Being directly related to profitability, growth, and efficiency, productivity is key to company success. Manufacturing processes are constantly seeing improvements in with the introduction and development of new technology. These technological advances include the utilization of real-time data and the IIoT to increase productivity, leading to a highly competitive and ever-growing manufacturing sector.
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Before we get into how real-time data increases productivity, what is IIoT and its connection to data?
The IIoT is the industrial internet of things. It refers to the vast network of intelligent devices that share large amounts of data. The IIoT has revolutionized manufacturing by allowing the acquisition and accessibility of large amounts of data with great speed and efficiency. With extensive collection and storage of real-time data, the IIoT increases productivity by reducing the need for manual data collection and related errors.
Here are some of the ways the IIoT provides real-time data to increase productivity:
Timely Access to Accurate Data Reports
Collecting data is the first step when looking to analyze and improve operations. How do you solve problems if you don’t know what they are? Real-time data collection not only gathers this information for you, but it is also doing so in a very time-efficient manner.
The data is accurate, relevant, and ready to use almost immediately which means insights can be gathered and changes implemented in real-time. Over time, data collection can be used to monitor trends and make swift adjustments to operations when there are changes in customer demand or other variables, boosting productivity and efficiency.
Collection and interpretation of data is time-consuming when done manually, and can be prone to errors. Automating this process eliminates those risks of error and saves time, money, and employee hours.
Optimizing Machine Utilization
Real-time data collection, when applied to machinery, means automated problem prevention, detection, and even the ability to take action. Without machine monitoring through the IIoT, problems could go undetected until the machine goes down. Then additional time is spent waiting for workers to find the source of the problem before even attempting to resolve it.
Real-time data collection cuts this process in half with the ability to detect a problem right away and communicate the details of the issue to workers. Less down time for machines means more productivity for the manufacturer. This also allows workers to complete tasks out of automation’s reach.
Even better, the IIoT can use real-time data to predict and prevent maintenance related issues. Predictive maintenance is designed to monitor the condition of a machine and signal when maintenance will need to be performed. Details of machine usage can be recorded and stored to better maintain its functionality. This type of machine monitoring can also create a safer work environment, preventing dangerous accidents that could injure workers and cause extensive down-time.
Using radio-frequency identification (RFID tagging), the IIoT makes it effortless to track moveable assets. This is especially helpful in managing data like location and status to improve productivity. Real-time visibility to returnable containers and other assets reduces loss, pilfering and costly down-time.
IIoT-connected systems can offer significant time and cost savings associated with machine monitoring, business intelligence, and production processes. Through the optimization of real-time data, manufacturers can realize opportunities for efficiency and productivity gains.
Bailee Gunderson is a Marketing Associate for Radley Corporation, a leading developer of productivity software. Since 1974, Radley Corporation has helped over 600 customers in 30 countries streamline workflows and automate processes. Radley’s configurable and scalable Manufacturing, Warehouse and EDI software solutions are aimed at improving efficiency and productivity for your business.