Make your assets work for you. Maximize their Productivity. Call it IoT!
Written by
Anand Ethiraj

Traditional or modern or the highly advanced – the key to profitability in Manufacturing, both product, and process manufacturing, is in the most productive utilization of your assets, physical as well as human. A performance driven company would be obsessed with quantifying, tracking, measuring, and monitoring their assets. Thanks to the power of the Internet of Things (IoT), managing your assets is now smarter than ever – because it is now accurate, comprehensive, intelligent and real-time. And compared to legacy models of asset management, IoT powered asset management is cheaper, faster and better – giving you a competitive advantage if deployed right and quick. Let’s see how?

For starters, a little bit about IoT

Internet of Things can easily be perceived only as connected consumer products or understood as companies installing data-capturing sensors to monitor unmanned facilities. But, underlying these gadgets is a smart network of sensors, communication technologies, and analytics. IoT essentially stitches multiple technologies together to perform a range of actions, mainly track, monitor, and measure.

Track

Track using IoT
Asset tracking refers to tracking with the help of mobile and sensors embedded on vehicles, assets, and employees. Through an IoT-based equipment and capital asset-tracking solution, you can know the location, status, and operating performance of assets across your operations in real time. This will help you better monitor equipment, track inventory, service equipment, and make workers more efficient.

The advanced digital capability also allows assets to be tracked and monitored remotely. As companies improve their means to capture asset use, managers and employees can begin benefiting from real-time operational insights; improving agility and creating better use.

Monitor

Monitor using IoT
With IoT, you can monitor your machinery without manual intervention. With real-time asset health monitoring, a manufacturing plant can achieve lower operational costs by monitoring equipment and operating parameters to automatically trigger alerts and protectively initiate a service response. IoT sensors placed throughout a factory can determine when machines require maintenance or alert plant managers if the temperature or humidity levels are too high for sensitive processes such as painting or mixing ingredients.

A consumer packaged goods company can use the asset and material tracking to detect and reduce theft and maintain inventory levels by tagging and tracing products throughout the supply chain. A process manufacturing unit can use connected operations intelligence to achieve cost savings by effecting changes in their procurement model based on real-time consumable data.

A strong sensing and analytics-based Tracking solution can help you create a more efficient assembly line. By connecting location-tracking sensors on the production line — including beacons on workers, RFID tags on products, and RSP readers on workstations — and integrating data-visualization tools, you can enable your production managers can track key performance indicators at workstations, see where defects occur, understand their causes, and immediately address them. They can identify delays in the assembly line down to individual operators, increase process compliance, and introduce predictability.

Measure

Measure using IoT
Being asset-intensive, manufacturing companies face tight budgets, stringent regulations and high pressure to improve asset performance, even while being confronted with aging assets and workforce. Managing an asset with these challenges requires informed decision-making based on insight, knowledge and forecasting. Data is a powerful tool to achieve this goal.

Thanks to IoT, measurement techniques that were complex and expensive are now more affordable, accessible and increasingly important. Even as you enhance your operations and supply chain – as a connected enterprise – building an analytics layer on top of it helps you find field data faster and immediately available for processing. Add to that the power of having more relevant measurements and observations of superior quality at your fingertips leads to informed decision-making.

About the use of IoT in human asset management

Track, monitor, and measure can also be applied to human resources – provided enough care is taken to protect privacy and compliance with local laws. For example, sensors embedded in employee uniforms and helmets, in some of the industries, can detect hazardous conditions such as toxic gases, or warn of over-exertion based on the reading of an employee’s heartbeat. In another example, GPS-enabled devices or mobile applications help track the precise physical location of workers in order to deploy them most efficiently to new work assignments.

In conclusion

A typical IoT Smart Asset Management solution comprises Remote Asset Tracking, Asset Health/Condition Monitoring, Asset Lifecycle Management, Asset Workflow Automation, and Predictive Asset Maintenance. You need an end-to-end solution, which includes recommendations on what devices to adopt, building an IoT platform, implementing analytics, and using digital solutions to integrate the enterprise.

At Hakuna Matata, our deep technical knowledge and our expertise in digital transformations help us build intelligent and scalable solutions for asset management. Say hello to us.