The advantages and benefits of the industrial internet of things all start with communication. In industrial applications a simple event increases the advantages as it goes wireless.
Much has been written about the industrial internet of things (IIoT), or Industry4.0, over the last couple of years. It is a fair bet that many factory managers are still less than clear about what it is and what it signifies. It is certainly not a specification which you can go out and buy, nor is it a norm such as ISO, which a company can be audited against to obtain a certification. Rather, it is simply becoming a new way of industrial life. It consists of a way of doing and organizing things while taking advantages of the benefits of the latest technologies that are available. So, it is evolutionary, not really an industrial revolution, which is often cited together with Industry 4.0.
Regardless of how the industry players classify this period that we are all in, one thing is clear: the process all starts with a signal. By taking advantage of the latest technology to digitalize how you can manage aspects of today’s business, clever solutions are embracing the spirit of the IIoT thinking. Increased use of automation combined with the latest process improvement tools speed up processes. It can make them more transparent and reduce the amount of human errors and inaccuracies often caused by traditional methods of recording certain types of information - even if it is old school: via clipboard, pen and spreadsheet.
During the specifying process of acquiring a large capital expenditure such as a machine, a great deal of thought needs to go into what value it will bring to the company and how it will be employed. It is smart for companies to include the operations and maintenance personnel as decision makers to add their perspective to the traditional decision makers in both the administration and finance departments. This inclusion provides a well-rounded justification in the determination of the payback period and ultimately the feasibility of acquiring such a large capital expenditure. Their inclusion can prolong the life of the asset if it is well thought out.