processes on the Factory Floor?

How Can IoT Optimize Processes on the Factory Floor?

The third and last wave of the Industrial Revolution came to fruition in the 60s. Fast-forward to 50 years, and the IoT has triggered the rise of the fourth wave, which is popularly known as Industry 4.0. This is now the era of smart factories where the combination of the IoT with robotics, predictive analytics, big data, and edge computing is redefining the future of factory processes.

The following are some examples of IoT applications on the factory floor.

 

Predictive Maintenance

Machines with moving parts are going to malfunction from time to time. Production lines cease to operate when a conveyor belt jams or a pipe bursts, requiring emergency repairs. Traditionally, condition maintenance was used to tackle these repairs, which caused the downtime. Some factories employ planned maintenance scheduling.

However, this approach is ineffective because a change doesn't need to be required after an issue is fixed. For instance, a machine part may have a rating of 10,000 hours, but in actuality, it might have a lifespan of 20,000 hours. On the contrary, a part may also fail before the scheduled maintenance interval. This is where IoT knocks it out of the park by incorporating predictive maintenance to the factory floor.

In predictive maintenance, IoT devices track raw, telemetry data. Machine learning algorithms are trained to ingest large amounts of data, to derive context out of it and anticipating failures of machines and parts with statistical probability methods.

 

OEE Calculations

OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) is a measure of how a factory optimizes its operations, such as materials, time, and facilities. The objective is to determine an accurate overview of productive manufacturing time. By installing indicator lights on machines and obtaining data from IoT sensors, you can calculate OEE. In this way, you can build solutions to enhance the efficiency of your processes and machines. Here is what you can find:

  • Availability – Determines how to reduce overall runtime, including that of planned and unplanned stoppages.
  • Performance – Identifies the factors that decrease the speed of production.
  • Quality – Pinpoints products or parts that fail to meet industry standards.

 

Safety

Despite the fact, a lot of different variables occupy the factory floor such as people, machines, and a wide range of devices, IoT sensors can interconnect them as an intermediary. It can detect obstructions or safety risks in real-time and alert workers to take caution. Similarly, it can also shut down equipment to prevent harm to the staff.

 

Final Thoughts

Over the past decade, factories have slowly and gradually transformed into smart factories. By setting IoT as their foundational technology, factory owners have generated a sharp increase in productivity and improved their resource utilization on the factory floor. If you are in a managerial position in a factory, then give us a call. Tantiv4 can help factories to undergo this complex transformation, and with our solutions, you can enjoy the benefits of IoT in a short period.