Manufacturing companies have to fight against the odds of on-going trade issues, supply chain issues in China, decreased demand, etc. The spread of the COVID 19 pandemic has impacted both the supply & demand side and it has brought uncertainty into businesses.
With decreased production and halted operations, the industry leaders are looking for alternatives to ensure employee safety and restart operations, after the pandemic abates.
How to ensure business continuity?
From studies, IIoT solution implemented companies are performing better under the current scenario, and leaders strongly back the importance of implementing Industry 4.0 solutions to improve productivity at a reduced cost. Especially leaders that haven’t explored the IIoT solutions before would find this as a key enabler at challenging times like this.
This post will ensure why leaders must utilize IIoT solutions as an important lever to ensure employee safety, improve operations, and minimize costs at the same time. And with IoT support, companies can start meeting customer demands with respect to growing supply-demand, within a short period of 90 days. Think impossible? Well, think again.
How IIoT can accelerate production & save cost post-COVID 19
Ensuring employee safety and security
Post recovery from COVID 19 crisis, companies have to deal with remote workers on a large scale as reducing the employees on-site would be new normal. IIoT solutions would help to implement remote monitoring by automatically collecting data on machine breakdowns, production delays, and errors and help employees to monitor and review the issues.
Remote monitoring will help to reduce the number of employees on the shop floor and simultaneously help in addressing the production challenges and increasing productivity.
In addition to the aforementioned, utilizing fewer workforces on the shop floor, practicing social distance, and decoupling shift changeovers will help companies bolster employee safety and security further.
Many companies have realized the importance of tracking the workforce using techno-enabled solutions as they not only improve employee safety but also speed up operations. With IIoT, companies can initiate remote operations and minimize the impact of staff’s absence and improve productivity in areas with limited human intervention or in the places where humans can’t enter.
On the contrary to what many leaders presume, setting up these devices takes only a few days and it is less expensive. With such systems improving productivity by 10-30% is always on the cards.
Remote IoT asset tracking
Monitoring and controlling machines/equipment during COVID-19 challenging times is an uphill task for many companies. But, IoT asset tracking enables companies to track, monitor, and control assets from remote locations without any discomfort.
Here are a few benefits of real-time IoT asset tracking
- Reduces human errors around scanning
- Helps to discover actual utilization of assets
- Easy to audit assets
- Accurate, transparent and fast
With the help of the IoT, asset data captured can be pushed to the Cloud, and employees can access this data even from remote locations during the challenging times and have complete control over the assets now and post COVID 19 impact.
IoT for managing supply chain
COVID-19 has already started to disrupt the supply chains and customer demands of many companies and focusing on liquidity management becomes critical now.
Two areas can be improved to ensure an efficient supply chain.
Managing inventories using IoT
Leveraging IoT enabled devices embedded with sensors will help industries maintain a healthy inventory. Integrating the IoT devices with mobile applications will help in the process of tracking in and out flow of materials, out of stock, or overstock scenarios and this real-time transparency helps to manage the inventory levels accurately at reduced inventory cost.
Here are a few benefits of implementing IoT for inventory management.
- Enables contactless asset tracking in real-time
- Captures real-time data
- Highly accurate
- Enables to track assets precisely based on colour, size, shape, location, etc.
- Enables accurate and item-wise asset monitoring
Despite the varying results across companies, IIoT can still help minimize the overall inventory levels by up to 36% in a quick period.
Prolonging maintenance cycles with IIoT
Machine maintenance is one of the most expensive processes in any manufacturing company. IIoT sensors play a critical role in utilizing the machines to the fullest. They help companies identify machine performance through real-time data and reduce the cost associated with replacing machine parts after a certain period or frequent maintenance.
Assessing a machine’s condition frequently will help companies to delay the standard period when not warranted.
Here are some of the critical parameters captured in real-time by IoT sensors.
- Chemical content
- Liquid/solid levels
The key benefits of IoT machine monitoring are
- Lower maintenance costs
- Minimal machine failures
- Reduced downtime for repairs
- Increased maintenance cycles
Leveraging condition monitoring of machines will help companies reduce maintenance costs between 10 and 50 percent.
How IIoT investments will lower cost in the short term
Performance management using IIoT
The IIoT tools help companies collect real-time data from machines which can be directly monitored through visual dashboards. The increased transparency of Key Performance data like OEE, part production, quality collected through the IIoT connectivity will help companies to manage and improve labour productivity by 20-40%.
Saving cost through IIoT-enabled remote assistance
With the real-time data garnered from machines, companies can allow for remote assistance to improve yield 10 to 40% by avoiding in-person visits and in-field service costs. Companies with large bases would be highly benefited by this approach. And, this is one of the potential ways to cut down on the cost post-COVID crisis.
Thanks to Industry 4.0 solutions, manufacturers can now collect real-time data on-site, and employees can access even from remote locations. Adjusting the working culture and leveraging technology is the recommended approach today to speed up operations at reduced cost and smart leaders have already started to harness the power of smart technologies like IIoT to minimize COVID 19 impact. The good thing about implementing IIoT solutions is it will not only help post-COVID 19 scenarios but also beyond that.
Are you ready for the industrial revolution? Get started to beat the competition.
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About the Author
Name: Gengarajan .P.V
Designation: CEO and Marketing Director
Location: Chennai, TamilNadu, India