was before being utilized, along with a host
of additional data points that could never fit
on a label.
In The Plant
It can be argued that the plant floor
is where the most important benefits
of Io T technology can be found. Here,
manufacturers are investing in sensors and
predictive analytics to embrace Io T insights.
As machines, processes and people on the
plant floor become more connected, the
value of Io T becomes more apparent. It can
drive quality improvements, boost efficiency
and accelerate time to market for new
offerings. Access to this data in consumable
formats makes it possible.
About Compliance & Safety
The role that Io T has played, and
continues to play, for companies as they
fine-tune their Food Safety Modernization
Act (FSMA) plans has been a common
topic for several years. The foundation of
FSMA is the need to have proactive plans in
place to prevent quality and safety issues.
A prerequisite is the means to collect
data that could give insight to a potential
problem before it occurs. The use of real-
time temperature sensors throughout the
manufacturing and distribution of products
can help companies not only see when
a problem has occurred but also better
forewarn of pending problems when patterns
begin to change. A fully integrated solution
will also enable food processors to know
exactly when products are suspect so they
can be isolated.
Io T technology plays an important role in
improving the productivity and efficiency of
the workforce. This is an area which receives
much attention — and investment.
An example of this is the use of wearables
throughout the plant. Although early
prototypes of high tech glasses did not live
up to the hype in the consumer market,
the technology is successfully being used
in plants. A maintenance worker can have
instructions on how to repair or maintain
a piece of equipment overlaid within the
safety glasses he or she is already wearing.
Or, looking at a machine part can trigger a
visual dashboard of the part’s lifecycle and
service history, along with when it is due to
be replaced. Such insights, brought to the
user when and where they are needed, can
be helpful for workers in locations where it
is not convenient to access a workstation
or carry a smart tablet. In locations with
inherent safety issues — such as high
temperatures, high towers or sharp blades
— being able to access important data
hands-free allows the technician to focus on
the job, not on the IT device’s keyboard.
The “thing” in the Internet of Things for
food and beverage will likely continue to
be the things in the manufacturing plant
— the sensors in tanks, vessels, pumps
and filling lines. The most obvious business
case will center around efficiency and
margin improvement. But the business case
can be so much more. Io T can also be a
driver for better quality and compliance,
and it can enable innovation and better
communication with your customers. This
will require broadening the “things” to
also include processes, machinery and the
workforce. Then, Io T can reach its full farm-to-fork potential.
Mike Edgett is Director of Industry & Solution
Strategy – Process Manufacturing, at Infor.
www.LElubricants.com | 800-537-7683
info@LE-inc.com | Wichita, KS
LE operates under an ISO 9001 Certified Quality System.
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