How AIoT Can be Leveraged to Improve Industrial Automation Processes

For years now, industrial automation has been an important component of advancing new technologies forward and streamlining various manufacturing processes. However, the truth is, that while many of these advancements have improved the way factories are run, there are still many inefficiencies that exist in their operations.

The fusion of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things) technologies is now opening up new doors for higher adaptability and efficiency in manufacturing protocols and providing additional elements of safety for engineers and other production staff.

What are Some of the Difficulties Associated With Industrial Operations?

There have been a number of advancements over the years when it comes to automating various elements of industrial operations. This includes the introduction of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and advancements in various robotic elements of factory production lines.

That being said, the growing changes in modern industrial processes have created certain difficulties for organizations. These include:

Inflexible Systems

Many of today’s production lines are built with a specific purpose. This makes it difficult for organizations to shift their focus when presented with new market demands or compliance changes. Too much rigidity in industrial operations can be detrimental and can lead to lost opportunities and increased costs.

Safety Risks

A large concern in industrial settings is the hazards that workers are exposed to. Operating in close proximity to malfunctioning equipment or being exposed to harsh chemicals can present significant safety risks that can lead to disastrous consequences if unaddressed. 

Many of these issues stem from needing to rely too much on manual intervention in dangerous production enviroments and not keeping equipment regularly inspected.

Environmental Impact

While personal safety concerns are an important consideration in modern industrial operating environments there are other concerns about their impact on larger societies as a whole. Industrial processes contribute to a number of long-term, negative effects on the environment due to the high energy expenditure of factories and the production of hazardous waste.

What Benefits is AIoT Introducing?

AIoT is well-positioned to help address many of the historical issues that have been associated with industrial operations. One of the primary benefits of incorporating both of these advanced technologies into production facilities has to do with AIoT’s ability to generate significant amounts of useable data regarding production processes.

Advanced algorithms can be used to give manufacturers unprecedented levels of insight, allowing them to be much more proactive in their planning and execution. Below are some of the primary ways that AIoT is currently being leveraged:

Smarter Use of Data

Factory machinery used on production floors can produce a large amount of data extracted from various sensors that have been placed. AIoT makes it possible to categorize and analyze this information in real time, providing helpful information that many human operators and analysts would take much longer to produce. 

This allows for much more intelligent decision-making on the fly – whether optimizing production processes based on changing conditions or fine-tuning equipment to avoid predicted bottlenecks.


Improved Agility

Due to the high-value production volumes often associated with factory outputs, being able to make quick decisions is critical. AIoT gives manufacturers the ability to keep their operations as agile as possible. 

Instead of being limited to rigid production lines, AI-powered technologies can continuously reconfigure themselves based on the information they’re provided. With the right sensors and data, engineers can quickly adjust production schedules as needed and modify their assembly lines so they’re getting the most efficient output at any given time.


Lowered Expenses

Industrial factories can have significant expenses associated with their assembly lines. This is why it’s so important for organizations to find ways to manage their costs effectively. 

Through AIoT, companies can use data-driven optimization strategies to significantly reduce their resource waste and longer downtime periods. This helps manufacturers get maximum value out of their investments and prevents any unnecessary financial losses.


Higher Safety Standards

AIoT has also played an important role in helping to improve safety levels in industrial automation settings. Using advanced sensors placed in machinery and across the assembly line floor, AI technologies can help to predict the likelihood of dangerous factory malfunctions taking place and help organizations avoid potentially deadly scenarios. 

These sensors can trigger automated alerts or even be programmed to automate factory shutdowns before an escalated incident occurs. This significantly reduces injuries or loss of life and helps organizations to continuously implement preventative measures with their equipment to create safer working environments for everyone.

Using AIoT to Improve Industrial Operations

AIoT has opened a completely new chapter in modern industrial operations. By helping to address the many long-standing issues in factories and assembly lines, AIoT is creating new levels and efficiency and flexibility that are greatly improving the way products are manufactured. 

As this technology continues to improve over time, we’ll no doubt see a number of new and exciting developments that will revolutionize modern supply chains and reduce industrial spending.


Photo credits: Coworking London


Author Bio:
Guido Voigt is the Director of Engineering, at Lantronix, a global provider of turnkey solutions and engineering services for the internet of things (IoT). Guido’s and Lantronix’s goal is to enable their customers to provide intelligent, reliable, and secure IoT and OOBM solutions while accelerating time to market.