Unplanned downtime is a threat to company’s workflow at the plant and also to the cost, as they result in big loss up to $2 million per incident. These downtimes hamper the most to the productivity and also at times risk the worker safety on the plant which further leads to compensations and tarnishing of company’s image. In assembly line whole process comes to a stop because of such outages, resulting in the shortage of supply and delayed deliveries. Other impacts of such downtimes could be underutilization of resources, unable to fulfill customer demands, a compromised quality which further effects customer’s trust and resulting in the downfall of sales.
IoT Equipped Robots to Rescue
Inspection is the key to worker safety and avoids unplanned downtime in the manufacturing industry. Process, assets and system require regular inspection checks to continue safe operations. These checks are done both internally and externally which makes it more complex as it is not possible or at times not safe for humans to intervene and carry out such inspections. Here is when IoT enabled devices and mobile robots come into the role. These devices are capable of sending data to systems at regular time intervals with accurate readings and mobile robots can be operated remotely and deployed in places which are dangerous or nearly not possible for humans to intervene.
IoT enabled gadgets are widely accepted by industrial companies and they have started to incorporate IoT driven strategies to plant maintenance modules to help them monitor and predict the health of their assets in real time. Data analytics helps the organizations to predict the outage time of the parts of machinery with the help of data obtained from IoT enabled devices. Planned downtimes are shorter than the unplanned ones resulting in higher plant availability and productivity, also worker safety becomes much easier.
Noteworthy Points to Implement IoT in Plants
Understanding Safety Risks: Prior to implementing any safety measures it is necessary to identify the risks associated with one's plant. A risk assessment must be done at the design stage and maximum of the risk must be eliminated there only. After this one should decide its own IoT enabled devices depending on the vulnerabilities and requirements. This makes the overall process cost-effective and saves a lot of time in monitoring and inspection.
Remote Access: IoT’s biggest benefit is remote access and it must be utilized to its best. Fatal work injuries caused because worker travel can be easily reduced and human efforts can be utilized in other important tasks.
Implement and upgrade safety Systems: It is highly necessary to understand the importance of safety system in plants but it is equally important to keep implementing devices wherever required and also update them as per the needs. Advancement of technology keeps bringing in new gadgets that are better than predecessors and result in better output.
Regular Data Analytics: Data analytics must be done at regular intervals and with better or more relevant data which results in many effective predictions and timely service of plants can be carried out.
Worker safety has always been a priority in plant maintenance and as well as a challenge for organizations to keep improving it. IoT and data analytics are the modern day tools which are capable to fix the bugs in the safety and maintenance models.