The Industrial Internet of Things can do much more than optimize machine assets. Here are six examples, from New Equipment Digest, of how manufacturers are putting IIoT to smart business use.

  1. Rapid Costing – Manufacturing functions are considered as internal suppliers to the product management group or the sales team and, therefore, must provide cost estimates during tendering and business development cycles. Tough market dynamics require rapid costing on price indications about a particular piece of equipment, and this quick turnaround can be a decisive factor in whether the enterprise wins or loses major orders.
  2. Non-Conformance Report (NCR) Analytics – An NCR is issued when a product, process or procedure does not comply with set standards. It can also represent a significant deficiency. An NCR is issued when a product, process or procedure does not comply with set standards. It can also represent a significant deficiency.
  3. Plant Load Optimization – Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) processes are the core of a manufacturing company, helping to guide daily operations and monthly plans toward long-term business goals and aligns manufacturing, suppliers and customers.  Historical load, industrial footprint, executed projects, scope changes and customer behavior are data points that can optimize plant loading. To understand and balance the trade-offs to optimize loading requires an IIoT strategy.
  4. Shop Floor Operational Improvements – Manufacturers are increasingly interested in the use of low-cost sensors attached to machines for preventive maintenance and condition-based monitoring. Sensors that can actively monitor and send an alert when the tool deviates from these prescribed parameters can aid in preventing malfunctions. Big data in an IIoT solution can help improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), minimize equipment failure and enable proactive maintenance to reduce or eliminate downtime.
  5. Suppliers and Supply Chain – Access to real-time supply chain information helps identify issues before they happen, reduces inventory and potentially reduces capital requirements. By connecting plants to suppliers, all parties involved in the supply chain can trace interdependencies, material flow and manufacturing cycle times. IIoT-enabled systems can be configured for location tracking, remote monitoring of inventory and reporting of parts and products as they move through the supply chain. They can also collect and feed delivery information into ERP, PLM and other systems.
  6. Health, Safety and Environment – Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for health, safety and environment (HSE) include data for injury and illness rates, short- and long-term absences, near-misses, vehicle incidents and property damage or loss during daily operations. A well-defined Industrial Internet and analytics strategy will help isolate and address HSE issues.

>>Read more by Ankit Jamwal, New Equipment Digest, November 23, 2016

The Industrial Internet: 6 Ways Manufacturers Can Fuse Big Data, Automation and IoT for Better Operations