Building Smarter Manufacturing with Internet of Things (IoT)
“Industry 1.0 was the invention of mechanical help, Industry 2.0 was mass production, pioneered by Henry Ford, Industry 3.0 brought electronics and control systems to the shop floor, and Industry 4.0 is peer-to-peer communication between products, systems and machines.”
The basic principle of Industry 4.0 is the essence of IoT and smart manufacturing. By connecting machines, a manufacturer can create intelligent networks along the entire value chain that communicate and control each other autonomously with significantly reduced intervention by operators.
How IoT Enables Smart Manufacturing
A smart manufacturing is an informed manufacturing organization which contains four elements: informed products, processes, people and infrastructure. These essential elements of manufacturing are converging like never before, creating a more automated, intelligent and streamlined manufacturing process.
Products: Advanced sensors, controls and software applications work together to obtain and share real-time information as finished goods make their way down the production line. Informed products will enable machines to take autonomous action.
People: By connecting people across all business functions and geographies, and providing them with relevant information in real-time, “informed people” will provide intelligent design, operations and maintenance, as well as higher quality service and safety.
Processes: By emphasizing bidirectional information-sharing across the global manufacturing value chain — from supplier to customer — informed processes lead to a flexible and adaptable supply chain.
Infrastructure: Using smart infrastructure components that interface with mobile devices, products and people, informed infrastructure will better manage complexities and enable more efficient manufacturing of goods.
The development and adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) is a critical element of smarter manufacturing. Though manufacturing companies have been implementing sensors and computerized automation for decades, the systems are largely disconnected from IT and operational systems. These systems are organized in hierarchical fashion within individual data silos and often lack connections to internal systems.
Today’s IoT data is different than the data we use to operate our systems. It requires collecting a wide range of data from a variety of sensors. These software systems and models must translate information from the physical world into actionable insight that can be used by humans and machines.
What It Means For Manufacturing?
Factory visibility: IoT network connect what’s happening on the factory floor to enterprise-based systems and decision makers. IoT provides production line information to decision makers and improve factory efficiency. The benefits of visibility will extend beyond the enterprise to a wide range of suppliers and third party providers of services, consumables and capital goods.
Automation: Once machinery and systems are connected within the plant, manufacturers can use this information to automate workflows to maintain and optimize production systems without human intervention. The software can automatically adjust the machinery if it detects that a measurement has deviated from acceptable ranges.
Energy management: In many industries, energy is frequently the second largest operating cost. But many companies lack cost effective measurement systems and modelling tools and/or performance and management tools to optimize energy use in individual production operations, much less in real-time across multiple operations, facilities, or an entire supply chain.
Proactive maintenance: With new sensor information, IoT can help a manufacturer improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), save money by minimizing equipment failure and allow the company to perform planned maintenance.
Connected Supply Chain: Just in time manufacturing isn’t a new concept, but IoT, analytics and IP networks will help manufacturers gain a better understanding of the supply chain information that can be delivered in real-time. By connecting the production line and balance of plant equipment to suppliers, all parties can understand interdependencies, the flow of materials, and manufacturing cycle times. IoT enabled systems can be configured for location tracking, remote health monitoring of inventory, and reporting of parts and products as they move through the supply chain, among many other things.
IoT systems can also collect and feed delivery information into an ERP system; providing up-to-date information to accounting functions for billing. Real-time information access will help manufacturers identify issues before they happen, lower their inventory costs and potentially reduce capital requirements.
IcSoft & IoT
InTouch has developed proprietary software “Paperless Factory” for the Smart Factory or the Intelligent Manufacturing Environment. IcSoft suite of products cover integrated Enterprise Resource Planning with strong modular Manufacturing Execution System and Real-Time Shop-Floor Data Acquisition Systems. Paperless Factory is a new-age approach to integrate corporate decision-making and manufacturing shop-floor in real-time by connecting machines, work-places and systems, as intelligent networks along the entire value chain that can control each other autonomously.