Three Ways Mini-Sensors Give Manufacturers the Answers They Need

admin Industry 4.0

The more you know, the better you can compete. Sensors are helping manufacturers move into the new world of the “Industrial Internet of Things” (IIoT) to make just-in-time decisions that optimize the entire manufacturing supply chain.

Now there are very small sensors that can fit on most machinery and in hard to reach spaces where other sensors cannot be placed. These mini-sensors multiply the number of machines that can be made into intelligent devices to collect and share critical data. Manufacturers get more answers on how to make production faster, leaner and more cost-efficient.

See BKK’s vision for Disruptive Technologies mini sensors at a power plant

In our work with manufacturers and IoT systems integrators, we’ve found that mini-sensors overcome three top challenges for manufacturers:

1. MOVING FROM SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE TO PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE

Guessing when parts may need to be replaced or when maintenance should be scheduled leads to inefficient and unnecessary downtime. Worse, finding out too late that machinery is overheating or wearing too quickly takes production schedules off course and increases chances of accidents and injury.

Smart, connected mini-sensors applied throughout the supply chain constantly collect data, like temperature, touch, and proximity, to monitor factory and equipment conditions and machine utilization. As a result, manufacturers can monitor performance and get advanced notice of any issues so they can address problems proactively.

Mini-sensors monitor conditions such as:

  • Temperatures, both absolute and delta
  • Overheating
  • Freezing
  • Movement of objects through proximity
  • Status of valves (open and closed)
  • Push-button confirmation of competed service

2. IMPROVING AND AUTOMATING LOGISTICS AND ASSET MANAGEMENT

Mini-sensors can monitor and report on the location and condition of a wide range of goods. Companies can predict and confirm when assets arrive and when they leave warehouses, distribution centers and retail stores. Automated storage and retrieval systems rely on information gathered from sensors in order to keep shelves properly stocked. Finding an asset is not where it should be gives companies notice of potential problems in the supply chain and early warnings of potential inventory theft.

Mini-sensors monitor conditions such as:

  • Asset location
  • Asset presence in shelf
  • Asset temperature
  • Inventory control

3. CONTROLLING ENERGY COSTS AND MEET REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS

Motion sensors in homes and offices that turn on and off lights have been saving energy costs for years. Now with robust mini-sensors, companies can gain greater visibility and control over temperatures and activity on the factory floor and in distribution centers; they can now control energy usage on a large scale. In addition to helping companies meet the challenge of rising energy prices, these sensors help meet increasingly stringent regulations for energy uses in the manufacturing sector.

Mini-sensors will be an essential part of Industry 4.0

The next industrial revolution is coming and it will be fueled by an integrated, connected, IoT ecosystem. IoT device manufacturers and systems integrators will incorporate wireless mini-sensors into their solutions because they can be deployed at scale, are easy to deploy, easy to manage, and are cost-efficient.

If you are considering an IOT solution, we can show you how mini-sensors will get you the answers you need.