“Today’s world is a network of networks.” Nowadays, smart technologies allow machinery to be interconnected with each other and with its operators, regardless of their location. Known as the Internet of Things (IoT), this phenomenon allows users to collect and refine a huge amount of data into valuable information with smart data analysis. For the cutting-edge companies that have already embraced IoT, they are reaping the benefits of lower costs, increased efficiency and faster response times in all their business processes.
IoT has increasingly popped as a topic in the media over the past few years and is recently penetrating the glass industry as well. Still, many of us are questioning what benefits IoT brings to us in reality. What does this mean for glass processors? Does it provide any value or is it just a passing trend?
If we consider the use of IoT from the different perspectives of glass industry professionals, you may get a better idea of what value it holds for us in the future.
Always online, improved uptime
For maintenance engineers or managers, an online connection provides a range of new benefits. For example, remote access to machinery-related data provides them with the possibility to analyze faults without actually being at the factory.
Thanks to IoT, machinery can provide push notifications to mobile devices, enabling quick problem solving and appropriate actions. The machinery itself can automatically detect its own parts that are at risk of soon failing. This, in turn, significantly improves a machine’s uptime and reduces unnecessary service breaks.
Always online, immediate feedback
For production managers, online access gives accurate and immediate feedback on the end products processed as well as machinery throughput. IoT-enabled machinery can instantly provide the necessary information, regardless of where the actual monitoring happens. So production managers no longer need to manually measure this or get data based on assumptions.
IoT also gives production managers the possibility to see the overall machinery status and usage data from one access point instead of manually gathering this information from the different machines. This again reduces the amount of manual work for a production manager and frees up time to plan for production improvement.
Always online, improved efficiency
For operators, online machinery data access provides feedback on target levels and, more precisely, defines whether they are achieving their own personal targets. The system can also provide tips and tools to automatically improve an operator’s efficiency and even suggests the most optimal machinery settings for new types of products. Instead of learning through trial and error, operators get the correct results immediately.
Always online, improved quality
For factory managers, the IoT system guarantees thorough analytics and measurements of the production quality and levels at all times. Factory owners and managers can relax, knowing that they can monitor the factory status even from a customer’s site when negotiating specific delivery times.
They also always know if the machinery is in good condition and whether its settings are correct to get the best end product from a given machine. Instead of wondering about possible human errors, online machine monitoring completely eliminates this risk for them.
Always online, your future
To summarize, we can state with complete confidence that online machinery and networks will help each and every one of us become better professionals in the glass processing industry. IoT gives us the necessary tools and automatic features that enable us to reach better end products with the highest quality.
The future is now. So, jump on board with the benefits of interconnectivity!
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About the author
Product Manager in Glaston Services. Responsible for product development and technical support. Joined Glaston in 2005 and has worked in different positions since then. He has and gathered extensive hands-on experience on practically all parts of the glass processing chain.