This morning I had the privilege of speaking at LC Automation. The Making it in Lancashire event was organized by the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. The morning focused on Industry 4.0, and how it applies to manufacturing. I looked at how workflow solutions can increase your ROI when you invest in IoT technology.
I’m sure that Google (other brands are available!) can tell you all you need to know about Industry 4.0 and IoT. I’ll just get to the point re linking workflow solutions and IoT technology…
In a nutshell, IoT allows you to easily and reliably gather data from your assets. These can be machines, raw materials, or finished products.
My point is: It’s not just about what data you have, it’s about what you do with the data! And here’s where workflow solutions come in.
Imagine a machine in your manufacturing plant overheats. What are the implications?
- Downtime – idle time for the machine and for human resources who oversee it.
- Possibly faulty products, which need to be checked and perhaps disposed of.
- Maintenance people will need to be deployed.
- Spare parts will need to be ordered.
- You may need to notify the customer that their order will be delayed.
IoT technologies, such as heat sensors for these machines, tell you that the machine is overheating before it breaks down. There are 2 important benefits to this:
- You can service the machine before it actually breaks down.
- You have data re the machine’s performance. Therefore you can plan your maintenance schedule
So how do workflow solutions given you an even better ROI on IoT technology?
Below is a simplified process that is triggered when a machine heat sensor indicates that the exception threshold is being reached. IoT technology indicates that the exception threshold has been reached. By linking this technology to workflow solutions, the relevant process is automatically triggered. This means that:
- There is minimal time wasted between ‘need’ and ‘action’.
- As each stage of the process is completed, the next stage is immediately triggered. This time-saving minimizes risk of the machine breaking down.
- Technician conducts a pre-approved check as outlined in the workflow solution. This makes the check more reliable.
IoT is very effective in increasing productivity in manufacturing. Workflow solutions are great in improving efficiency and reliability of processes …. So, marrying IoT and workflow solutions will significantly improve your processes.
Often bespoke workflow solutions are the way forward, as you get the solution that is absolutely right for your business. See here how they work.
At Progrex IT Solutions we have vast experience in bespoke workflow solutions for manufacturing companies. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you.
If you are a manufacturing company and would like updates on how software can help you become more efficient and productive, just let us know.