While the Internet of Things continues to evolve, many are beginning to question how it will affect the industry, especially when it comes to configuring, calibrating, and maintaining instruments and equipment. Although many believe that the Internet of Things is the solution to all our technological problems, it really isn’t…it’s only half.
In the manufacturing industry, human element is a necessity. Without human element, Overall Process Efficiency (OPE) wouldn’t be determined. The Internet of things won’t be able to determine if the shift changeover procedure was adhered to or if the technician properly applied thermal paste during the job. The perspective of the Internet of Things may be helpful when it comes to machines, but manufacturing includes a large sum of human element, especially when it comes to overall quality. Today, even the most automated manufacturing facilities still have human elements correctly configuring, calibrating, monitoring and maintaining machines.
One way the Internet of things can benefit the manufacturing industry is with next generation quality tools. While these quality tools still heavily incorporate human element, they still help minimize the issue of human error. For example, Techniplas, an injection molding company, recently invested in a manufacturing app. The manufacturing app is integrated with sensors that help guide human operators through a semi-automated processed for assembling hoses to manifolds.
The integrated solution consists of a small IoT gateway device, which id connected to a pressure sensor and a pick-to-light system that helps identify the correct part. These two items are then connected to a computer, which in turn provides the operator with interactive SOPs. It works by illuminating the pick-to-light system on the correct bin of parts, while the sensor ensure the system is in-spec. The integrated system also records data with a built-in analytics engine.
Techniplas integrated system is a great example of how the Internet of Things can minimize human error within the manufacturing industry. It is also a great example for showing that all though the Internet of Things can be helpful, is it only solving half of the problems with the industry because the human element is still a necessity.
Another example of quality tooling is the use of automated asset management, such as Anytime Assets. Anytime Assets tracks where all of your tools and equipment is located. Really, it tracks where any assets are located. One example of this used in manufacturing is tracking where each mold was used last and where it should be going next. The molds can automatically be checked into a location and employees know where each one is at all times and where it should be sent to next.
Learn more about tracking and managing assets automatically in our educational center.
View our asset management center here.