IoT Applications in Manufacturing Benefit from Requisite IT Support

IoTBurgeoning Possibilities

IT support today has experienced substantial expansion. Where in previous years, it may have dealt with Internet applications, desktops, laptops, servers, and the networks which combine all those things, today IT applications can deal with fundamental infrastructural properties of your business. This is especially true when it comes to manufacturing applications, and much of this has to do with something called IoT, or Internet of Things.

The IoT has become prolific for a good reason. Not only does it cost-effectively streamline a variety of operations, but it allows greater production and functional potential at diminished expense. Automation has reached a heightened level of reliability via IoT. When you consider this tech innovation’s application to manufacturing specifically, it’s easy to see why. With IoT, you can:

• Have automated fuel adjustment parameters ensuring constant proper supply
• Institute automated adjustments for atmospheric conditions like humidity and temperature
• Source and correct errors in the manufacturing process automatically
• Monitor mechanical operations to ensure greatest effectiveness, and so determine with greater accuracy when repair is necessary

Gone are the days when the production floor is working full-tilt with no problems, only to be thrown off course out of the blue by a machine’s working parts wearing out at a critical juncture and causing a breakdown. With IoT, operational trends can be constantly monitored. Fail-safe solutions are more accurate, and you can get a longer lifespan from your manufacturing equipment. The reliability of functionality increases through IoT, leading to longer lifespans. In such way, this tech upgrade represents a substantial investment. But, there’s a kind of catch. It’s integral that you have the right kind of IT support involved as you transition into IoT solutions. There are definitely issues which can arise that are entirely preventable, but may blindside you.

Several Considerations

First, you don’t want to buy a bunch of IoT tech without knowing how it’s going to be ultimately applied in your operations. IoT isn’t some salve that you can slather across your assembly line. Rather, WiFi-enabled devices monitor machine progress and give you information pertaining to possible choices involved in machine maintenance/repair. Before you buy a great deal of such devices, you want to carefully explore potential uses for greatest effective integration.

Another consideration that really requires attention, and the support of an IT firm who understands the landscape, revolves around hacking. IoT devices are subject to malware, as well as concerted attacks. As it turns out, there’s big business in hacking and no shortage of criminal entrepreneurs looking to get a piece of that pie. The last thing you need is for your production floor to be held ransom by some twenty-something kid with an app downloaded via smartphone. To protect against such scenarios, you want IoT implementation using top-tier equipment that has been essentially safeguarded against just such attacks. Encrypted communication protocols, access privileges, and usage parameters are all key, but what’s most effective will certainly differ from one operation to the next. Even among manufacturing institutions stratified across a region by the same company, individual operational idiosyncrasies will recommend professional IT assistance for maximum security.

The last thing you want to consider is data management. Beyond automated systems maintenance and facilitation, IoT applications facilitate data collection in exceptional numbers. You’re able to get statistical information about machine operations which can inform purchasing decisions, mature investments in equipment, and help you implement further manufacturing solutions as your business expands. Managing this data can be very complex or very simple, depending. Ideally, an IT support solution can help you effectively manage your information so that it’s always accessible and can be put to good use. You may be able to source such solutions in-house, but it’ll be less complicated and more cost-effective to source an information management solution.

Upgrading Your Technology Solutions
Remaining competitive requires matching competitor solutions while expanding your own to outclass them. When you can hone manufacturing to its maximum efficiency, you can apportion additional funds to outward expansion, increasing your competitive edge. IoT allows you to get the most out of your equipment, and properly managed can even inform your future solutions.

 

 

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Mark McGarvey

Mark McGarvey is president of One Click Solutions Group, a managed services in San Francisco and security provider serving small and mid-sized businesses with 20 to 100 employees in the Bay Area. Mark began his career in msp consulting, before living in San Francisco, in the 90s as a senior support technician for a then-small company in Austin, TX called Dell. After working for a number of organizations in desktop support/management and systems administration, Mark realized a passion for two things: Ensuring computer systems ran smoothly and keeping the people that used these systems happy and productive. This passion helped him get his IT business started in San Francisco!  As a small business owner, Mark empathizes with other business owners that need computer support in San Francisco and understands the things dearest to them: Increasing productivity and efficiency and keeping costs low and ROI high.