Tap into the Power of Real-Time Production Information
Manufacturing executives are keenly aware of the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) — and its potential to improve plant performances. Most manufacturers (85%) plan to deploy IoT technologies and increase their company’s application of smart devices in production equipment and processes over the next two years.
Moving forward with IoT-enabled processes can improve plant quality, speed, and costs — more than half of manufacturers cite those as IoT objectives — and generate competitive advantage. But not all IoT opportunities yield the same returns.
The applicability of the IoT to various production processes varies widely, with shipping, warehousing, and document management topping the list of excellent or good opportunities (Figure 1). But every plant is unique. A labor-intensive plant will surely apply the IoT differently than an asset-intensive facility.
Plating or painting
To identify the best IoT opportunities in your plant, ask yourself:
Where could IoT technologies prevent a safety or environmental disaster?
Where could IoT technologies alert management in real time to quality problems?
Which real-time plant insights would help to optimize workflows and productivity?
Which machines warrant 24/7 IoT monitoring?
Where do legacy sensors, controls, and other devices create cybersecurity problems?
Which processes would suppliers want to monitor (e.g., inventory levels for their components or materials)?
Which processes would customers want to monitor (e.g., order readiness and logistics status)?
The list is long, but time is short. Start your IoT journey today.
HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need
How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report, AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space:
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