IoT in Plastic Processing
Whether you call it IoT (Internet of Things) or IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) or Industry 4.0, one thing which is clear is that IoT and its applications are revolutionizing every form of industry and production, and that includes plastics manufacturing and processing industry. IoT in Plastic Industry solutions allow for ‘smart manufacturing,’ making it easier to collect and analyze data, strengthen weaknesses and mitigate problems. It’s also been proven to cause gains in production efficiency, quality and time to market.
Here are some ways that IoT is being used in the plastics industry and transforming its current landscape:
Applications of IoT in Plastic Manufacturing & Processing
- Sensors & Connectivity: IoT sensors in plastic processing plants can be used for data collection and data transportation over networks. Increased connectivity between the machines reduces the amount of human intervention needed to monitor, collect, exchange and analyze data. Sensors also allow for remote monitoring of equipment and assembly lines, creating a fast and easy environment to communicate information both on the plant floor and between the floor and outside.
- Remote Monitoring: IoT sensors offer a remote monitoring technology that can allow engineers and facility managers to monitor machines from a centralized office many miles away, or even on their mobile devices. Technicians now have a pathway through which they can connect to a machine from anywhere via an IoT device and perform diagnostic services as if they were physically there. In this way, facility managers can reduce unplanned downtime and improve facility-wide operational efficiencies by monitoring key parameters over time.
- Smart Manufacturing: Plastics manufacturers can gain competitive advantages such as greater traceability and predictive maintenance, through integration with IoT.
Some areas where this has great potential for IoT in Plastic Industry includes –
- Smart Machines – More intelligent IoT user interfaces, gesture control and multi-touch capabilities can make it easier for plastic manufacturers to analyze data from multiple machines and inform predictive maintenance, increase efficiency and reduce downtime.
- Smart Production – IoT devices make it possible to store and recall all parameter settings for a job thus automating the entire work assembly that can perform moulding, drying, chilling, blending and other operations.
- Smart Alerts – When a sensor detects a missing cap on a distributor, it can send alerts to a computer or mobile phone, leading to less material loss and overall process optimization.
- Single Control – A work cell that performs multiple functions using a single processor control requires fewer parts, less maintenance and increased efficiency along with reducing the factory footprint.
All the gathered and analyzed data can present specific advantages in the IoT in Plastic industry. For injection moulding complex components, data can help create consistent quality and mitigate defects. Of course, it also provides general benefits of reduced downtime through machine upkeep and preventative maintenance.
- Predictive & Preventative Maintenance: IoT sensors can reveal the machines failure points and send the relevant data to the floor manager, helping to optimize the use of both predictive and preventative maintenance. Manufacturers can take a step further by placing predictive algorithms that are able to identify a problem and take action before a person sees the data. At this point, a facility’s equipment becomes proactive, adjusting controls like temperature and pressure as needed to prevent a problem from occurring. This proactive capability can be applied to equipment wear and tear, predicting equipment malfunction before it occurs and automatically ordering the necessary part. The collected data can be analyzed into trends and patterns which can even recommend the best course of action. This proactive maintenance will improve uptime by avoiding future disasters and time-consuming maintenance needs that could have been mitigated with the right data from the start. These abilities preempt failures on the line, greatly reducing downtime and waste, and in turn, increasing productivity and profitability in IoT in Plastic processing
Smart factories with IoT can provide benefits to customers too by sending them important and highly accurate timing information on their order, increasing communication and customer satisfaction. In conclusion, today’s plastics manufacturing industry will see a great amount of positive change as a result of IoT in Plastic Industry which continues to evolve along the way.
Read our blog on The Importance of Data-Driven Decision Making
In order to enjoy the full benefits of integrating IoT sensors and devices in a plastics facility, it will become essential to secure reliable, professional IoT services & platform providers! Thingstel’s next-generation sensors, visualization platforms, and customizable analytics modules come with increased intelligence, reliability, and improved accuracy specifications. Our technologies can empower and strengthen your business, providing you with a wide array of solutions ranging from predictive maintenance to remote monitoring to real-time analytics and data visualization. Reach out to us in case you have any questions or simply want to know more.