The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing short of revolutionary. Interconnected devices have opened up a whole new world of possibilities, from self-driving cars to connected buildings and homes. IoT has transformed the way work is done across all industries. In this blog post, we’ll explore how IoT is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry and discuss powerful use cases of IoT for manufacturing.
The Role of IoT in Manufacturing
While traditional manufacturing involves a fair amount of automation, many processes are still done manually. For example, workers need to assess the condition of each machine regularly to determine if repairs are needed.
In addition, with traditional manufacturing, each factory generally operates as an individual silo. That means that if the head office wants to know the status of a process at a particular plant, they would need to rely on human supervisors for updates.
With IoT, manufacturing companies can eliminate many of these inefficiencies using connectivity, automation, and real-time data capabilities. IoT in manufacturing improves operational efficiencies, reduces costs, enhances product quality, and provides better control and visibility. Let’s explore some of these benefits in greater detail.
How IoT in Manufacturing is Revolutionizing the Industry
Real-Time Data Monitoring and Collection
Monitoring is perhaps one of the best uses of IoT in factory environments. Embedded sensors can track data and metrics in real time, providing insights into machine performance, product quality, and energy consumption. In addition, IoT can automate quality control by checking on product quality at various stages of manufacturing. Defects can be caught early, reducing waste and improving consistency.
Centralized management allows for overseeing multiple operations in multiple locations for immediate response to issues.
Self-diagnosis and repair are the hallmarks of smart manufacturing. IoT sensors make this possible by closely tracking a machine’s parameters like hours used, energy consumption, temperature, vibration, and wear and tear. The goal is to detect and repair defects before they happen to help streamline operations, reduce downtime, and cut down on maintenance costs.
Supply Chain Optimization
Using IoT, smart factory machines can keep track of materials and products as they move through the process line. Raw materials, tools, or other components needed for factories are also tracked throughout the supply chain. This can simplify inventory management, improve shipping and help with demand forecasting, reducing costs. providing management with an accurate measure of their raw material usage.
By incorporating IoT, smart manufacturing processes automate entire production pipelines. Sensors can detect various parameters, such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and motion. The system can then read this data and optimize the process as necessary. For example, they can increase heat automatically to compensate for a drop in ambient temperature.
Requirements for Deploying IoT in Manufacturing
Using POTS replacement solutions, a company can forgo its copper telephone network, or “Plain Old Telephone Service” and upgrade to a fully digital infrastructure. This is a basic requirement for IoT because, without the support of a robust digital network, sensors and devices can’t transmit data fast enough. In larger factories, the high number of IoT devices also requires larger bandwidth beyond what a POTS line can provide.
In order to facilitate the real-time transfer of large data to a central system or portal, a business needs established, reliable, and secure network infrastructure and connectivity. Pending specific requirements of IoT deployment, Wi-Fi, Satellite Broadband, and cellular networks are options that MetTel would design and procure for the manufacturing plant.
High speeds and large bandwidth are required for IoT to work as smoothly and near real-time as possible. 5G provides a substantial increase in bandwidth, allowing instantaneous data transmission between IoT devices. In addition, 5G networks provide enhanced security and better monitoring.
IoT Sensors and Devices
MetTel works with each business to identify all machines, equipment and products that collect data. We design and procure sensors and devices capable of measuring temperature, humidity, pressure, vibration, location, and more. Included in equipment monitoring is workforce management, IoT tools to help with shift scheduling, environmental condition evaluation, setting up automated alerts, and more to protect workers.
Secure Data Processing and Storage
Understanding how data will be processed and storage infrastructure are crucial to setting up infrastructure and security to manage the data generated by IoT devices. We then establish encryption, authentication, access controls and intrusion detection to safeguard data and prevent unauthorized access on edge compute devices, the network, and cloud-based platforms.
Make the Transformation Today with MetTel
For manufacturing IoT to function properly, it needs a powerful communication and data system behind it. This is where MetTel’s IoT connectivity solutions can help.
In addition, our POTS replacement services help upgrade your voice and data infrastructure to handle the bandwidth demand of a powerful manufacturing Internet of Things approach.
We are the trusted service provider for big tech companies like Verizon, Cisco, and AT&T. We’re also recognized as a 4X Leader in Gartner’s 2023 Magic Quadrant for Managed Network Services. Need help setting up your smart factory IoT infrastructure? Contact us today to learn more.