Start Small, Think Big
So, your management has tasked you with “getting the company into IIoT.” What do you do next? The project can be daunting because the applications are so expansive and the technology is evolving at such a rapid pace.
From a company’s perspective, whether you’re in manufacturing or materials processing or even utilities, there’s really no point in connecting things just to have them online. You must have a reason for connecting. So, how do you go about deciding what your team wants from IIoT?
There are a couple of paths to take here. The first path is to start small with a project that can offer a short-term return on investment (ROI). If you manage a plant or factory, you might want to start with a line of equipment and install vibration and temperature sensors (such as the SmartHAWK® Vibration Sensors designed by TDG Technologies) close to the bearings so that you can monitor the health of the equipment and take action to accelerate maintenance on the machines before more serious, and costly, repairs are required. Or you might want to connect hard-wired pressure sensors to SmartHAWK® Dual Analog Sensors to gain visibility to pressure readings at a remote location without having to physically visit the equipment location (saving time and allowing you to redeploy technicians to other assignments). Alternatively, you could install a SmartHAWK® Power Sensor on your low or mid-power equipment to better assess energy consumption, allowing you to improve efficiency by shifting your operations to off-peak time periods when energy rates are lower.
But focusing on short-term ROI with limited scope projects leaves a lot of money on the table. A second path involves a more visionary outlook, a ‘bigger view’ so to speak. In this case, you’ll want to build out your IIoT platform to change your entire business model. For example, this may involve expanding the scope of your IIoT deployment. Once you’ve validated the short-term ROI evidenced on a line of equipment, you’ll want to design a broad-scale project where vibration/temperature sensors are installed on multiple lines across a number of geographically dispersed locations. With 24/7 visibility into equipment performance accessible from any web-connected PC using SmartHAWK® Web, you can view and manage your entire operations from a centralized control room or even through a mobile device with alerts automatically pushed out to you based on parameters you establish. You can then break out the long-term ROI associated with this project, not only including cost savings by proactively maintaining equipment at optimal points but also detailing reduced costs of operations (e.g., fewer technicians, redeployment of operations personnel, lower G&A expenses, etc.).
The key here is to first identify the problem you want to solve – whether that be reducing equipment failures, lowering maintenance costs, or better allocating power consumption. Once the problem is identified, the next step is to speak with experts in the field to determine the best course of action for deployment. TDG Technologies has expertise in developing, executing, and managing IIoT solutions in industrial environments. A large-scale industrial IoT project isn’t something you should ever try to do alone. With a strategic partner by your side, you can turn your IIoT concept into a reality.
If you want to learn more about the SmartHAWK® line of wireless industrial sensors from TDG Technologies, products and other information can be found at www.tdgtechnologies.com. TDG Technologies can also be reached by calling (760) 466-9234.