The Internet of Things (IoT) is now pretty much mainstream in manufacturing plants across the UK. The application, in many of these cases, is maintenance. The availability of much smaller, powerful sensors along with ever-lasting connectivity, means that data can be obtained from a range of factory equipment and then analysed to identify performance patterns and trends.
This capability is the foundation for the implementation of a truly predictive maintenance operation, reducing downtime and cost. This digital transformation isn’t just restricted to manufacturing environments. IoT is starting to play a big part in an array of other vertical sectors such as agriculture and utilities which often have more distributed assets. For example, in smart farming, IoT infrastructure is being used in several imaginative ways, the sensors act as a way of monitoring weather conditions, soil quality and crop growth and even grazing livestock.
It is also being used as a means of overseeing the condition of agricultural equipment such as tractors, which frequently operate in harsh weather conditions, and are often not maintained as well as they should be. These vehicles can now be fitted with intelligent, lubrication-free polymer bearings, which can detect wear in high load applications thus giving a warning in advance for potential failures. By doing this, maintenance can then be planned in good time, around key periods, such as harvest.
In the water sector, IoT is also being used to allow for better visibility of distribution assets out in the field. Sensors can be installed at various parts of the water network, providing an insight into the performance and infrastructure. This technology is now being applied at the consumer level, with IoT being a key enabler in the roll-out of smart meters.
These are just some examples of how IoT is finding its way into new markets, and this is only likely to increase over time. With the arrival of the next generation of communication technologies such as 5G, it will soon be possible to transmit higher levels of data thus resulting in a new wave of IoT-enabled business cases that haven’t yet been possible.
We are currently undergoing a rapid period of digital transformation with connectivity across multiple sectors. So, it is time to welcome the Internet of Everything.
Last week we attended the RS STEMfest 2019 three day event.
Over the first two days, the igus® team welcomed groups of local school children and their teachers to the event and to the igus® stand. With over 500 students from primary and secondary education visiting the event RS Components did a fantastic job at engaging the kids. We welcomed the students into the exhibition area where we had our stand and everyone got to see the igus® robots in action as well as having a go on our NEW Virtual Reality headset where they got instantly transported to our head office in Cologne.
On the final day (Saturday 6th July) the event was open to the public and attracted over 800 visitors, with an amazing festival atmosphere, street food, and the RS Titan II truck taking centre stage in the exhibition area parents and guardians brought their children along and enjoyed seeing our robots, and finding out about igus® products.
This week igus® UK attended the ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace in London where we showcased some of the newest products in our range that we have specifically developed for the theatre and stage industry.
Our main focus was our NEW 21m e-spool cable management system for applications such as lighting beams and sound systems. This alternative to traditional reeling drums allows lighting technicians to mix services such as power, audio, bus and even fluids by allowing many different cable and hose types to work together in the same system.
We also launched igus® Virtual Reality.
The igus® ‘VR’ experience will be available at all our shows throughout the year where you will have the opportunity to be instantly transported to our head office in Cologne.