The Internet of Things

By Joe Torrago on September 22, 2016 | Topics > Growth

Here is a quick quiz. Which of these things are real and currently available?

  1. A medicine bottle that not only alerts you to take your dose on schedule, but also can request a refill with a touch of a button on the cap.

  2. A baby monitor your infant can wear at night to monitor their vitals, body position and whether they are asleep.

  3. An ingestible pill sensor, powered by contact with your stomach fluid and communicates a signal that determines the timing of when you took your meds and the identity of the pill.

  4. A smart phone app to help you find a parking spot in a city.

Trick question as they are all real and currently available things. It is part of the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things, commonly abbreviated as IoT, is a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data. Literally every single everyday object will eventually be connected to the internet allowing someone to access data, monitor conditions and respond appropriately. This is being enabled by sensors costs dropping and the ability to embed wireless technology into these sensors.

Great. So how does this apply to manufacturing? I am not sure there isn't an area in manufacturing where this would not apply and improve operations. Consider just a few examples -

  • A sensor to inform you about hydraulic levels in a tank as well as historical data showing any usage trends.

  • An electronic Kan-Ban card that when activated can trigger a reorder without any manual input.

  • Sensors showing either heat or amperage draw on any motor to predict failures.

  • Inventory sensors showing where exactly any Work In Process is and what it's status is.

  • Feedback showing percentage yield at any piece of equipment that could either shut the machine down or signal a technician to address the condition.

The list is only limited by your imagination at this point. The opportunity to reduce your operating costs, enhance service to clients and to increase quality is endless. The issue is whether your company is ready not only to embrace the idea, but to implement the best ones for your situation. IoT is coming and those that embrace and implement effectively will stand head and shoulders above their competition.

Are you ready? Give me a call and let's discuss more.