Welcome back to the second half of our two-part series on what IIoT sensors can do for your manufacturing business, processes and overall safety for both machines and technicians. Last time we talked about how the sensors can alert you when machinery, valves, and components need maintenance by detecting a combination of wear, leaks and corrosion before the issue causes damage to further components. Next, we’ll cover how these little WiFi-enabled sensors can show you how efficiently your manufacturing process is running from component to component and as a whole.

3. Performance Analytics

A manufacturing process or component can only be lab-tested so many times before it’s put on the market and/or into regular use. These lab tests are vital, but they are not the same as the rigors of constant everyday use. With sensors and analytic software constantly monitoring the actual moment-to-moment efficiency and performance of your equipment, you have the opportunity to learn, optimize and watch for slow-downs in real time. With detailed performance analytics, you may be able to identify potential future issues simply by watching the patterns of current performance. From bottleneck points to parts that rattle more than regulation suggests, real-time analytics will help you catch problems before they occur.

If your company isn’t already incorporating industrial internet of things methods into your manufacturing process, now is a great time to start considering it. Whether you make cars, install wind turbines or run chemical plants, internal sensors will help you see and understand exactly what is going on even more accurately than regular human inspections. While many of the big names like Siemens, Caterpillar and Boeing are already on the ball, smaller companies have just as much to gain from streamlining their maintenance and monitoring procedures to create a safer, more efficient and easier to optimize manufacturing environment.

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