HomeData AnalyticsBeer, cars and robots: Five smart manufacturing use cases

Beer, cars and robots: Five smart manufacturing use cases

Momentum is building, fast, for smart manufacturing. Here, Enterprise IoT Insights presents five use cases from five leading industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions providers. Also, look out for the report and webinar on smart manufacturing, published on August 22.


“Honda needed to improve its resource utilisation and data quality, and increase commonality across its tools and plants at facilities in Canada, Mexico and the US. It was challenged with data integration into proprietary MES, IBM DB2 database, Microsoft SQL and Activplant systems.

“Our Telit deviceWISE industrial IoT Platform was able to quickly connect its plant floor devices to its enterprise systems, supporting PLC integration with Omron, Mitsubishi, Siemens and Rockwell.

“Honda significantly reduced latency in the data collection with deviceWISE. By applying a low latency solution, plants could increase the productivity at a rate of many thousands of minutes per plant.”

– Ricardo Buranello, vice president for IoT factory solutions, Telit


“ABB has installed more than 300,000 robots across 53 countries. It serves a variety of industries including automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, machine tools, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage.

“Its challenge was to progress beyond reactively responding to customer calls when there were issues with a robot. When this happened, a technician had to be dispatched, sometimes to remote site locations, to perform an on-site diagnosis as it was difficult to get precise information over the phone about what was happening at the device level. ABB required a solution for proactively ensuring real-time reliability for its robots.

“Cisco IoT is helping ABB deliver reliable service, enabling it to streamline operations for its robots. By automating real-time IoT device monitoring, remote diagnostics and maintenance with the Cisco Jasper Control Center connectivity management platform, ABB’s robotics team can manage thousands of connected devices and constantly monitor all the connections to its customers’ industrial robots for potential issues. If conditions change on any device, automatic alerts are triggered so remedial action to be swiftly taken.”

– Theresa Bui, director of IoT strategy, Cisco


“Daikin in Japan is a global leader in air conditioning units. It approached us because it wanted to do a predictive quality project for the braising of copper tubing, which goes into the condensers of the units. The problem was the braise wasn’t strong enough.

“We analysed the process and looked for the variables. You have a human holding the braising torch, the gas in a canister, and a nozzle at the end of the braiser – and its supply, upkeep and environment. We put in a camera to record the flames off the torch, and gauge the colour as it gets bright hot. That helped us detect anomalies, and right the processes.”

– Greg Kinsey, vice president, Hitachi Vantara


“Our headquarters in Mounds View, in Minnesota, is a facility of 134,000 square feet. Just over half of that space is dedicated to manufacturing. In late 2016, we deployed a set of environmental sensors – for temperature, humidity, vibration – at the facility to help the maintenance team identify exceptions before they causd failures.

“Due to the sensitive nature of electronics, particularly the solder used to adhere components to circuit boards, we maintain very strict temperature and humidity – pumping moisture into the air in winter and extracting a great deal during the summer months. Water is the enemy of solid adhesion – too much can cause components to slip or otherwise not connect properly.

“A customer of ours integrated a MultiConnect mDot into these sensors to provide a LoRaWAN connection to a conduit gateway – situated at the time in an upstairs conference room. The devices are magnetic and can be moved around to monitor different pieces of equipment and parts of the building.

“Within the first months of deployment, we were able to use the data to fine tune not only our humidity controls, but also our temperature controls. We later identified a bad batch of PCBs and were able to prove that it was a quality issue on the vendor side, not too much humidity in our manufacturing environment that was causing the poor connections. At the time, we had recently deployed a new set of blade servers, which were overheating the server room – so we redirected the flow of air to cool the space.

“Our building, built in the late 1980s, is brick and concrete, and full of radiating equipment. Standing on the factory floor, most people can’t get a cell signal at all. Because of its chirp spread spectrum, modulation mitigating interference and improving in-building penetration, LoRaWAN was an ideal solution for reliable connectivity in every nook and cranny.”

– Sara Brown, senior director of marketing, Multi-Tech Systems


“The seventh largest craft brewer in the US, Deschutes was facing a problem with one of its fermentation lines. The yeast was kicking into overdrive, fermenting the beer in process too much resulting in an unwanted buttered popcorn flavour.

“By examining the production data with PI System, it discovered that there was a ‘dark’ zone in the fermentation tanks where the excess fermentation was taking place. Deschutes fixed it, but also realised it could cut 24 hours off the processing time of beer on that line. Shortening the time allowed it to produce $450,000 more beer per year off of that line, which in turn allowed it to postpone an $8 million upgrade.

“Since, Deschutes has developed a system to shuttle its data from PI to Microsoft Azure; by analysing fermentation cycles further, it hopes to shave another 24 to 48 hours off of production time.”

– Michael Kanellos, industry analyst, OSIsoft

Enterprise IoT Insights is hosting a webinar on August 22, 2018, about the role of digital technologies in industrial transformation in manufacuring. Register / listen here to join experts from ABI Research, ADLINK, Convergio, Hitachi Vantara, MESA International and PTC discussing seminal use cases and best practices that are setting the digital agenda for the industrial sector.

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