The Internet of Things and Cloud Computing have been accelerating the digitization of different economic sectors from the last 30 years. This is exactly the case of the Industrial Sector, where pioneers, started decades ago working on digitization and process automation, always looking better efficiency in their processes to be more competitive. This digital revolution of Process Automation started in the fabrication area, inside the factories, where the computers started managing connected machines and business systems.
Ten year ago, match in time with the first mobility technologies and other technologies like Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) or GPS Systems in real time, another process started in the factories: the automation of processes outside factories, like logistic systems. Nowadays it seems normal to see traceability packages from factories to clients or in other areas of supply chain like inventory warehouse. Since a few year ago, many companies in different sectors are including Internet of Things in their strategies to transform and digitalize their businesses. The consequences of introducing this tech are various and can give an answer to many different cases. The Process Automation outside factories is a good illustration about the use of IoT technologies to cost reduction and better efficiency.
When a company decides to transform their products into connected products, including sensors and internet connectivity into them, on one hand they want to explore new business models and in other hand they also can use this information to automate some processes thanks the new information available or remote control over the products.There are so many examples already available, for example about Condition Monitoring ( we wrote a post about that here with a few examples) on of them is Max, an elevator of Thyssen Krupp.
In the lift case,The elevators companies can introduce IoT in their maintenance processes and include some sensors to receive information, analyze that and can predict some errors or failures before they happen. This improvement is a big change because now you can have the information in real time and before this specific information was only available if the maintenance team are there. The evolution of lifts towards the Internet of Things to the lift permits :
- Analyzing operational data from distance and improve the predictive maintenance, avoid failures for example in some pieces that are starting to work improperly. It can automatize the maintenance, programming better scheduled calendar, including less maintenance.
- Improving the on-site maintenance by automating the process of provisioning the list of materials needed by the technician to do the job on the first visit. Therefore avoiding a second visit an intervention with the associated extra cost.
- Automate the supervision of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) guarantee and process. Because you have real time information about availability and operation of the equipment, companies can improve their warranty service.
- Some quality processes can be automatize too, because now you have almost all the statistical information needed in the detection defective parts or production batches.
- Billing processes can be improved by IoT too, for example including new variables like usage based billing usage conditions.
The Automation Process for connected objects is just one of the multiples choices and challenges that Internet of Things offers. If we have a map of the processes of a company, we will surely see IoT impacting in most of them. In some cases we can even see how the process is transformed from a manual process into a fully automated process.
Take for example a car rental through a mobile app . Thanks to IoT, now you can choose a car in one point of a city and return it in another place without human interaction in the process. Companies like Car2go and Emov are already this service in Madrid City.
Are you thinking to improve your business processes and be more efficiency with IoT? Contact us, tell us about your business and we offer our best IoT solution to you.
Recently our CEO Miguel Castillo was invited by ICEMD (spanish) to write an article about Process Automation and IoT. This post is not a literal traduction but include some of his words in that.
Brian joined Altair in 1999 and holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University.
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