It's no secret that factories face several risks each day. From the potential for fires and explosions to chemical spills, they have a lot to worry about. And as we all know, when it comes to risk, one of the most important things you can do is take steps to mitigate those risks.
One way that factories can do this is by using early warning systems. Early warning systems are designed to detect problems before they turn into full-blown emergencies. They monitor various aspects of the production or operation process and send alerts when something goes wrong.
This gives employees time to address the issue before it causes any damage.
In this article, we'll look at the state of early factory warning systems, when they're used, and provide some examples of industries utilizing early warning systems with the help of IoT technology.
The State of Early Factory Warning Systems
Early warning systems in factories have been around for many years. They are often used to prevent major equipment failures that lead to costly downtime and repairs. Before the IoT, or Internet of Things, warning time was limited to a few minutes or hours.
Condition monitoring before the IoT was primitive. Someone would have to be physically present, listen to various alarms and sounds coming from the factory floor, and then relay that information to the appropriate people.
Nowadays, with the advent of the IoT, early warning systems are becoming more and more sophisticated. By connecting machines and devices to the internet, companies can better understand what is happening on the factory floor in real-time. This allows them to address problems before they become major issues.
With the IoT, companies can now get real-time alerts of issues as they happen. This is done by connecting sensors and other devices to the internet and then using software to monitor and analyze the data.
There are many benefits of early warning systems in factories. Some of these benefits include:
- Reduced downtime and repair costs
- Improved safety for employees
- Reduced environmental impact
For example, factory warning systems are used to monitor various things such as temperature, pressure, and the presence of gas or combustible materials.
These systems use detectors to monitor the environment for the presence of heat, flames, or sparks. If it detects any of these things, it will send an alarm to employees and managers to take appropriate action.
By implementing these systems, businesses can improve efficiency, prevent costly repairs, and minimize the impact of outages. In short, early warning systems are a valuable tool for any business looking to protect its bottom line.
Benefits of Early Factory Warning Systems using the IoT
When an issue arises in a factory, it can often result in a loss of money. This is because many industrial companies rely on machines that need to be constantly running to generate a profit.
One of the main benefits of early warning systems and the IoT is that they allow for preventive maintenance. When a problem is detected early, employees can address it before it becomes a bigger issue. This saves money and helps to keep equipment running smoothly, and prevents potential safety hazards.
Another benefit of early warning systems is that they help to optimize production. By detecting problems early, companies can adjust their production processes to avoid any bottlenecks or disruptions. This helps to improve efficiency and keeps operations running smoothly.
Examples of Early Warning Systems Saving Factories Millions
Early warning systems have become an essential part of modern factories. They help to optimize production and keep operations running smoothly. In the event of a major outage, they can also help minimize financial losses.
Automation, including the use of the IoT for early warning, has the potential to save your business millions of dollars. Factories that have implemented early warning systems have seen a decrease in the amount of money they’ve lost to outages.
Some of the ways factories can save by monitoring legacy and IoT equipment using sensors include:
- Predicting when a piece of equipment will fail and scheduling maintenance before it does
- Recognizing small changes in the performance of machines and making necessary adjustments to prevent larger problems down the road
- Pinpointing the source of an outage quickly and more efficiently, minimizing the amount of time that production is stopped
Let's take a look at some case studies of organizations saving money and resources by utilizing Atomation devices.
The Grofit and Atomation Partnership
Atomation collaborated with Grofit to provide data for farmers to improve their yield. Soil tension, humidity, and temperature are all included in the data feed provided by Atoms. The Atoms determined the true soil water tension, which indicates the amount of effort required by root systems to draw moisture from the ground.
Grofit allows farmers to set realistic goals for each crop and achieve them. Farmers using the Grofit solution see a yield increase of 20%, maximize the crops' genetic potential, improve crop quality, and conserve water, fertilizer, and other inputs.
HVAC Unit Monitoring
An HVAC equipment manufacturer wanted to retrofit equipment that had been previously installed with Atoms for monitoring. Atoms on HVAC equipment can monitor vibration, bearing temperature, and current draw on motors. This information is transmitted to the customer’s computer system, which then sends an alarm if any of the monitored parameters go outside of the customer-defined acceptable range.
Atoms determine the chiller's position and obtain vital information about the machine's operation. With temperature and vibration data provided by Atoms, the manufacturer may gain insights into machine performance as well as the unit's location.
How to Implement Early Warning Systems in Factories
Unfortunately, a vast amount of industrial equipment remains disconnected from the IoT. Some legacy equipment is simply too difficult or expensive to connect, but many companies are also reluctant to connect due to concerns about data privacy and security.
Attaching sensors to equipment to measure vibration, temperature, and other factors can provide critical alerts before a failure occurs. To attach sensors, however, companies need to make some decisions about what data to collect and how that data will be processed.
When it comes to integrating old manufacturing equipment into modern IoT architectures, costly upgrades or bespoke workarounds are required. Retrofit kits, smart sensors, and intelligent gateways can help you save money and get started with IoT.
Start with your particular business issue and work your way up from there, identifying what pieces of equipment may need to be upgraded or adapted in order for them to become part of the IoT.
Companies like Amazon and IBM utilize early warning systems to prevent outages and save money. The bottom line is that early warning systems can save factories millions of dollars. By identifying potential problems and addressing them before they cause an outage, these systems allow businesses to run more smoothly and profitably.
Early warning systems have also been shown to save companies money in the event of a major outage. By detecting an issue early, companies can often avoid having to declare a full-blown emergency. This helps to minimize the financial losses that can occur during an outage.
Early warning systems work by monitoring the performance of industrial equipment and feeding that data into a central system. This system can then issue alerts about problems before they turn into a full-blown emergency. This helps to minimize the financial losses that can occur during an outage.
Atomation provides early warning systems for factories in the form of Atoms. Atomation helps to detect equipment issues before they cause an outage or more significant problem. Contact Atomation today for more information.
- IBM: Quality Early Warning Use Cases
- Science Direct: Early Warning Systems
- IoT Agenda: What Is the IoT and How Does It Work?
- Amazon: AWS IoT
- The Atlantic: Powering the Smart Factory with the IoT
- Atomation: 5 Crucial Considerations When Evaluating a Monitoring Solution
- Atomation: The IoT is Underutilized in Manufacturing
- Forbes: How Automation Can Save Your Business $4 Million Annually