The Internet of Things (IoT), a technology that allows machines to send and receive data through an Internet connection, has revolutionized the manufacturing industry. Every day, more and more companies are relying on the IoT to bump up efficiency, productivity, and quality on the factory floor. Cisco is helping companies integrate innovative IoT solutions over a secure network with collaboration solutions and wireless infrastructure. From real-time quality assurance on the assembly line to speeding up inventory procedures, here are just a few ways companies are making the IoT work to their advantage.
Daimler Trucks is the largest heavy-duty motor vehicle manufacturer in North America and naturally, there is a lot of movement in its Portland, Ore. warehouse. Working with Cisco, Daimler deployed an IoT network that allows workers to track each part that comes in and out of the plant with tablets and other wireless devices. Having better traceability means that the various truck cabs, wheel bases, or axles are being monitored efficiently as they're loaded into the property, logged into a digital database, stacked onto storage shelves, and brought out to the assembly line.
The wi-fi interconnectivity between the factory floor and their offices also allows the Daimler team to keep an eye on inventory shortages, as well as track vehicle assembly time.
Digi International's Digi Honeycomb Program
Through its sensor-utilizing Honeycomb program, Digi International is helping restaurants, grocers, warehouses and transportation companies across North America prevent food spoilage and product loss.
First, a specialized Honeycomb Probe allows users to measure temperature for a wide range of food items, with the readings quickly delivered to Android or iOS devices connected to the Honeycomb App. The results are then weighed against a database of food safety regulations, letting users know if conditions are ideal or if temperature needs to change.
Digi's machine-to-machine technology also links your phone or tablet to sensors set up in walk-in refrigerators, freezers, and truck cargo boxes via phone applications. Users are instantly alerted to any temperature-based irregularities, while the recorded data comes in handy while creating regulatory reports or during inspections.
Stanley Black & Decker
Stanley Black & Decker's warehouse in Mexico has become significantly more productive since implementing IoT solutions to its assembly line.
As a global producer of household tools, the massive facility needs to monitor output on an hourly basis to keep production on track. Implementing an AeroScout Real-Time Location System with Cisco wireless infrastructure has led to quicker response times if problems occur throughout the day. Workers can alert nearby supervisors immediately with a push of a button, and machine-to-machine interconnectivity keeps management aware of the line’s productivity levels.
The IoT is allowing Stanley Black & Decker to monitor workflow, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and product quality with more reliability than ever before. Since introducing the technology, they've reduced defects per million opportunities (DPMO) by 16 per cent, improved overall efficiency by 24 per cent and increased output by 10 per cent.
This article is presented in partnership with Cisco. IoT devices on the plant floor — including Cisco networking solutions —can assist in streamlining physical processes and improve product and service delivery. Learn more here.