As consumers, we all want each new version of a product to be better, faster, cheaper, and more efficient. Consumers have become more discerning and want more customised products suited to individual preferences and requirements. This is derived from a growing desire to express ourselves as individuals within our mass produced world.
How the efficiency of the IoT can permeate into our normal daily lives, for an example of this take a domestic thermostat that knows this and responds by heating a home so that when the occupants arrive at 6:00 pm, the interior reaches the right temperature they desire. But one occasion, while driving home from they encounter travel delays resulting from traffic congestion, which causes them to run about 20 minutes later than usual. Their car’s system detects this delay, calculates its impact, and then transmits a new arrival time to the thermostat, which responds by reprogramming itself so that it syncs its operation – of preheating/precooling to the desired temperature – with the occupants expected arrival time as well as current and forecast weather conditions. The result is less energy used in the home, which translates into lower energy costs.
Smart factory, the machines and robots are equipped with the technology in hardware and software that enable machine to machine communication and interoperability. This technology facilitates the transfer of data in one machine to other machines in the same factory, as well as to the infrastructure and to users connected through the Internet, through all types of other devices, such as smartphones and wearables. Through this transfer machines generate raw data, communicate it to other machines (as well as to networks and clouds), and then through techniques such as Big Data analytics, process it into real-time visualisations of production. Consequently, using this information, machines can autonomously make decisions about potential actions tailored to achieve certain types of operational efficiency improvements enabling lower energy costs and unprecedented flexibility in production
The layered view of the IOT technology stack showing that sensors and actuators form the root of the IOT solution.
Temperature sensors are widely used in engineering and scientific applications, especially measurement systems. They are found within roadways in cold weather climates in order to help determine if icing conditions exist. Indoors, temperature sensors are used in several climate control systems including refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and water heaters.
A hygrometer senses, measures and reports humidity in the air, measuring air temperature and moisture. The warmer the air temperature is, the more moisture it can hold. They can be found in offices, cars, humidors, museums, industrial spaces and greenhouses and can be used in meteorology stations to report and predict weather.
These types of sensors can be used to measure vehicle acceleration, vibration in vehicles, process control systems, machines, buildings and safety installations.
Sensors are typically used in safety and security monitoring, detecting an intrusion, burglar alarm and garden or surrounds protection.
Sensors have a wide range of applications including parking assistance, conveyor systems, vibration measurements, anti-aircraft warfare, mobile phones and touch screens on mobile devices.
Pressure sensors are used for machinery that has pressure functionality implemented. These applications range from aircraft and automobiles, to weather instrumentation.
Angular position sensors
These sensors can be found in a wide array of automotive applications including steering wheel, pedal, motor-shaft, throttle, torque, power seat and power mirror position sensing.
Magnetic field sensors, or “magnetometers”, can be categorized into four general types depending on the magnitude of the measured field. If the targeted B-field is larger than the earth magnetic field (maximum value around 60 µT), the sensor does not need to be very sensitive. To measure the earth field larger than the geomagnetic noise (around 0.1 nT), better sensors are required.
Image sensors are simple, they can detect and convey the information that constitutes an image and plays a vital role on lot of security and safety applications.
Benefits of IoT
The most significant benefits of the IOT are cost savings, transparency and energy efficiency.
- Cost Savings. As adoption progresses and increases to a large scale the cost of change will reduce gradually and become operationally efficient.
- Transparency. Gaining greater insight into operations will help manufacturers identify where improvements can occur. The ability to tracking the entire production lifecycle of a product, and to track the actual costing of each individual unit resulting in improved pricing structures. Data could also give information on the lifespan or performance of a product over time. To determine the accuracy of a product meeting the right specification levels. This transparency would enable manufacturers to provide information to the user about the product’s performance, including when it is likely to fail – so that they can order and replace the product in either an automated or manual request prior to any failure or expiration occurring, thus avoiding any unscheduled downtime.
- Energy Efficiency. The use of IOT connected machines leads to more responsible energy use by connecting all machines and time measurement of certain machines running. This means that machines will only operate when needed, based on the data that the network of machines is communicated through the connected factory. And if a machine experiences a failure and shuts down, the other machines can immediately respond and subsequently either slowdown production or alter production processes as needed – and as the machines are programmed to resolve.