Digitalization and the Future of IIoT

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Conor-Brosnan

It’s no secret that Covid 19 has affected businesses globally, something that hasn’t happened via a virus since the Spanish Flu of 1918. Unlike 1918 however, we are much more digitally advanced and dependent on technology in 2020. With our enhanced knowledge and reliance on all things digital, we are truly better equipped to handle this virus with respect to keeping industrial operations up and running. One huge and probably the largest advantage, is the connection we can form between multiple machines by utilizing a mobile monitoring system.

IoT, or Internet of Things, is one of the clearest indications that at least when it comes to digital applications anywhere, we are in the golden age of monitoring. Industry Week 50’s Peter Fretty writes “As the pipeline connecting and collecting mountains of data from an entire spectrum of equipment and devices, IoT continues steady progression as more companies embark on their journey. “

IoT connects devices from all over to provide critical data for example, a manufacturing plant. With IoT’s capabilities you can ensure that all your machines are connected and working in sync. You can also find out which exact machine is lagging behind the others and optimize it or replace it.

The beauty of IIoT, Industrial internet of Things, yes IoT with a focus on industrial plants and processes, is the fact that almost every company worker utilizes the internet, which means that any and all information from the machines can be viewed and adjusted away from the office. Right now is a perfect example of companies who do have something like this implemented, who are able to focus on their work, while the ones that don’t, are scrambling to find out how they’re going to keep their machines running at full capacity while being away from their site. Others are simply risking exposure just to keep their company’s at peak performance.

Rob Mesirow, who heads the PwC Connected IoT sector says, “It’s also important to note the most popular IoT use cases so manufacturers can better guide their own deployment plans. The main use cases are in logistics (50%), supply chain (47%), employee and customer experience (46%), and predictive maintenance (41%).” (Industry Week 50)

Predictive maintenance is something that is now more than ever expected to be precise and almost as importantly, time sensitive. If the vibration on a bearing is ignored, your repair costs go from a few hundred dollars for a new bearing, to a few thousand for a new pump, even more depending on the size. With ramifications like that it’s important you know right away if something is wrong, which is almost impossible to do without a monitoring system measuring the vibration.

One large aspect of predictive maintenance is the specificity of that notification. There are systems that can tell you which exact bearing is vibrating too much. There is no need for constant inspection and worrying -if the bearing needs to be fixed, you will be notified. Getting the notification will help you prepare as much as you can to get the problem taken care of.

Connecting all machines and devices will give your company the ability to view the variables that they know are important to the success of their plant, and ultimately make a decision based on the scope of the plant or project and not simply one machine.

Some machines have monitoring devices but without connecting them to an intelligent analytics, you may be missing out on profits stemming from your system not working as efficiently.  You may even think your plant is working at high efficiency, but you will not know until you can monitor all devices separately, together at once.

Doing this allows you to find out what part of your cement process, or food process, or wastewater process is giving what specific machine trouble; and more importantly when in the process. Having a 30% increase in production, or 30% decrease in waste can garner a company thousands if not hundreds of thousands in revenue over just one year of production.

The future will yield more and more companies committed to building some frequency of teleworking into their employment plans –both for routine and emergency situations. As part of this, forward-thinking, companies are updating and perfecting their preparedness plans to include mobile solutions to in-person problems. One of these solutions is an IIoT monitoring capable of providing real time data, detailed alerts, and can display 3-dimensional models of the plant as well as all of its components. Click the link below if you would like to learn more.

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