In recent years, organizations within the manufacturing sector have adopted advanced enterprise technology to improve shop-floor safety and maximize operational efficiency. Connected devices belonging to the Internet of Things have received considerable attention, as businesses look to equip employees and essential production assets with the latest web-enabled equipment. Consequently, the market for these products has experienced explosive growth. By 2020, IoT technology is expected to rake in $2.7 trillion worldwide, according to projections from the International Data Corporation.
However, these devices alone cannot catalyze transformation. Producers must deploy them as part of carefully conceived frameworks that not only address how technology is applied on-site but also show business leaders, floor managers and workers how to leverage the data it collects. With this in mind, most turn to predictive maintenance strategies. These cutting-edge workflows bolster efficiency and yield serious cost savings. Experts predict that PdM plans could save firms roughly $630 billion over the next decade and a half, Manufacturing Business Technology reported. Such strategies also improve workplace safety, as IoT devices make it easy to maintain equipment that might otherwise become dangerous if neglected.
Gains in efficiency
While manufacturers of all kinds have begun embracing the power of PdM, those in the food production arena are leading the charge, according to Food Quality and Safety. In recent years, the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory bodies have imposed new regulations on producers in this subsector to meet new consumer demands. The Food Safety Modernization Act, passed in 2011, has been particularly impactful, leading many to reform their operations and introduce condition-based processes for measuring machine reliability. IoT technology lies at the heart of these programs, giving food producers the real-time data needed to create accurate maintenance forecasts and address developing equipment issues before they become severe enough to stymie supply chains.
Quantifiable efficiency gains in this industry and the rise of lean manufacturing has accelerated PdM adoption, with producers trading in reactive strategies for state-of-the-art alternatives that cut costs and facilitate optimal scalability.
Improvements in workplace safety
PdM not only poses myriad new opportunities for manufacturers, but also has the potential to benefit shop floor personnel, Manufacturing Business Technology reported. This methodology can catalyze true financial stability among organizations in the industry, lead to more job opportunities and increases in compensation.
More importantly, PdM makes the workplace safer, enabling producers to track production equipment via IoT technology and therefore address unsafe assets before workers are injured. Additionally, predictive programs are largely self-sustaining, making it possible for employees to avoid interacting with machines that, even when up to date, pose serious health risks. On top of that, companies can reinvest cost savings from efficiency gains into worker safety programs or use the money purchase new equipment that requires less upkeep.
Manufacturers looking to modernize their operations and build sustainable workflows designed to withstand the modern market must embrace PdM and the requisite IoT technology. This methodology represents the future of the sector.