Maintenance Q&As

What are the best IIoT projects to start with?

Answered June 19 2019

The best Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) projects to start with are small ones that meet a specific business need. Once you experience some success, you can increase the size and scope. Here are three areas where vendors and manufacturers have found excellent return on investment: quality control within your facility, equipment monitoring for predictive maintenance, and GPS tracking and asset tagging for location. Many more areas hold potential as well. As a result, Bain & Company, a global management consultancy firm, predicts that these three areas in particular will grow rapidly in the near future.

These key areas are expected to make the largest contribution to the growth of IIoT, which Bain predicts will have a total market value of $200 billion by 2021.

Quality Control in Your Facility

Although sensors have been part of industrial facilities for years, the recent developments in analytics software as well as a drop in sensor prices have made quality control an easy starting point for using IIoT technology to make huge strides.

Here’s an example. Minute puffs of air place semiconductor chips on circuit boards. These machines take into account the surrounding temperature and humidity to perform their duties; however, these environmental factors can change when a maintenance technician is nearby. Because the machines operate on very tight tolerances, the slightest environmental change can affect the quality of the semiconductor placement. Humidity and temperature sensors send real-time readings to software, and IIoT intelligence makes equipment adjustments to improve quality.

Equipment Monitoring for Predictive Maintenance

Asset-intensive industries such as construction, manufacturing, and logistics are particularly interested in improving equipment monitoring so they can apply more predictive maintenance tasks to their daily work. Companies in these industries want to balance out their overworked and under-utilized equipment, know where all their assets are located, understand the lifetime value of equipment, and see how they can catch risk factors before they result in downtime.

IIoT solutions allow maintenance managers to automate mundane tasks such as rule-based decisions or regulatory data collection and shift their work to decision-based tasks.

GPS Tracking and Asset Tagging

Remote monitoring is the final area to focus on in terms of IIoT project implementation. If you are still sending out technicians to record remote equipment data, you’re missing a great automation opportunity. Inexpensive sensors are now available to automatically send your remote data to your CMMS regularly, providing you with more reliable information at a fraction of the cost. Today’s IIoT systems can allow seamless integration from the data collection point through mobile devices and into your overall CMMS.

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