Life still goes on… A sneak peek to the world of Industrial IoT in the post-COVID

Using IIOT at workplace covid-19 pandemic
Temperature scanning for elevated body temperatures before entering the workplace

We know that the world is in chaos due to the so-called uncontrollable pandemic-COVID-19. It has brought changes to both our personal and professional life in many ways. However, we should acknowledge the fact that this has accelerated the digital transformation of enterprises. Thanks to the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT). This will rewrite the future of today’s companies forever!

Although few companies have been at the forefront of adopting and implementing IoT solutions and AI for their enterprises, Covid-19 has put these technologies to stress test.

Companies that were an early adopter of IoT in the manufacturing field were able to run at lower capacity but still were more productive than the others because their machines could generate data to monitor the performance and longevity of the same. This also enabled the factories to run more efficiently with fewer human resources. Our customers in the Industrial IOT space are seeing an increase in demand for adoption and implementation of their IoT platforms.

Organizations that want to offer a better and safer customer experience with contactless interaction, will adopt IoT faster even if the products are in the beta stage. The supply chain industry will change significantly in the post-COVID world by implementing solutions like delivery robots, drones, and contactless payment options too.

Hats off to companies such as meshek{76}, which is into smart, autonomous farming and precision agriculture, have placed themselves well in advance to cope up with the post COVID scenario. The autonomous robotic system for growing and picking crops without human intervention helps to avoid the contamination of the same while they are being distributed to the market place.

Public utilities are accelerating the adoption of smart metering solutions as they want to reduce the need for maintenance and monitoring professionals with regards to their safety

Even the regular working environment in the workplace is going to be a different one in the post-COVID times. You may see a touchless sanitation facility. The facility managers or the employees could track whether the toilets are cleaned /sanitized regularly with the IoT enabled cleaning equipment that has sensors attached to them that keeps a record of the number of times they are being used.

IoT technology may also be adopted by facility managers to monitor the restroom supplies such as hand soaps’ levels or the number of paper towels/ toilet papers and hence limit the number of unwanted trips made by employees to check on this.

The bottom line, the list of applications of IIoT goes on. It has now become the top priority for every company to prepare for a post-COVID world. We at SequoiaAT make this happen for you by implementing real-time solutions with smart technologies. Check out our customer stories to know more about our IIoT applications.

Maintenance Management & IIOT

Aju Kuriakose

Aju Kuriakose

IoT is changing the world around us. This change is affecting every walk of life including the maintenance industry. Maintenance management used to depend on skills of the maintenance managers to troubleshoot skills and was least data-driven as they have very limited data to fall back on when it came to machine health. However, it is rapidly changing. It is becoming heavily data-driven than skill driven. Advances in wireless communications and data processing enable maintenance managers to gauge the health of the factory in an instant.

We can tell that its no longer a hype but a reality and proof is in the fact that the leading organization- OPC Foundation is spending time in developing the Unified Architecture (UA) Specification for IIoT in the manufacturing environment. The standard is being developed to enable IIOT devices to easily pass information between sensors, machines, monitoring devices and the cloud in a secure and open way. Also OPC, AMT & OMAC have jointly developed  Packaging Machine Language (PackML) and MTConnect which combines OPC UA with existing industry standards to lower cost of predictive maintenance.

Low cost of IIOT sensors is making predicting failure or measuring remaining useful life (RUL)  of a tool a no-brainer enabling maximum uptime at optimum costs . As an example, a drill over course of its functioning will start to suffer wear. As we continue using them regularly at some point of time they become unusable either because the precision of the job falls below the parameter or the drill bit breaks off.  With the combination of Industrial IoT sensors and AI techniques today we can easily predict the remaining useful life of the tool .

Any maintenance professional will agree with me that predictive maintenance is a journey they have to take but IIOT makes the journey easier. Retrofitting existing machine with a sensor to measure machine health becomes very easy. One of the companies where we work with to enable this transitions is OPA By Design. It is a smart device which can be tagged to any existing machine at a very minimal cost to measure 8 different parameters and report it maintenance supervisors via mobile app & cloud. Since the machine is constantly being monitored, any sign in degradation in the health of the machine is alerted instantly

IIOT is also enabling to drive down the inventory holding cost as now maintenance supervisors have better predictability of machine failure and hence they have to stock less spares. It also results in fewer emergency inventory orders and less downtime due to out-of-stock inventory.

IIOT is not changing anything for the maintenance professional except the fact that he can now listen to his assets and make informed decisions based on actual data on the health of the asset. IIOT is not going to fix the problem for him. He will still have to depend on his best technician to fix it reliably

 Link to article on Linkedin



Industrial IOT (IIOT) – Hype or Reality

We have been hearing a lot about IIOT to be the real revolution happening or industry 4.0 or the next industrial revolution. However its not like a eureka moment and it’s not something set out in future. It’s been an evolution into it for past many years. Factories were already getting digital with the industrial internet, with Industrial IOT its just picked up pace. The tools, technology and ease of data access has accelerated the pace of this adoption.

Large industrial houses like GE or Siemens or ABB were always an IIOT company although they were not known for it. They had the ability to monitor and managed the expensive machinery health Since it was important for them to prevent downtime to customers . It also enabled them to learn in real time how machine was being used to improve their engineering. The thing that has changed is that this capability can be offered and implemented by any industrial plant of any size or revenue.

IIOT is a vast area which includes everything from sensors to data big data & AI. After ERP, IIOT will change it further to pick up on problems sooner and there by saving time and money . Imagine a small shop manufacturing pumps – They can now be connected real-time to their sales offices so they know which pumps are selling each day which in turn enables them to adjust the production to what’s needed more, to getting inventory only when they need based on this data, and the predictive maintenance systems enable them to know if there is any flaws in the manufacturing process and once the pumps are installed at customer premises they can collect the live data and alert customer of any possible problem they are foreseeing .

There are many companies operating in this space trying to address different parts of the puzzle . At SequoiaAT we have been fortunate to work with 2 companies in this space @opabydesign work in building condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. @Deepthoughts works on building energy monitoring solutions for factories to ensure that machines are running efficiently and at optimum energy consumption

We may not see or experience much change in daily life unless we are involved in the industry or factory and that’s our daily job. Supervisors expertise to be called upon to identify and fix a problem is going away as a decision will be made on actual data and not the experience of a floor supervisor. Today if you are a small shop, and say a machine starts making noise most likely your workers are depended on more experienced people to troubleshoot and tell what the problem could be with help of these cheap but effective smart devices .

Link to Article on Linkedin