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Internet of Things with Manufacturing

Robert Burdwell - Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The use of smart equipment in the manufacturing sector is increasing by the day, driven by the useful information that such systems convey to users. Consequently, this has led to the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturing and the result is growth in various dimensions of this industry. Combining and analyzing the details generated from these systems leads to increased efficiency.


NC Machines

CNC machining is probably the most common term you are likely to encounter in smart manufacturing, and it is important to note that the concept behind it is Numerical Control (NC). It is a form of programmable automation that uses letter, symbols, and numbers, to control processes. The operation of most machine tools in manufacturing engages the use of the programmable automation.


The numbers or characters are used to form the core program that avails instructions necessary to operate different devices, thus giving this concept the name Numerical Control. Changes on program instructions will happen whenever the job at hand changes, to promote flexibility. The Numerical Control approach to Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturing can be applied to such operations as sheet metal working, drafting, inspection, assembly, among others.


Some examples of processes that use NC technology include shaping, turning, milling, and drilling. Each of these processes takes a shorter period to complete, which makes bulk manufacturing cheaper.


Robots


Legacy systems are slowly fading away from the production scene, as establishments embrace industrial robots to achieve faster, and at a reasonable cost. The popularity of robots as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturing concept, is driven by their ability to take on "human" traits such as testing or inspecting products, assembling minute electronics, or picking and packaging.


Besides, a new generation of robots has invaded the manufacturing arena, running operations in a "collaborative" environment with humans. The result is the emergence of an era of shepherding robots through demonstrations.


Programmable Logic Controllers(PLCs)


A PLC is an industrial computer control system that monitors the state of input devices on a continuous basis. By doing so, you are capable of making decisions through the use of a custom program to control output devices. The value of a PLC is that you can enhance almost every process, production line, and machine function through it.


In turn, this promotes effectiveness in Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturing processes. The other advantage of using PLCs is that you can adjust and replicate the operation or process, as you collect and communicate critical details. Also, the system is modular to allow you to match your input and output devices, in a way that suits your application best.


Sensors


Communication between various systems and applications in manufacturing is impossible without sensors. Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturing, entails sharing of information through data-gathering sensors, machine-to-machine communication, and cloud computing. Such gadgets can be applied in diverse sectors of this industry.


The information they avail promotes better decision making. For instance, if a machine is due for servicing, sensors will convey these details to the relevant department, for prompt action to be taken. As such, downtime is reduced, and cases of breakdowns are minimized.


Small and mid-size establishments will need to consider venturing in the Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturing, as costs maintain a downward trend, and robotic applications increase. Embracing this concept will set them on course to realize increased profitability and establish their position in the market.

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