The industrial internet of things (IoT) provides many solutions for automating and optimizing the supply chain and manufacturing processes. While many industrial IoT technologies are still in the early stages of development, several companies have already implemented interconnected devices.
Here are 4 examples of industrial IoT technologies helping to boost productivity and efficiency.
- Automation in Warehousing and Logistics
Using sensors, robots, and human operators, warehouses can now automate many warehousing tasks. Instead of sending human workers on forklifts down aisles of shelving to locate or transport inventory, companies can rely on robots.
Automating standard warehouse processes increases overall efficiency and provides several additional advantages. These technologies may reduce operating costs.
Relying on robots, artificial intelligence, and a range of internet-connected sensors and devices, warehouses may increase speed, limit errors, and reduce worker injuries.
- Augmented Reality on the Assembly Line
Augmented reality (AR) creates a composite view of the real world with graphics or visual data superimposed on the screen. Workers can monitor tools and machines on the assembly line in real time, reducing errors and increasing worker safety.
The AR software connects with other IoT sensors and equipment to constantly analyze machines. The software then sends the data to tablets or smart glasses operated by workers on the floor. Several factories have also used industrial IoT technology to automate assembly processes.
Companies currently use a combination of AR, 3D printing, and state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment to customize orders during the assembly process without reducing production speed. Workers can select different parts, dimensions, or other criteria and the interconnected machines carry out the rest.
- Automating Predictive Maintenance
A major robotics firm has used IoT technology for predictive maintenance, helping to keep equipment running and reducing repair costs.
The company uses connected sensors to collect data from robots and other equipment in countries across the world. The software compiles the data to predict maintenance needs. The technologies work together to trigger maintenance and repair requests before the equipment breaks down.
While these technologies are currently used in the robotics field, they provide potential advantages for any business in the industrial sector. Automating maintenance schedules and repair tasks increase the service life of equipment and allow normal business operations to remain on track.
- Tracking Goods on the Supply Chain
Internet-connected devices also appear throughout the supply chain in the shipping and logistics industries. Logistics companies are using RFID technology and sensors to track cargo, providing instant data for every stage of the delivery process.
If a delivery is late, companies can quickly track the location. Analyzing data from the sensors also allows computer software to generate more efficient routes and delivery solutions. Shortening delivery times and reducing errors lead to a faster supply chain and greater customer service.
These are just a few examples of IoT technologies in the industrial sector, with many new projects on the way. In the coming years, expect more companies to embrace these solutions and start using inter-connected devices to simplify their operations and boost productivity.