Convert assets to "SMART" Assets
You will find both wireless and wired sensors in the market, but in the end, it depends on your requirements and the type of infrastructure where these sensors would be fitted. Equipment retrofitted with sensors can help floor supervisors to gain important information like the speed of the production process, power consumption, the level of vibration, moisture and temperature, etc. and detect early signs of mechanical problems to avoid downtime.
Some processes that are part of gathering data from sensors and then analysing it are
- Data from PLC
- Data from storage
- Data from external sensors
- Connectivity – Ethernet/Wi Fi/4G/LTE/ZigBee/BLE/etc.
Not all data gathered will be useful or serve the purpose. For example, for predicting equipment behaviour, then correlating data that accurately monitors equipment behaviour out of all the data gathered. From all the potential data sources, only few data sources will be giving you the relevant information. Sophisticated machine learning algorithms are available that can help you identify data sources to describe, monitor, and predict equipment behaviour. Therefore, you need to identify relevant data sources first so that you can later take effective decisions based on the data.
Machine age is definitely not a deterrent since there are many other situations and aspects unique to your organisation that play a vital role in implementing IoT. In many cases, legacy equipment in the plant does not have any connectivity option. Some of them could be hydraulic systems, not electric, and you will not find an Ethernet port in controllers such as older PLCs. In such cases, you can use an edge node or a converter to connect an older PLC to the Internet. There can be many other ways to give existing equipment new connectivity options so that they can communicate with gateways and change the way you collect, interpret and use the data.
If you are having legacy assets and are not sure how to implement IoT, then feel free to contact us.