What are IoT smart factory and manufacturing?
Smart manufacturing means using innovative technologies and elements of the Internet of Things for business process optimization. Thanks to accurate asset tracking, using artificial intelligence and digital platforms, companies can turn their workshops into smart spaces, which makes it possible to control the whole production process – from the supply of raw materials to finished goods. Ongoing analytics in real-time, effective production planning, and increasing profits of plants and factories can be considered typical characteristics of a smart factory IoT that make the basis of Industry 4.0.
Technologies and equipment for creating smart factories
Smart manufacturing IoT consists of special software, multifunctional machines, and automation techniques that, by working together, can increase the technical efficiency of the factory. In other words, smart IoT factories are understood as workshops with a high level of digitization that constantly gather data and exchange it with each other using the connected devices. All actions are performed in real-time, i.e. as quickly as possible, which allows companies to react immediately to the constantly changing market conditions.
While implementing smart manufacturing into the company’s infrastructure, enterprises can apply the following technologies and equipment:
- smart devices capable of exchanging data and functioning at a higher level of autonomy;
- devices of manufacturing IoT that connect all machines in workshops;
- platforms for integration that can receive and analyze information;
- cloud servers with the network access to computing resources.
Taken together, all these devices and technologies are adapted to react to any events, which improves the company’s performance and ensures effective planning and monitoring of production processes.
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How can indoor tracking and navigation technologies improve performance?
One of the most effective solutions in enabling smart enterprises is applying RTLS in manufacturing. This term is understood as an automated positioning system which ensures object identification, defines their coordinates, and displays their position on the map of the monitored territory.
The implementation of indoor tracking and navigation is executed using special beacons and tags installed in various parts of the building or mounted on the tracked assets. The sensors emit signals with the pre-set intervals that are detected by the receivers and directed to the server for processing. Later the processed information is delivered to users’ computers, tablets, or smartphones.
The system realization can be carried out using various technologies, such as Wi-Fi, iBeacon, etc. These technologies increase the company’s performance, help reduce production costs, and minimize mistakes connected with the human factor, as well as allow tracking assets and analyzing any traffic of objects around the territory.
Indoor asset tracking
To make a smart IoT factory function coherently and efficiently, the management has to monitor assets on the territory on a regular basis. Tracking equipment and vehicles simplifies logistics processes and increases occupational safety. The indoor tracking system can perform the following functions:
- creating digital interactive maps of enterprises with the indication of asset location in real-time;
- building optimal routes to points of interest;
- tracking the trajectory of vehicle movements;
- sending notifications in case of emergencies or unauthorized departures from the territory.
Thanks to asset tracking, managers can avoid equipment downtime, eliminate possible collisions with people or objects, and minimize the time of response to emergencies. If necessary, users can adjust the routes of vehicles and change their movements in real-time.
Analytics of asset movements
The detailed analysis of asset traffic allows managers to take the right management decisions. IoT in manufacturing enables gathering information of any kind – from the history of vehicle movements to the fixation of the time spent in certain zones.
The traffic analysis makes it possible to improve labor discipline at enterprises, reduce the number of emergencies, and prevent the misuse of special vehicles. Thanks to ongoing monitoring, the management can improve the performance and optimize the internal logistics.
Advantages of smart manufacturing and factories
From year to year, more and more industrial enterprises are switching to smart manufacturing. The concept of Industry 4.0 makes it possible to reconfigure factories to decentralized management and ensure the production of any volumes of goods in the most cost-effective manner. The IoT solution for manufacturing has a number of advantages in comparison with usual production:
- saving resources;
- constant tracking of production processes by gathering and analyzing data in real-time;
- improved quality of goods;
- effective production planning;
- production process automation and optimization;
- improved quality of customer service due to feedback and simpler communication channels;
- reduced service time;
- increased productivity;
- lower production costs;
- increased profits.
According to experts,factories of the future have great potential. They are considered a perfect tool for obtaining maximum economic benefits due to cost minimization and business process optimization. Smart factories can help increase the company’s performance and ensure its prompt adjustability while simultaneously increasing the quality of products, reducing the expenses on raw materials, electricity, and labor resources.
Navigine develops indoor tracking and navigation systems for implementing them in smart enterprises. This integration can boost the company’s performance and enhance the growth of your business.