Data moves around a smart factory like blood flows through our veins. Both are needed to keep things running smoothly. The smart factory uses this data to improve the interworking between all aspects of the value chain — production, suppliers, customers, buildings, energy, etc. This can be done more easily with Intel Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, which are an ideal fit for industrial automation.
Intel IoT for Industrial
The IoT is expressly designed to connect sensors, actuators, manufacturing equipment, and other devices to monitoring, analytics, and control systems over IP networks, like the Internet. This enables remote monitoring of distributed machines and devices, and continuous processing of status messages from machines. When issues arise, push notifications can be sent to manufacturing personnel via wearables and smartphones.
Moreover, Intel IoT solutions with cloud-based condition monitoring provide the means to implement predictive maintenance and machine-learning solutions. These are just a few of the ways Intel IoT enables industrial solutions.
Beckhoff Delivers IoT-driven Manufacturing for Nobilia
With the help of Beckhoff automation technology, including Intel processors, Kitchen manufacturer Nobilia created a smart factory by implementing real-time tracking throughout its processes, which increased its production flexibility and throughput. As a result, the company is a low-cost producer of an enormous number of fitted (i.e. custom) kitchens, with over 600,000 manufactured per year in the two plants located in Germany.
The process starts by applying a barcode label that contains all necessary information about a piece of furniture, including:
- Components (e.g., the front of a kitchen cupboard)
- Processing steps on various machines
- Logistic details such as loading time, truck information, and delivery address
Each processing machine scans the barcode and retrieves the associated machining data from a central database. Data connecting the whole factory together makes it possible to produce 2,700 kitchens daily.
Through real-time tracking enabled by Intel IoT technologies, Nobilia knows exactly where each part is in the production process at any time. If one of the manufacturing lines shuts down, parts are automatically rerouted to another line.
Nobilia Wins with IoT
Nobilia’s smart factory environment delivers a long list of benefits, including:
- Tight coordination between suppliers, production, and shipping
- Faster product delivery
- More responsive to forecasting changes
- Improved supply chain management
- Real-time tracking and equipment setup
- Better product traceability
- More flexible manufacturing lines
- Faster problem resolution
Learn more about Nobilia’s production capabilities.
IoT in the Smart Factory
IoT technology helps manufacturers make better use of data, leading to smarter and timelier business decisions. They gain real-time visibility into personnel, equipment, transactions, and the supply chain, which is turned into actionable insights that improve operational efficiency and optimize production. That translates into real business value in many areas, such as:
- Factory automation – broaden reach and capabilities of closed-loop systems, enabling more sophisticated and precise machines (e.g., robotics) and operations.
- Manufacturing flexibility – facilitate production flow changes through improved coordination between the factory equipment and stakeholders.
- Factory digitalization – streamline the convergence of information and operational technology systems to increase production efficiency and bring products to market faster.
- Big data – gain useful insights through immersive analytics on factory data, enabling higher throughput and lower operations costs.
- Mobility and wireless – improve the responsiveness of operations and maintenance personnel by allowing them to monitor and control equipment remotely.