The Internet of Things (IoT) has rapidly transformed the way people and their businesses interact with technology. There are so many types of IoT devices that manufacturers may have trouble knowing where to start. We’ve simplified IoT devices into 9 categories so you can get an idea of the latest types of devices and determine which would help streamline your manufacturing processes best. Let’s dive in.
What Are IoT Devices?
Broadly, IoT devices are pieces of equipment that contain sensors, software, and connectivity features, allowing them to connect to the internet or other devices.
There are many types of IoT devices. IoT devices may collect data, exchange information, or perform other specific tasks autonomously. Each IoT device is a cog in the greater IoT ecosystem, allowing for the exchange of data and automation of processes across your organization.
IoT devices work directly with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to provide real-time insights and alerts so your employees can work on more meaningful tasks in an accurate and informed way.
9 Types of IoT Devices for Manufacturers
Manufacturers will be interested in IIoT devices, or the Industrial Internet of Things. These devices get their own designation as the rise of smart factories has pushed their benefits to the forefront.
IIoT devices are specifically designed for use in industrial settings to collect, transmit, and analyze data related to your factory’s processes and equipment. IIoT devices play a vital role in optimizing operations, increasing efficiency, and improving safety in a wide variety of industries.
Here are a few types of IIoT devices that benefit manufacturers.
You’ll find sensors on just about every IoT device you use. Depending on its purpose, your device may be equipped with temperature sensors, pressure sensors, humidity sensors, vibration sensors, and flow sensors. Sensors offer real-time data that you can use to monitor and control industrial equipment and processes, often remotely.
2. Communication Protocols
Communication protocols transmit data to central control systems, like ERP software, or to other IIoT devices. Communication protocols refer to tools like Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, and LoRaWAN. If your factory lacks these modes of connectivity, you can find devices that can store data until a connection is available.
3. Edge Computing
Edge computing refers to devices that have embedded computing power. In other words, these IIoT devices can process data locally and make real-time decisions without having to communicate with a central server or cloud-based system. Regardless, they can still be integrated with your ERP software. Use edge computing for applications where low latency and immediate action are critical.
4. Remote Monitoring and Control
Using sensors and edge computing, IIoT devices allow your employees to remotely monitor and control industrial equipment. Operators and engineers can analyze machine performance, detect anomalies, and make adjustments in real-time, even from a remote location. This saves you time and money by reducing downtown and maintenance costs.
5. Predictive Maintenance
Know when your machinery is likely to fail and get alerted when it’s time for maintenance before it becomes an issue. You’ll save money on repair costs, loss of inventory, and unplanned downtime.
6. Asset Tracking
IIoT devices can be used for tracking your assets and managing logistics. RFID tags and GPS-enabled devices track the location and status of products, containers, vehicles, and equipment.
7. Safety Monitoring
Reduce on-the-job injuries by using devices that monitor environmental conditions, detect hazards, and ensure the well-being of employees. For example, some safety devices can detect the presence of harmful gases. Additionally, employees can equip wearable devices to monitor their temperature, core vitals, and more.
8. Energy Management
Energy waste not only harms the environment, but it can be costly for any size factory. Smart meters and sensor monitor energy usage, identify areas of waste, and allow your management team to craft better energy management strategies using real-time data.
9. Quality Control
Reduce inevitable human error from your QA team by supplying them with current and accurate quality control data. IIoT devices can monitor the quality of products in real-time, allowing your team to make immediate adjustments to production processes and keep your quality standards consistent.
What Types of IIoT Devices Are Best for You?
IIoT devices play a pivotal role in reshaping our world. Using your ERP system to create an interconnected ecosystem will boost your bottom line, create safer working conditions, and eliminate much of the menial work your employees spend endless hours working on. It’ll also reduce the risk of human error.
Interested in learning what types of IIoT devices are best for your business? Reach out to Godlan today and let our ERP experts walk you through your options.