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Maximizing Efficiency with IoT Enabled Predictive Maintenance

  • Mahesh Tiwari
  • May 19, 2023
  • RFID
Maximizing Efficiency with IoT Enabled Predictive Maintenance

The concept of the smart factory and smart manufacturing is rapidly catching on and businesses are incorporating new age technologies to not only cater to the needs of their clients but also their employees. See, an intelligent factory enables smart manufacturing which not only leads to process optimization but also ensures that workers work in a safe, hazardless environment. What it means to be a smart factory has changed over the years and it will go through more changes over the next few years but it has do with high digitization and interconnectivity of machines and operations and the man behind those machines and operations. It is achieved by new age information and communication technologies (ICTs) and cyber physical systems (CPS) where the primary machines and components are usually robotized and connected through additional complementary technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), which enables smart manufacturing by measurement, sensing and control, inspection, and communication throughout day-to-day manufacturing operations.

IoT enabled predictive maintenance is one of the driving factor in this Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution. It enables real-time factory management with robustness and agility to meet the continuous changes as we move forward.

With the arrival of I4.0 and predictive maintenance and condition based maintenance with it, it has become crucial to ensure that machines and their components are operational and efficient, optimized at full capacity to realize the goal of a smart and intelligent factory and smart manufacturing.

Let’s see some of the ways IoT can help with predictive maintenance to enable smart manufacturing in smart factories but before that let’s see what is IoT.

Internet of Things (IoT): An Introduction

The concept of Internet of Things has evolved from what it was in 1999 but at the core, it is still about internet and connecting physical objects to internet to communicate with other physical devices.

Use of technologies like radio frequency identification (RFID), BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), QR codes, barcode, NFC, Wi-Fi, Sigfox, ZigBee, LPWAN, LoRa etc. has enabled a new dimension in IoT, enabling 15b devices IoT devices connected to the internet, communicating at present. Internet of Things has truly become the Internet of Everything. From logistics, supply chain and manufacturing to asset management, IT, education, healthcare, smart home and smart agriculture, IoT has become ubiquitous.

IoT Enabled Predictive Maintenance: The Need and Benefits

The concept of industrial revolution is deep rooted in machines and how industries can use machines to manufacture and produce more, and grow the economy. It is fair to say that machines are intrinsic to industries and any industrial revolution has to be about these machines. First industrial revolution was about using steam engines (a machine), second was generating electricity and using electricity powered machines to manufacture, third was about electronics and enabling automation in industries that led to the development of ICT and that led to the CPS which is now the backbone of this fourth industrial revolution. It always has been about machines.

Internet of Things technologies like RFID and NFC are felicitating the connection of physical devices and networks. IoT based sensors allow sharing of critical data from these physical devices and processes throughout the plant and storing it on cloud based networks. IoT has enabled a great degree of data sharing and data collection which can be, cleaned and made sense of by using Artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning.

In industrial world, run-to-failure (R2F) or corrective maintenance has been the norm when a machine part is only repaired or inspected when a visible failure (of functioning) is detected. It essentially means that the production will be shutdown while machine is being repaired.

This doesn’t have to be the case at present. With the help of sensors that enable interconnectivity between machines, the real-time data collection about the status and functioning of the machines is possible now. Through Preventive Maintenance (PdM), you can stop the breakage of the machines by carrying out scheduled inspection and maintenance and this is why Preventive maintenance is considered the best maintenance tactic.

Predictive tools such as historical data and integrity factors allows factory managers to take predictive maintenance only when the need for maintenance interventions arises to ensure the operation status of the machines. Predictive maintenance allows you to monitor specific parameters or process as whole to ensure proper working of machines as well as forecast the state of functioning in near future. It is only possible when you employ IoT sensors to monitor and analyze various parameters of equipments including vibrations, ultrasounds, temperatures, pressures, currents, and voltages.

In essence, IoT has enabled predictive maintenance to ensure machines in factories are optimized to full potential, enhancing efficiency and productivity. By analyzing various parameters, you can ensure that machines and machine components are working properly and do not break middle of the operation. Predictive maintenance ensures that inspection and maintenance is done on fixed schedules, extending the life of machines and eliminating risks related to hazardous accidents.

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  • Created on May 19, 2023
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