IoT Brings Key Insights to Production Flow Monitoring in Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector is undergoing a significant transformation at the moment. With customer expectations at an all-time high, it is paramount that every process is carefully controlled and optimized to meet cost and quality objectives. For the first time ever, technology has effectively outpaced the progress of business processes, but with recent advanced in IoT, there is an opportunity to transform, to meet and even exceed expectations of quality, cost efficiency, and business process optimization.

IoT is giving factories of today the ability to automate and closely monitor many complex processes. This has resulted in cost reduction, error mitigation, and operational improvements that allow them to meet today’s need for agility. Simply put, if a process can be done faster and more accurately and such a process results in a high-quality product, profitability will ensue. IoT is the vehicle that is making this possible.

Production flow monitoring with IoT

Production flow monitoring is a key process in manufacturing. In the connected factory, IoT can support production flow monitoring using sensors that deliver insights in real-time. These insights include overall machine performance as well as monitoring specific components of the machine. IoT sensors can deliver insights into the production levels of individual machines and can even initiate an order for new parts, make a service call or adjust processes to mitigate machine damage or production slowdowns.

Improving operational efficiency

One of the most exciting ways in which IoT improves productivity and reduces costs is by nature of the fact that factory managers have access to real-time notifications, helping them stay attuned to the overall health of the entire production flow from end-to-end. What this means is that no matter where they are, even if they are in another building entirely, they have a detailed view of how the entire operation is running and can respond to problems and slowdowns before they become issues. This removes two major headaches for management as it keeps production flowing and allows staff to focus on more productive tasks.

Enabling predictive maintenance

In addition to providing “just in time” notifications, ongoing maintenance needs can be forecast based on historical data. This predictive analysis keeps machines running efficiently, eliminates waste caused by faulty machine functions, and highlights production inefficiencies so that they can be addressed immediately.

Connected factories that use predictive analysis to detect machine slowdown and failure have seen about an 80 percent accuracy, leading to a savings of 17 percent in “scrap and rework” activities, a metric that delivers immediate value back to the bottom line.

The greatest disruption since the production line itself

As we move toward an ever more connected future in manufacturing, roughly 60 percent of the world’s manufacturers are already leveraging analytics data collected by IoT devices to improve their production flow and other operations. The same report, published by IDC and SAP, states that IoT will lead to a 15% increase in productivity for supply chain and service delivery activities.

In conclusion, IoT is opening new opportunities in manufacturing, driving significant gains in production flow management and process monitoring. Those who embrace these exciting advances stand to gain in added efficiency that delivers value straight to the bottom line.

If you would like to learn more about connected factory concepts, reach out today.

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Jim Donaldson

Jim is the Sr. Director of Corporate Communications at Mojix, Inc., a leading provider of ITEM LEVEL intelligence solutions to the retail and industrial markets. Jim has more than 30 years experience working for both start-up and public technology companies.

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