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Sage ERP and the Internet of Things (IoT) Changes Best Practices for Manufacturers

Published on: Jan 31, 2018

Sage ERPSage ERP, along with innovations such as the Internet of Things (IoT), is changing how manufacturers view and use best practices.

The Internet of Things is the interconnectivity of devices and objects in which software is embedded to track data. Through the IoT, networks can include buildings, vehicles, software, and more. The data derived from the IoT can improve delivery times, production management, safety, and much more, depending on how it is used.

Used wisely, the IoT—along with Sage ERP—can provide you with unprecedented amounts of data that can help you manage all aspects of your business better.

Monitor Shop Floors

One of the innovations affecting manufacturing from the IoT is the ability to monitor conditions on the shop floor. Sensors embedded in equipment, pallets, trucks, and other devices can relay information and make adjustments based on real-time data.

For example, think about plant equipment that can get hot during operations. Plant equipment sends temperature data to the HVAC controls, which understands that the rising temperatures may affect quality output. It then adjusts the fans to blow cool air over specific equipment in use, and keep the temperature at an optimal level, so that outputs maintain quality standards.

Such equipment may also provide enough data to help you gauge the time between routine maintenance tasks, as well as the shelf-life of components, or weigh the need to take something offline for maintenance. Predictive maintenance schedules can also be adjusted based on IoT data, making such schedules more in sync with actual equipment needs. The IoT takes the guesswork out of the shop floor.

Improve Safety Based on Data

Data from such sensors via the IoT can also be used to enhance workplace safety. Workplace safety is a major concern for everyone, but especially for manufacturers.

Data—relayed from sensors embedded in equipment, HVAC units, and air sensors—can monitor conditions and notify plant managers when such conditions stray outside acceptable levels. Items that can be monitored include air quality, ambient temperature, and more. This data can then be used to assess whether workers need more frequent breaks.

Additionally, machinery can be serviced according to IoT data. This keeps it in better working order so it jams less often, breaks down less frequently, and otherwise prevents problems that can impact safety. Even something as simple as a wet floor with sensors in it can trigger warning signs to flash that keep people from slipping and sliding.

If your plant uses mechanized vehicles to move equipment, raw materials, or finished goods, the IoT can be used there to improve safety, as well. Vehicles outfitted with safety sensors connected to the IoT can monitor driving habits so drivers who exhibit safety best practices can be rewarded and those who take risks can receive remedial training.

Lastly, all the data collected from the shop floor can be used to enhance safety training programs. With the data at hand to identify all the potential issues, you can target training sessions to address specific needs based on data from your manufacturing plant.

Democratization of Data

Free and open access to data through the IoT and systems such as Sage ERP means that everyone involved in the manufacturing process can use data available to them. A warehouse foreman has the same access to shop floor data as the CEO or COO.

Why would you want free and open access of data in your company? Today’s job are interconnected. No job or unit works in isolation. Seamlessly taking orders, producing goods, and shipping them in a timely fashion requires teamwork throughout the company. The IoT can provide data from every point in a manufacturing company to a centralized system, such as an ERP system, that produces vital data for everyone. Access to such data can encourage teamwork, collaboration, and improvements that benefit everyone but, most importantly, benefit your customers and your business.

The IoT is really forcing many manufacturing companies to change how they think about their workplace. It’s helping to save costs for repairs and maintenance, improve worker safety, and address data access issues. Sage software, including Sage ERP aligned with the IoT, can help you collect, store, and utilize such data effectively in your company. It’s a big change, but one that is worth it in terms of competitiveness, lowered costs, and improved workplace safety.

Sage ERP Software from IWI Consulting Group

IWI Consulting Group is a Canadian-based firm that assists businesses of all sizes to adapt the best ERP systems for their needs. For more information, visit IWI Consulting Group or call 1-866-916-3851.