The advent of Internet of Things technology brought in various new connectivity and inter-networking benefits that allowed companies to connect their devices with each other for automation and monitoring benefits.
However, it is not only the devices that can be monitored with this technology. Through the use of advanced sensory technology, IoT offers energy consumption monitoring capabilities that can be used in homes and factories to track the amount of electricity the assets utilize. Special sensors and meters clamp over the wires of machines and track the amount of electricity passing through them.
While the use of such a system on a residential level can be very complex and expensive, energy monitoring can be used cost-effectively in a range of machine-dependent facilities ranging from small workshops to large-scale production plants.
Energy consumption monitoring on a very basic stage track the amount of energy machines consumes. Subsequently, the data related to energy utilization when collected and analyzed opens a myriad of possibilities for companies to achieve excellence in terms of increased efficiency, high ROI, and elevated production rate.
Aspects of an Industry that Energy Monitoring Solution Affects:
The applications of IoT in the manufacturing sector have been revolutionary. In fact, its implementation has been extensive enough to form a new branch of IoT that typically deals in industrial setups commonly referred to as â€śIndustrial IoTâ€ť.
Clearly, the use of IIoT for energy monitoring also covers a large area of applications. In order to comprehend these applications in much better detail, letâ€™s understand the three main functional areas that have been majorly affected through these systems.
1) Manufacturing Operations and Production Lines:
A single machine cannot form a whole factory. A series of equipment, assets, and machines comprising of different hydraulics and electronic components form the apparatus that works collectively to develop the required products. These end to end apparatus form the production lines of industries on which processes like mixing, fabrication, assembly, optimization, finishing, and quality control occurs.
The overall amount of energy consumed by these manufacturing lines tells about their efficiency and effectiveness. These aspects are strongly intertwined with the companyâ€™s ability to develop more products cost-effectively in less time. Hence, in order to boost the efficiency of production lines and manufacturing operations, companies can leverage the capabilities of energy monitoring solutions.
By comparing the amount of energy consumed by the production lines and the number of products formed over a period of time, the effectiveness of the equipment can be determined. Moreover, the section of the production line where more energy and time is consumed can be easily identified. This helps in easily detecting loopholes and bottlenecks that lowers the efficiency of the entire production line.
Hence, companies can take effective measures to remove bottlenecks and increase the efficiency of the entire end-to-end operation.
2) Inspection and Maintenance Procedures:
To roll out inspection and maintenance operations, industries are required to follow a scheduled pattern that requires them to shut-down their operations and review the machines manually. While this is a good method to eliminate any unwanted breakdown when production demand is high, this process is very time-consuming and requires machines to be kept in idle condition for the time when the machines could have been used for production.
IIoT energy monitoring solution can be used as an alternative to help companies jump from conventional scheduled maintenance to predictive maintenance. The data related to machine downtime and energy cut-off due to malfunctions in equipment when fed to an AI and ML engine can determine patterns that correlate to component breakdowns and damage in a machine. By analyzing these patterns, companies can optimize their scheduling procedures and conduct maintenance and repairs in the equipment accordingly.
On the other hand, a real-time alert system can also be used to conduct just-in-time maintenance on machines. Sensors embedded on different components of a machine can be used to detect the flow of electricity in them and several other factors such as temperature, vibration, etc. In case, these parameters cross the acceptable limits, an alert is sent to the maintenance team, allowing them to take quick actions to conduct repairs on vulnerable equipment and prevent their breakdown.
3) On-floor Activities:
The applications of IIoT solutions are not limited to boost production lines and machine-based aspects of the industry. Their implementation also enhances the capabilities of workers to manage the on-floor activities of the company. For example, operators gain better insight over the availability of machines and can hence increase their utilization accordingly.
Moreover, since the energy monitoring solution boosts the efficiency of the production line and increases the rate of production, managers can leverage the new information to optimize the flow of material, labor, and tools on the field to support the production rate. This will not only increase the utilization of resources but also help companies to optimize human-machine synchronization.
The use of Internet of Things technology in industries has given new options to companies to achieve excellence. An energy monitoring solution is one such the existing examples. The advent of systems developed around these solutions allows companies to enhance their end-to-end operations starting from fabrication to final delivery of the products.
While energy monitoring systems developed with IoT technology comprises standard components such as sensors and an online platform, the use of such a system can offer great benefits to industries for enhanced functionalities. On a larger scale, this system can be used to facilitate machine-to-machine interaction for automated operation. It is just a matter of vision that limits the functionality and feature of these systems.