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1-800-227-9473

16680 W. Cleveland Avenue
New Berlin, WI 53151

The Internet of Things and Manufacturing

Looking back on our 2016 Cablepedia posts, the Internet of Things (IoT) was probably mentioned as much as “wire” and “cable.” That should come as no surprise to anyone. The IoT is growing up quickly and dictating the future of information sharing. Of course, I also need to point out that wire and cable are what makes the IoT possible in the first place….

But what exactly is the IoT? Here’s a simplified definition:

iot-and-manufacturing-infographic

A number of household applications are already in place. Don’t believe me? I bet you’ve seen the commercial for the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator… you know, the one that will tell you that you need milk while you are at the store. Or maybe you’re familiar with the Nest products that range from smoke alarms to thermostats, and so many products in between – all with the capability to interconnect and share information with you about your home environment. That is the IoT at work.

Quality in the Workplace

Larger scale applications are beginning to gather steam, particularly in manufacturing. According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers white paper on the subject, “Over the next decade, manufacturers could stand to capture about $4 trillion of value from the IoT through increased revenues and lower costs.” That’s right: $4 TRILLION. Just the dollar and cents alone should motivate manufacturers to begin IoT implementation plans now.

Likewise, quality control is another excellent motivator. Overall quality is the #1 goal of any manufacturer, and for good reason. With it, immediate sales and future growth are likely. Without it, well… it doesn’t take an MIT math major to solve that equation.

Applying the IoT

The IoT can provide a non-biased, informational platform to report back on nearly every aspect of operations. Here are some of the ways we see the IoT impacting manufacturer’s quality efforts:

  • Process – Real-time feedback from all points within any process can monitor flow, predict gaps in production, and help establish best practices.
  • Product – Monitoring both raw and finished products via a data-driven infrastructure will help minimize costly recalls.
  • Equipment – Sensors can determine when parts or whole machinery need to be replaced, avoiding expensive downtime.
  • Facility – Constant audits of every corner of the factory will pinpoint areas that require attention, such as temperature control, air flow, and environmental pollution.
  • Personnel – As a “smart” tool, the IoT will help employees work more efficiently because guesswork is eliminated.
  • Communications – A database of this magnitude allows for seamless global communications: between people in the same building, multiple company locations, and employees and vendors.

Care to read more? There are some links below with great information. When it comes time to put the IoT pieces together in your workplace, call Capital Electric. Our experience and industry partners will help you use the IoT to your company’s quality advantage.

– Mike

8 Considerations for IM&E Manufacturers to Achieve Digitalization

Postscapes: A website dedicated to the IoT