The Role Of IoT In Auto Manufacturing
Historically, the first IoT device was introduced well over twenty years ago, however, IoT has recently become an even more popular buzz word. One reason is due to companies realizing the many possibilities that exist in the data trail of connected devices. Every gadget, every assembly, every transaction, and even location generates data.
Therefore, manufacturers from diverse industries are starting to invest greatly in IoT devices and some are at the forefront. This includes companies like Microsoft, G.E and from the automotive industry, General Motors. This is no surprise considering IoT is the key to auto manufactures connecting with consumers. Actually, auto manufacturers started investing in IoT as early as 1995 with GM Onstar beginning the embedded era.
Today manufacturers are also looking at data to help in the actual production process known as smart manufacturing. Analysts and industry insiders refer to this as Industry 4.0
Data can benefit productivity
When it comes to productivity IoT can lead to a more standard level of efficiency. Equipment and sensors can collect data that can be aggregated and analyzed against Lean Manufacturing guidelines. By collecting data from assembly robots, other equipment, and live production lines automotive manufacturers have a bird’s eye view of real-time information across all operations. On the production floor, such information can be used help change up scheduling plans should market changes dictate. PERT and Critical Chain methodologies, utilizing IoT, can better aid managers in determining potential cost reduction and benefits of switching or eliminating project segments.
Data can Keep machines running well
IoT will also improve machine output. To help maintain uptime, smart manufacturing equipment will be better able to monitor self-efficiency. Key equipment failing during peak hours affect the bottom line, projected outbound numbers, and unscheduled overtime. Smart manufacturing from IoT addresses this with:
- Embedded equipment sensors.
- Energy consumption data.
- Preventive maintenance automation.
- Corrective action request.
Automotive manufacturers can manage parts delivery and inventory based on just what is needed, eliminating waste as real-time data allows the parts departments to automatically restock.
Data can usher in Cobotics and connect the layouts
Although the day of consumers having their very own Rosie Robot Maid like the Jetson’s may be years away, this partnership has existed in auto manufacturing for years. As IoT becomes more prevalent the relationships with workers and robotics has evolved. Cobotics is a term that comes from combining “cooperation” and “robotics” meaning collaborative robotics. Areas, where a human worker and robot have an overlapping workspace, are known as collaborative workspaces. This relationship is increasing production numbers in automotive plans that use IoT technology.
Because IoT connects everything by using existing Ethernet standards it provides communication at the machine level as well as the production level. Six sigma lean experts can better structure the work environment to meet lean manufacturing principles and improve material flow. Floor managers can compare routes used for material delivery can connect better pathways. Auto manufacturers can base production floor layouts on output requirements backed by live data.
Data can Improve products overall
According to the recent analysis, the US could generate up to 32 billion dollars. European markets predict a 94 billion dollar opportunity. As Industry 4.0 continues to evolve and the automotive industry reinvents it’s self IoT technologies will be the key factor in driving efficient cost-savings. Auto manufacturers can benefit by making sure they have:
- Accurate data measurements.
- Data origins and ownership.
- Automotive ecosystems
- Relationships with Hardware providers.
- Relationships with Tier 2 chip providers.
Industries are already seeing the value of IoT’s role in auto manufacturing and profiting from the results. Now it’s time to take the wheel.