Data Collection from Manufacturing Machines and Equipment
IoT devices are installed onto machinery and equipment on the factory floor. These devices continuously collect data on machine performance. Depending on the type of application the solution is being used for, the data collected from the machines can include factors such as utilisation, energy consumption, temperature, vibration, and more.
Real-Time Monitoring and Analytics
One of the most significant advantages of IoT is its ability to provide real-time insights. Data collected by IoT devices is transmitted to central cloud-based web software where it can be analysed instantly. This means that manufacturers can identify issues as they occur, rather than reacting to problems after the fact.
Production managers, for example, can see in real time if a machine is in a productive or unproductive state, enabling them to respond accordingly, removing the chance of a production bottleneck.
FourJaw's manufacturing analytics platform uses a proprietary Plug & Play IoT hardware (MachineLink) device that connects via sensors to the machines power supply.
Tracking Product Quality
IoT can extend beyond machines, enabling manufacturers to monitor the quality of products themselves. Sensors attached to products can detect defects, measure dimensions, and assess product attributes. For instance, in a food processing facility, IoT sensors can monitor the temperature and humidity of perishable goods in real-time, ensuring product quality and safety.
Benefits of IoT in Manufacturing
The integration of IoT solutions within a manufacturing environment can offer a number of benefits, including:
Real-time machine monitoring technology enables manufacturers to optimise production processes, reduce downtime, and improve overall efficiency. Other solutions such as those that focus on Predictive maintenance help minimise unexpected equipment failures, leading to less disruption and higher productivity.
Using cloud-based platforms like FourJaw's machine monitoring solution enables manufacturers to access their production data in real-time.
Increased Production Capacity
Investment in smart, IoT technologies can enhance production capacity through process automation, waste reduction, and heightened operational efficiency. This approach may also alleviate the necessity for substantial capital expenditure by optimising the utilisation of existing manufacturing equipment.
The automation of manufacturing processes serves to streamline production, minimise human errors, and deliver consistently precise outcomes. Systems, such as machine monitoring, replace many traditionally manual and time-consuming processes, such as data capture, thereby enabling employees to engage in more value-added tasks.
Enhanced Product Quality
Continuous monitoring of products ensures consistent quality standards. Any deviations or defects can be addressed promptly, reducing waste and improving customer satisfaction.
IoT-driven insights enable manufacturers to make informed operational and commercial decisions. This can result in new, more optimised factory layouts through to deciding whether to invest in new machines or sell old ones. Other financial benefits can come from identifying areas to reduce energy consumption, lower maintenance costs, and optimise supply chain management.
IoT sensors can monitor workplace conditions and detect safety hazards. Alerts and automated shutdowns can be triggered in case of emergencies, ensuring the safety of workers. In addition, sensors that are monitoring a machine's utilisation can capture data causing unproductive downtime. The downtime reasons captured can enable managers and supervisors to identify instances where H&S procedures may not be being followed.
Underpins Process Improvement Methodologies
IoT solutions such as machine monitoring software have revolutionised the way manufacturers approach process improvement methodologies such as Kaizen, (continuous improvement), Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma and 5S to name a few. With the right tools, teams can analyse data and identify trends to easily and confidently identify areas for improvement. Using data to identify the root cause of problems enables teams to develop more targeted solutions to improve their processes.
The Internet of Things is transforming manufacturing by enabling real-time monitoring and data collection from machines. This technology offers manufacturers a competitive edge by enhancing efficiency, improving product quality, and reducing costs.
As IoT continues to evolve, its potential in the manufacturing sector is limitless, promising a future of smarter, more efficient production processes. Embracing IoT is no longer an option but a necessity for manufacturers looking to thrive in the digital age.