Among the many new technology acronyms floating around these days, the IoT, or Internet of Things, is garnering a great deal of attention. The Internet of Things is the interconnectivity of devices and objects in which software is embedded to track data. Through the IoT, networks can include buildings, vehicles, software, and more. The data derived from the IoT can improve delivery times, production management, safety, and much more, depending on how it is used.
Censors Monitoring Shop Floors
Imagine a world in which connected censors can monitor conditions on the shop floor. Like a social network, these censors communicate with one another, relaying information and making adjustments based on data. Plant equipment sends temperature data to the HVAC controls, which understands that the rising temperatures may affect quality output. It then adjusts the fans to blow cool air over specific equipment in use and keep the temperature at an optimal level so that outputs maintain quality standards.
Information relayed from equipment may help them gauge the shelf-life of components or weigh the need to take something offline for maintenance. Predictive maintenance alone based on IoT data may save money on costly emergency repairs and improve the longevity of equipment.
Using Data to Improve Safety
The same data relayed from equipment can be used to improve safety. Air quality, ambient temperature, and other factors can be measured and used to judge whether, or not, workers need more frequent breaks. Machinery can be kept in better working order so that it jams less often, breaks down less frequently, and otherwise prevents problems that can impact safety. Even something as simple as a wet floor with censors in it can trigger warning signs to flash that keep people from slipping and sliding.
Vehicles outfitted with safety censors connected to the IoT can monitor driving habits so that drivers who exhibit safety best practices can be rewarded and those who take risks can receive remedial training. Data derived from the IoT can also be used for safety training. The safer the workplace, the better.
Open Access to Data
The “democratization” of data simply means allowing full access to data by everyone involved in the manufacturing process. This may sound peculiar; why should a warehouse foreman look at marketing data or a sales manager care about inventory status?
Today, all jobs are interconnected. Seamlessly taking orders, producing goods, and shipping them in a timely fashion requires teamwork throughout the company. The IoT can provide data from every point in a manufacturing company to a centralized system such as an ERP system that produces vital data for everyone. Access to such data can encourage teamwork, collaboration, and improvements that benefit everyone but, most importantly, benefit your customers and your business.
Adopting this last best practice may require a change in thinking, but it can enhance your business a great deal. It’s worth considering as you move into the world of IoT and ERP.
Accounting Systems Incorporated (ASI)
Accounting Systems Incorporated (ASI) provides ERP, accounting, and other software and systems to help your company grow. Cloud-based software such as Sage 100 and Acumatica ERP can be used with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. These products can provide the business intelligence you need to grow your company. For more information, visit our website, or call us at 803-252-6154.