They say, “what gets measured gets done”. This is no truer than in IIoT installations where the saying might be adapted to “what gets measured gets reported, regularly”. In fact, there are a growing number of stories where some frontline workers and some managers have initially been reluctant to have IIoT devices installed – the additional visibility that comes from devices regularly reporting measurements may expose practices that are inefficient and detrimental to operations and net profits. In time, reluctance turns into relief.
Using Ingredients in the Correct Order
In many businesses, research and experimentation has been done to determine the best order in which to use ingredients. However, in practice, where there is not enough oversight or attention paid to the level or order of ingredients, the ingredients may be added or used in the incorrect order. The net result of the use of ingredients in the incorrect order can be sub-optimal sizes, durability, or value of the resulting product. Ultimately, across many production sites and many batches, this amounts to significant losses in profits. IIoT devices installed and monitoring can identify those areas in which ingredients where not fully utilized or used in the incorrect order to notify business owners of opportunities to address “best practices” as quickly as possible and the information can be leveraged as a “teaching moment”. Ultimately, if and when the workers and managers get on-board, they can leverage the IIoT devices to increase their own visibility and validate their adherence to the standards. The real “win” is when they decide to become partners in evaluating additional areas and opportunities to improve results.
Ordering Ingredients in Time (Risk of Running Out)
Associated with using ingredients in the wrong order, we have seen where ingredients that are running low are not re-ordered in time. In the worst case, this can have catastrophic impacts on the current production batch (where everything has to be destroyed and disposed) or at best case an emergency delivery (with all the additional “rush” charges, overtime, and lost productivity) is delivered in time to keep things running with no interruption. In the spectrum between “destruction and interruption” there is a wide range of losses that are incurred. With IIoT devices in place, potential issues related to ingredients running low can be identified early and addressed in a timely (and cost effective) way. Most importantly, this information does not rely on someone remembering to check the levels or rely on them to measure the levels accurately and consistently. The dependability of the IIoT generated measurements becomes the primary input – with full expectation that workers or process owners will audit the measurements regularly to confirm the IIoT provided measurements.
Timely Reporting of Equipment Failures
If there isn’t a predictive maintenance program in place to adhere to scrupulously, the next best thing is to have IIoT devices monitoring equipment to detect the moment that operating parameters have gone outside acceptable ranges. This real-time, and near-real-time, information can be the difference between knowing things are running well and hoping that things aren’t failing. For example, a simple water pump required to keep process equipment cool could fail and then minutes or hours later critical equipment that depends on the cooling water can fail bringing the whole operation to a halt. With IIoT devices monitoring the water pump, these early risks can be detected immediately and addressed before they turn into irreparable damage and guaranteed extended downtime. With the relatively small expense of the IIoT devices, significant increases in income can be realized.
Bonus: In Depth Detailed Analytics
Extra benefits come from having IIoT devices collecting data from multiple aspects of the industrial processes, supplies, and logistics for future analyses. While the immediate benefits are in the instant visibility to levels and measurements, the longer term benefits will come from collecting a data history and correlating the data with other environmental variables to uncover hidden factors and validate any proposed improvements. For example, in one case, it was identified that the weather had a direct and measurable impact on the rate of update of various ingredients. With this insight, future production runs now take into account weather reports to adjust ingredient inventories. In yet another case, data was analyzed to see why certain sites were producing more optimized results, it was determined through the data across all sites that the suboptimal site was failing to fully utilize one ingredient before switching over to the subsequent ingredients. All of these findings demonstrated real losses in revenue and net income. Based on the findings, both revenues and income were increased without any indirect or unintended consequences.
The Cellio Wireless Network has been designed to be quick, affordable, and high quality. Cellio Wireless Transceivers allow the Cellio system and customers to quickly and easily expand existing systems with as many sensors and controllers as they like (with minimal incremental expense). The data collected in the back-end data system can be easily and rapidly mapped and provided for view on PC’s, tablets, smartphones, etc. both via browser views as well as automatically generated native mobile app views. Sharing and modifying the dashboard views is quick and easy. All of this is available in place today. There is a saying that you should “Inspect what you expect”. In many cases, the recommendations provided by corporate groups and third parties is well-researched and valid. From the conveyance of the information to putting it into practices that are adhered to, there is a wide range of implementation success and compliance. Is it any wonder that outcomes are also so widely varied? With IIoT devices, the data from across all sites, all production runs, and various operators and managers can be gathered, viewed, compared, and analyzed. As we find most frequently, it isn’t that workers and managers don’t care, they just have so much on their plates that they can’t pay attention to everything, nor all at once. When no one else is able to pay attention to critical measurements, you can count on Cellio.