Your shop floor is busy on a normal day, but when does a machine break down unexpectedly? At best, it’s a big headache. At worst, it can stop your production.
Utilizing predictive maintenance with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology can avoid these stressful situations. Andrew Robling, Product Marketing Manager at Epicor, explained, “By using sensors to connect equipment and tools, a manufacturer can understand when an asset is going to fail or break before it happens.”
These sensors, such as a vibration sensor or a fluid level sensor, are attached to the asset to report information. “When a sensor goes outside predetermined limits, the IIoT solution can trigger an alarm or notify maintenance of an outstanding issue,” he added.
The key to an efficient shop floor is having actionable data. “Manufacturers are continually striving to streamline their businesses by increasing productivity, improving quality and reducing downtime,” said Robling.
By using IIoT solutions, you can easily and securely connect to smart devices that collect data to optimize your business. “By simply monitoring how long the process takes and using that information to identify where bottlenecks exist, you can make changes to gain efficiencies,” he explained.
IIoT enables real-time insights. Sensors collect the specific parameters that are important to you, such as cycle speed, idle time and machine condition. By acting on this information, you can prevent machine breakdown.
The five main costs of a breakdown
Equipment or tool failure can be very costly, but not just in terms of the failure itself:
- lost production time
- Possibility of missing a shipment
- express shipping costs
- Low vendor ratings
- possible lost business
Let your IT department shine
You already have a lot to keep up with — IT challenges shouldn’t take up more of your time. The good news is that there are tools that allow your IT talent to be available for critical technical decisions, instead of spending all your time updating software, getting lengthy data reports, and dealing with security breaches.
If you find that your IT spends more time compiling and explaining data than making decisions based on those numbers, it’s time to investigate a different solution. Elizabeth Cain, Product Marketing Manager at Epicor, shares how the right data system can make a big difference.
“An IT department or consultant spends a lot of time and money connecting ERP data to a turnkey business intelligence solution. For the average end user, deciphering what they compile might not be any easier than looking at an Excel spreadsheet with row after row of numbers and statistics,” she explained.
By using a comprehensive ERP with visible and detailed analytics capabilities with integrated content that integrates all areas of the company, you suddenly have instant access to easy-to-use, real-time data that provides a complete picture of your business. And it’s there when you need it, without taking up a lot of IT resources.
The type of hosting you choose for your solution is another way to optimize your IT department. Maintaining a large business intelligence system with an on-premises solution is not an easy task. Cloud hosting gives you access to more powerful processing and more data – and that reduces the strain on IT, while allowing cost savings on expensive servers.
The cloud enables the highest level of performance, scalability and reliability. It also allows you to properly utilize the data your system collects, as Cain explained: “The term ‘big data’ implies that it is backed with the necessary hardware infrastructure for powerful data processing and massive data storage, providing instantaneous results. enterprise-wide data query. Until recently, this was beyond the reach of most small and medium-sized manufacturers, but that has changed with the availability of these services in the cloud.”
On-premises solutions require complicated and time-consuming updates to stay current, while cloud updates are done automatically. Furthermore, on-premises hosting for your legacy ERP actually exposes your company to some hidden risks. The software is usually hosted on the same network as the company’s email, but this makes it easy for hackers to access your customer data and private business information.
Also, servers are expensive. Having them on your property can be a huge risk in the event of a flood, climate control issues, or even possible theft. Hosting in the cloud is safer and also eases your mind.
Plus, the cloud lets you access the latest technology in your industry. Being at the forefront, rather than catching up, puts you on the same technological footing as large organizations. Your talent can now do what they do best – employ creative solutions using modern technology. It’s an advantage that can put you ahead of your competitors.