Internet of Things Lets People Take Part in Machine-to-Machine Conversations

Robert Brice
Tue, Sep 15, 2015
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The Internet of Things makes human performance part of industry data.

Automated machine communication is a standard part of manufacturing processes. Production equipment includes sensors and other devices that measure performance and report metrics to industry software. This machine-to-machine communication automates data collection and provides real-time performance visibility.

In today's market, manufacturing machines aren't the only things capable of becoming part of a larger network. The Internet of Things is a modern term that describes the network of multiple tools able to connect online.

Many manufacturers want to use the IoT to improve the performance of their M2M procedures. Managers from other industries show interest in making automated data collection part of their routine practices. Companies may soon outfit production workers and field employees with devices that consistently report performance.

Expanding M2M Communications
A piece of manufacturing equipment may have a sensor that measures temperature, pressure or energy input. If the sensors detect hazardous levels of operations, the central system receives automatic alerts or the equipment shuts down. Sensors don't just monitor safety issues. Production equipment can report daily output or use machine learning to analyze the quality of the items created. As machines get smarter, companies look for ways to make automatic data collection more flexible.

First Post Business said the majority of manufacturers still use industrial ethernet or fieldbus protocols to facilitate their M2M communications, but many companies show interest in Cloud options. In the future, automated plants could report performance to a central network using cloud-deployed software accessed on mobile devices.

New technology lets workers plug into M2M communication utilizing smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices. Employees check machine performance as they walk the automated production floor and update project schedules with the latest order details. 

Use IoT to Connect Workers to Operations
Multiple industries wish to mimic the success of M2M operations by utilizing IoT capabilities. The Business Spectator said most companies turn to automated data collection devices to reap the benefits of big data. Businesses want to merge virtual and physical performance using devices that collect all necessary information and connects through cloud networks.

A variety of organizations desire better automated data collection procedures. Energy companies, auto makers, retailers and transportation services all employ technology that creates M2M communications during daily routines. For example, some warehouse management strategies outfit inventory workers with wearable technology that facilitates voice picking procedures. These devices allow workers to communicate with their ERP system using voice commands and wrist-mounted displays.

IoT procedures go beyond traditional computing devices. Headlines and Global News reported wearable technology allows a company to monitor employee performance through biometrics. Patches and clothing equipped with sensors automatically report a worker's heart rate, stress level and breathing pattern to supervisors. This data can let managers know when an employee operates at peak performance and when they need a break. Future technology could allow a company to monitor every aspect of its business in a similar fashion to automated factories.

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