Davra Storms MQ
You’ve heard it all before; IoT device uptake is reaching the billions, 5G is here and real-time data benefits are coming to fruition. Some are advancing far beyond the reaches of the norm, including projects such as how to network human cells and developing water pipe tracking sensors.
Be not afraid of growing slowly, be only afraid of standing still. This Chinese proverb can be attributed to many facets of life, but it holds especially true for IoT projects and their initiation. With the fast rate of IoT adoption, it’s near impossible to ignore the many advantages it can bring to an organisation.
Of course, like any digital transformation, there are ways it can go awry too. In a previous blog post, we highlighted some IoT challenges and how best to avoid them. With any big investment or undertaking, it’s usually best to start small in order to slowly introduce these new concepts to potentially traditional cultures or small businesses. You may also be incredibly interested in this field of tech advancements, but you aren’t sure how you could make IoT fit in your workplace.
The key to IoT is to start with your overall business goals and make IoT work with them, rather than the other way around. In this blog post, we’ll discuss possible small use cases to introduce IoT into your business.
1. Predictive Maintenance
Sensor costs are decreasing year on year, making it easier for smaller businesses to reap the rewards of equipment monitoring and tracking. Attaching these sensors to tools and hooking them up to a system to gather data about the equipment, known as predictive maintenance, is a sophisticated way to introduce IoT to your industrial setting.
You only need to start collecting data from a small number of machines to see how advantageous this can be. Scheduled downtime and maintenance engineers all impact the bottom line, but if you can use this data to predict when a tool actually needs repair, you will save costs and time in the long run.
2. Inventory Management
This type of management can range from tracking goods throughout the supply chain or in your warehouse, to managing temperatures within a fleet containing foods. RFID sensors enable warehouse management to easily scan and track items because you don’t need to be in the line of sight to detect the goods, compared with using barcodes. If the RFID tags are built with GPS, their locations can also be tracked, increasing the security and speed of the supply chain. You can install a small RFID gateway or scanner into your warehouse along with tagging a small number of incoming goods to trial this type of management.
If you manage perishable goods, you can assess the ones that are most likely to spoil in your factory, or are most likely to get lost within the factory. You can then easily track these efficiently on a day to day basis.
3. Smart Lighting & HVAC Systems
Heat and lighting systems are often a major dent in office building operational costs, but they don’t have to be. By introducing intelligent lighting, these new kinds of bulbs can detect when someone enters the room, or can be controlled by voice. They may also be able to pick up on the time of day and therefore alter their lighting depending on external sources.
Much like smart lighting, thermostats can also be controlled by voice or adjust their temperatures depending on the current room temperatures and to maintain comfortability for office workers. This might seem like a costly upfront expense, but over time the energy bill will greatly decrease, and employees will definitely feel happier in their work environs too.
4. Office & Retail Heatmaps
Indoor Positioning Systems are the new office building GPS. These systems detect where people are within a building and can then show available meeting rooms, or where bottlenecks occur within the building. In this COVID era, it’s essential for companies to reduce as much unnecessary human contact as possible. Using these heatmaps to identify bottlenecks can help reduce these stressors as well as help others find meeting rooms to get their work done efficiently.
5. Automatic Refilling
Similar to predictive maintenance and tracking tools, sensors can also be attached to machines that track fuel consumption and usage. When a resource goes beyond a certain point, the sensor will trigger the system which can then automatically order more of that fuel or resource, ensuring it never runs out. This saves costs because a Just-In-Time system is now being used, so the organisation will only ever have the right amount of fuel which takes the guesswork out. This system can be applied to a small number of fuel tanks to test its efficiencies, before rolling out a full IoT fuel-tracking process from the beginning.
There are myriad ways of introducing IoT into your organisation without having to be overly complicated or costly. Like all projects, it’s important to ensure that everyone involved is on board with the system, as well as encouraged to provide feedback and new ideas to further the whole process. As well as having the right infrastructure and knowledge to implement these systems, you first of all need to have a solid business outcome and base to map your IoT system onto. If you would like to speak with a group of experts who have dealt with a wide variety of organisations and industries, why not contact Davra to discuss your unique organisation goals today.
Brian McGlynn, Davra, COO