According to the World Economic Forum, 85% of industrial equipment remains unconnected to the IoT, which means it’s being monitored through a combination of manual observation and reacting to something that has already broken. But if you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware of this frustrating situation and considering your options.
“What are we?”
Someone on my team asked me this question recently, and I keep turning it over in my mind. Of course, I have an elevator pitch I could recite, but at our core, who and what is Atomation?
The best way to answer that question is to start with the “why” behind our approach.
Mike Johnson, owner of Heartland Sustainable, is using technology for Operations Optimization. The 20-year-old company has segued into a composting vertical that complements his existing Heartland Farm Services. (www.heartlandsustainable.com) Currently Johnson manages 8 rows of organic compost 8’ H x 25’ W x 300’ L. This equates to 6000 cubic yards of organic material that needs to be maintained for optimal aerobic processing. The final product is sold to companies whose interests are in water management, landfill waste reduction, improving soil health, disease resistant products, and erosion/soil compaction. These companies often include Landscapers, Garden Centers through Fibertech Premium Mulch.
The prospect of updating and connecting legacy machinery to the IoT can seem daunting. You may not have the expertise in-house, you’re already strapped for resources, and it seems...complex. Rest assured, there are simple and effective options that don’t require a team of NASA engineers.
We’ve written recently about the negative impact poor equipment monitoring can have on your business. But how do you know if this is an area you should focus on when you likely already have a full plate? (Hint, there’s almost always room for improvement in equipment monitoring.) We’ve put together a checklist to get you started.
In a perfect world, we could all have cutting-edge, “smart” machinery, all of which would be connected for perfectly streamlined processes. In reality, the most cost-effective solution is often to keep legacy machinery in service. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t update the way we use and maintain these machines.
Much has been written about the growth of connected devices. A 2019 IDC IoT and data forecast predicts 41.6B connected IoT devices will produce 79.4 zettabytes (which is 79.4 billion terabytes) of data in 2025 and most of that growth is coming from the automotive and industrial industries. That data combined with computing power well over one trillion times greater than what was available in the 1950s means the days of managing factories with people, paper and clipboards will soon be over – right? Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The subject of the IoT often spawns lofty discussions surrounding ‘digital transformation’ across industries. These discussions may be great from a theoretical standpoint, but often leave manufacturers scratching their heads and wondering where to start. Forbes reports, “a majority of manufacturers, 51%, state either that selected business areas are supported by IoT or that they have deployed it extensively across their organizations.” It is apparent that IoT technology is being implemented across manufacturing organizations but the most important questions to ask are why are they being implemented and where to start? As IoT technology matures and ROI is proven, some common roadmaps to IoT adoption are beginning to emerge.
It’s time to rescue the misfit devices. As we continue to transition from a world of isolated systems to one where everything is connected, many pre-Internet, “outdated” devices are being hung out to dry. Although there are currently 26 million devices connected to the Internet of Things, Intel estimates that 85% of existing devices are inaccessible and unconnected.