Introduction to the Internet of Things
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a relatively new term that can be defined as the network of devices such as vehicles, home applications, phones, computers, smart TV’s and other objects that contain electronics, software, actuators, and connectivity which allows them to connect to the internet and share data and information with each other. The fascinating thing about the Internet of Things is that it does not only cover the traditional range of smart devices such as tablets, smartphones, computers, and laptops but it can also reach out to other non-smart devices such as refrigerators, microwaves, ovens, anything really.
Where can the Internet of Things be used?
The Internet of Things can be used in various applications such as the followings.
- Smart Home: IoT devices allow the automation of traditional homes; in other words, the user can communicate with the house. Thanks to IoT devices. the user can use his voice to change the temperature of the shower, get updates on the weather and world news among other features and services.
- Elderly care: IoT devices can be used to help the elderly and people in need in general. They can perform different tasks such as using sensors that monitor medical emergencies such as falls or seizures.
- Medical and healthcare: IoT devices can be used for medical purposes such as the monitoring of the heartbeat, the checking of blood pressure. The collecting of Information and data.
- Transportation: IoT devices can be used to assist in the integration of communications, control, and information processing across various transportation systems.
- Agriculture: IoT devices can be used for various tasks in the farm and agriculture fields such as collecting data on temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, pest infestation, and soil content. This data can be used to automate and improve farming techniques.
- Manufacturing: IoT devices can be used and implemented in factories in order to speed up the manufacturing process and achieve better results
IoT and Manufacturing industries
The application of the internet of things in the manufacturing and industrial fields can be in many forms such as:
Taking the networked sensors and intelligent devices and integrating those technologies to use directly on the manufacturing floor, collecting data to drive artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.
IoT can also transform traditional, linear manufacturing supply chains into dynamic, interconnected systems, thus making factories more efficient, ensuring better safety for the human operators, and, in some cases, even saving millions of dollars.
The Internet of Things can also be used for location tracking. This makes the keys impossible to get lost. Human workers can spend a lot of time locating tools, equipment, and finished goods inventory; however, IOT can significantly reduce that time which can be used for other useful purposes.
The implementation of the internet of things can dramatically improve operating efficiencies. If a machine goes down for some reason, connected sensors can automatically pinpoint where the issue is occurring and trigger a service request for the maintenance team. Perhaps more importantly, IoT can also help a manufacturer predict when a machine will likely breakdown or enter a dangerous operating condition before it ever happens.
The Internet of Things enables devices to connect and exchange data. In manufacturing, IoT connects machines and units to systems and people, thus enabling the better integration of plant processes. This, in turn, results in achieving higher levels of productivity and efficiency and taking manufacturing to the next level.
IoT can improve the overall efficiency of the whole factory by reducing the wasting of time and automating processes and operations thus fastening the entire operation.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using IoT Devices
Pros of Using IoT Devices in the manufacturing industry
Here are some pros one can get from implanting IoT Devices:
- Improving the productivity of the production line through inventory and waste reductions.
- Expediting service calls and repairing and reducing warranty costs.
- Improving quality and yield due to improved quality practices.
- Improving worker safety and gaining better workforce management.
- Increasing workers’ productivity and expertise.
- Reducing the energy consumption of facilities and buildings.
Cons of using IoT Devices in the manufacturing industry
Here are some cons of using IoT Devices:
- IoT Devices rely heavily on the internet; therefore, security and privacy may be a problem due to the amount of data that could be exposed to hackers and pirates.
- IoT Devices are complex and as we all know with all complex systems, there is the possibility of failure. However, for IoT systems, failures and errors could be a skyrocket.
- IoT focuses on the automating of processes and applications; therefore, there will be fewer requirements for human resources and less educated staff, and this may create an employment issue in society.
IoT is a technology that is rather new, and there is still a long way to go, especially when it comes to the privacy, security, and protection of valuable data and information. However, the advantages and benefits of the implementation of the internet of things a clear for all to see. That’s why it is expected that more business owners and manufacturers will start using IOT Devices in the near future.