The Many Faces of IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) seems to be everywhere now. We hear about it in our homes, in our businesses and in our cities. The reason we hear so much about it is because it really is so versatile and can do so much. IoT connects through sensors easily installed in light fixtures or on equipment or other devices. Once we are connected, we can do just about anything.
Some of the more beneficial areas IoT can improve the way we do business are in our facility management, inventory management, industrial safety, logistics and supply chain and in the consumption of resources.
In facility management, sensors can be used to increase its effectiveness. Implementing condition-based maintenance is an effortless task with IoT and everything from the lights to the coffee makers can be programmed to be measured and controlled. Manufacturing and industrial equipment can be monitored for wear and tear, temperature, vibrations and other factors that could be leading to less than optimal operational conditions. Maintenance issues can be predictive rather than reactive saving in downtime and repair costs.
IoT solutions can also be extremely beneficial when it comes to inventory management. IoT can help forecast the amount of raw materials needed for an upcoming production cycle, or it can alert you if it is time to replenish certain materials. By increasing the capability for monitoring inventory across the supply chain, the accuracy increases, errors decrease, and a company always has a comprehensive, real-time view of inventory.
IoT is synonymous with data. Key performance indicators of health and safety can be monitored constantly to ensure better industrial safety and workplace conditions. Lagging indicators like the number of accidents can be addressed immediately. There are even prototypes for wearable IoT devices that will alert the system if any specific health or emotional response occurs in the wearer.
Logistic and the supply chain are arguably one of the areas most revolutionized by IoT. Asset tracking, vendor information, and real-time supply chain information are available through the reliance on an IoT solution. Products and supplies will be much easier to track, identifying slowdowns and inefficiencies. Anyone will access would be able to view an item at any point along the supply chain from start to finish.
Smart meters can monitor the consumption of resources like electricity, water, fuels, etc. Through the use of IoT sensors, manufacturers will know how much is consumed and what for. Using this data, manufacturers can efficiently allocate resources as well as ensure they are being as cost effective as possible.
IoT gives so many areas of potential improvement into our homes and businesses because of the insight it gives us. The value of IoT is the data it provides, with which we can then make informed decisions and strategies to expand our processes.