Thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), manufacturing is smarter and faster than ever before. Equipment is increasingly autonomous as technology allows it to not only manage data, but collect and share it in relevant ways: man to machine, machine to man and machine to machine. As a result, “smart” equipment introduces objective processes that dictate how components will interpret and adjust to information, including monitoring service needs and correcting output before bad products are made.
Applying IIoT principles to samplers and analyzers demonstrates that using technologically intelligent equipment isn’t just a matter of convenience. Wired or wireless electronic data collection from sampler sensors – such as temperature, pressure, flow and weight – is advantageous in optimizing process parameters through real-time data collection, interpretation and application.
IIoT-enabled equipment allows multiple samplers, or a combination of samplers and people, to simultaneously report and record process parameters while the machinery is operating. This real-time historical recordkeeping is particularly useful in industries where a strict chain of custody is required. “Smart” equipment automatically traces materials from their source of origin, through the product, to the customer, which provides reliable traceability in the event something unforeseen happens and accountability needs to be assessed.
Further, this level and type of data collection provides objectivity in data interpretation.
The statistical process control offered by “smart” samplers ensures a process that operates at its full potential and, ultimately, provides high-quality outcomes.
“Smart” equipment is self-learning, meaning it objectively gathers data about itself and, in some cases, uses it to automatically correct processes. In others, it provides objective data to its human counterparts to identify trends, out-of-control conditions and to correlate and analyze specific data points to determine appropriate next steps – often before problems cause unscheduled and expensive downtime.
Optimizing action plans is made easier through remote, centralized monitoring. There are several practicalities, such as being able to access sampler information with a handheld device, simultaneously share data between sites, and communicate diagnostic information from equipment to service support technicians.
More specifically, having several pieces of “smart” equipment connected to a single network allows one individual to not only monitor performance, but gain a true understanding of how the devices are interacting at different points in the process to:
- Recognize a need for process control change to maximize production
- Identify upcoming maintenance, repair or service needs and schedule preventive maintenance to avoid unscheduled downtime
- Alert appropriate personnel to malfunction and interpret causation
- Recommend best actions to correct or remediate deficiencies
The IIoT is transforming processes for many industries, and technology is only advancing. Future applications could include augmented reality – where technicians might be able to “read” equipment by simply looking at it through optical head-mounted displays. Until then, the representative sampling and analysis experts at Sentry Equipment Corp are here to help you integrate today’s technology to your best advantage. Contact us today!