Turnkey IoT – smart manufacturing made easy
With the hype and urgency around the Internet of Things (IoT) – especially in manufacturing – finding the fastest path to value can feel like both a mandate and an unachievable pipedream. However, organizations are beginning to recognize the potential value of their data. Now, as wireless networking costs decline, and analytics capabilities increase, that value is worth pursuing.
Long ago, keeping a manufacturing line up and running was a trial and error process: when something broke, you fixed it. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the concept of planned maintenance gained momentum, so parts were replaced according to a schedule rather than waiting for them to break down. Better, but not good enough. After all, in real-life, only 11% of machine failures are time-based – while, a staggering, 89% are random or unpredictable.
Maintenance goes smart
The next step, in the 80s, was slightly smarter: parts were tested regularly using advanced techniques like oil and vibration analysis. Condition-based maintenance was born. Still, this remained a largely manual process. Today, IoT offers an automated alternative. Sensors in the production line send real-time data on condition to the company’s computer. Far more accurate. Importantly, parts are monitored while the machines are actually running. This technology makes it vastly easier to predict when components will fail. A giant step forward! Manufacturers just need to take the plunge.
Enter Turnkey IoT
So what’s keeping them from doing so? The knowledge gap. In-house staff often doesn’t know what’s available and doesn’t have the know-how to set up IoT systems. The answer in that case is Turnkey IoT. Working with National Instruments, HPE and PTC, and using their ThingWorx industrial innovation platform, Deloitte is helping clients set up their own asset monitoring systems. Entirely tailored to their needs, and including the necessary elements of cybersecurity. In doing so, we combine hardware and software offered by industry leaders with our services and insights.
Think big, start small and scale fast
The best way to tackle the transition to IoT is to start small. In a pilot lasting 8-12 weeks, we apply IoT technology to just a part of the production line. The first step is engaging the people who need to work with the system. We develop a proof of concept that is highly relevant to key maintenance users. Then we connect the machines. We aggregate and analyze asset data that the IoT system generates – including failure data. Based on our findings, we keep fine-tuning the solution, then we assess whether the solution has provided real value.
The benefits for early adopters in practice are compelling. One chemical refinery reported 10 times improved productivity and 50% decreased maintenance costs. A consumer goods manufacturer, meanwhile, measured better overall equipment effectiveness and performance tracking. And an industry manufacturer saw its labor efficiency rise by 3-4% and significantly increased its speed to market.
While these results are interesting, the real value in smart predictive maintenance is in scale-out. If applied across an entire line or plant, this can revolutionize the production process. Unplanned downtime declines, throughput increases, machine availability improves. Moreover, the company spends less on maintenance and can cut back spare part inventory. Companies with multiple production sites can scale up further and take advantage of additional technologies such as cloud computing to create distributed computing networks – performing analysis where it makes sense.
The Internet of Things is unlocking amazing opportunities for manufacturers. It’s just a matter of getting started, with small-scale experiments. Is your company ready to embrace IoT technology?