The Internet of Things (IoT) is being increasingly adopted to help improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes and equipment across a variety of industries, and Toyota Material Handling is one company aiming for a fully connected plant. The forklift and truck lift producer has three plants and 8,400 workers in the US. Senior VP Alan Cseresznyak says the company can reduce downtime and improve performance with IoT and predictive analysis across its three US plants (via Forbes).
The company started small and has already seen one quick success in identifying a poorly running machine. Cseresznyak used an operational machine learning system from Falkonry LRS to analyze welding machines at its plant in Columbus, Indiana. He analyzed 62,000 machines in under three minutes and came up with a simple data set on which welds were superior, good, normal and poor. Based on that information, the system learned how to identify good welds, analyzed results in real time, and pinpointed a machine that was consistently operating at a level that was below satisfactory. By improving the performance of that machine, the plant was able to increase efficiency, Cseresznyak told Forbes.
Food manufacturers are also increasingly seeking areas for improvement within their operations and are turning to technology to boost efficiencies and reduce costs, says Tetra Pak, a food processing and packaging solutions company. Tetra Pak has launched a new plant management service that uses cutting-edge technology like IoT and artificial intelligence to audit all the equipment and systems across a customer’s value chain and identify opportunities for improvements.
IoT can also be leveraged by manufacturers in terms of resource management. For example, by putting trackers on devices to make sure data points are tracked more effectively, water leaks can be detected and stopped. “We see a point of consumption that doesn’t make sense given the history of consumption at that site and the benchmark,” Mathias Lelievre, Engie Insight’s chief executive officer, told Environmental Leader earlier this year.
Energy consumption can be tracked this way, as well. “The IoT can bring a lot of value,” Lelievre said. “With the IoT coming in, more data will be real-time. You can find more projects … that will result in savings, less consumption, and have a great impact. That’s a sign of hope despite the challenges we have with global warming and climate change.”