Industry 4.0: How RTLS Has Changed The Meaning Of A Connected Factory
When people think of a connected factory they generally assume it relates to automation capabilities – processes in a manufacturing plant that are computerized or robots ferrying items and working in the production line.
Today, a connected factory is so much more than just single-level automation. With the Internet Of Things (IoT), connectivity can improve productivity and accountability, preempt mishaps and help you analyse mistakes on an in-depth level.
By allowing processes to be monitored and results to be measured, there is a host of benefits that IoT solutions such as RTLS can bring to your organisation.
5 Important Ways RTLS Connects Your Factory
Monitoring Progress In Real-time
Easily Find Components: With RTLS monitoring, the standard barcode scanning that is manually done by workers to keep track of components is made redundant and free of human error, forgetfulness or oversight. RTLS systems use location tags to ensure that geographical placement of components is recorded in real-time logs that can be accessed and assessed by authorized staff at any time.
Find Anomalies in The Chain: Alerts can also be set up to communicate location at certain times or areas. These features guarantee no loss in money, time or resources from workers searching for missing items. It is also beneficial for maintaining records of anomalies in the production line that need special attention and run the risk of getting lost in the system later.
Adhere to Use-by Dates:When it comes to raw materials with an expiration date, RTLS can benefit a manufacturing plant by helping with inventory. How much of a perishable ingredient is available? When will it get over and does that work well with the use-by date you need to adhere to? With components such as food or drug ingredients, these are crucial questions to ask in order to follow safety regulations and minimize the amount of wastage due to oversight.
Replenish Just in Time: Being able to accurately keep inventory rotation thanks to location tags that give you exact numbers of stock is a huge benefit. You can decide what you need to use first and how much you need to replenish and at what particular time from the data collected through the system.
Setting The Right Conditions
RTLS technology also has the added advantage of monitoring storage conditions. This is especially necessary in certain industries such as food and pharma where temperatures, humidity and/or light can affect the product. Criteria can be fixed on the tags and alerts are sent to the authorised staff if conditions change from the standards set. This helps reduce damage and wastage of material or ingredients as measures can be taken to correct the conditions immediately.
For assembly plants, keeping tabs on goods from other producers is imperative to planning and scheduling processes. If you are able to keep tabs on where your materials are in transit, you can set up the workflows according to their arrival, without wasting time guessing or depending on your suppliers estimate as to when you will have the goods.
Location monitoring on staff in a factory setup can be a boon for safety as presence of underskilled workers in high-risk zones – whether machinery or materials – can be curbed and potential accidents avoided if alerts are sent to the appropriate authorities.
Location tags can also be used to restrict access of certain personnel to areas – particularly useful in project that involve sensitive data – as alerts can be sent if an unauthorised person happens to be in a restricted zone. Monitoring of staff can also determine which areas of your facility are being used most often and help you plan your allotment of space for activities or processes.
A connected factory is so much more than automation. It is access to intelligence that can completely overhaul productivity with its process improvement. Data that is collected by RTLS can be analysed to make positive, long-term changes in efficiency. To learn more about how RTLS, with its simple, non-invasive setup and affordable cost, can help your organisation, take a look at Syook InSite.