Anyone with an IPC Certification today or individuals who aspire to have a career in the electronic manufacturing industry should learn about technology that offers lucrative opportunities in the future. An example is the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) to fully integrate within the field of wireless industrial control.
If you’re running an electronic manufacturing business, on the other hand, consider booking an On-site IPC Training to ensure your employees are on top of the latest updates in the electronic manufacturing trends.
What is Wireless Industrial Control?
Wireless control, communication and networking have always been in the industrial market since three decades ago. In a wireless setup, data is relayed through sensors and motion controllers, among other devices, in order to:
- Streamline and automate industrial processes;
- Improve productivity and efficiency;
- Enhance safety;
- Reduce operating and infrastructure costs;
- Remotely monitor operations; and
- Remotely track inventories, among others.
Here are sample applications of wireless controls in industrial floors:
- Automated fleet of guided vehicles running around the warehouse to move and transfer materials and products;
- Sensors send signals to alert operators of problems before they become critical;
- Machine documentation as well as data on key performance indicators (KPI) are registered in a cloud-based storage and are conveniently accessible by operators and engineers via a mobile device wherever they are.
Although many industrial operations still utilize traditional wired communications for their machineries these days, some are already integrating wireless technologies including radio-frequency identification (RFID), Wi-Fi, cellular WAN, ZigBee, Sigfox and Bluetooth into their operations.
Get your IPC Certification today to upgrade your knowledge and stay updated on the latest trends in wireless industrial control.
Wireless technology is constantly diversifying and expanding. The latest development of this expansion is the so-called Internet of Things.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
The IoT essentially refers to the concept that several devices can be connected through the internet to receive and/or accept data. It was originally coined in 1999 to refer to the technology that connected several devices through RFID tags.
You might not be aware that IoT has always been in action for consumer applications over the past years. Some examples include:
- Turning your home thermostat on using your mobile phone while you’re getting out of the office so you can be sure of coming to a comfy home;
- Your air conditioning unit adjusting room temperature based on local weather forecasts; and
- A refrigerator designed to allow for online shopping.
IoT Applications in Industrial Settings
When it comes to industrial settings, however, the applications of IoT can be different. For one, manufacturers are generally hesitant to connect their existing system to the internet for security reasons. There’s also a lack of interconnectivity between the current systems within the plant, factory or manufacturing floor.
In essence, an industrial manufacturer must carefully think about the pros and cons of fully integrating their operations into one industrial control.
Implement an On-site IPC Training in your establishment to ensure your employees are updated in terms of knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the electronics manufacturing industry.
Questions before Integrating IoT in Industrial Operations
If you’re in the electronic manufacturing industry trying to convince an industrial operator to embrace IoT in their operations, there are several client questions that you need to prepare for.
Can the business recover the integration expenses?
One of the reasons industrial operators are slow to integrate new technology in their operations is that they have to keep costs low and profits high. Installing new infrastructure can cause downtime to the operations, which interrupts with production and ultimately, adversely affects the bottom line. There’s also the added expense related to the acquisition and installation of the new infrastructure. In essence, you need to show your client that the expenses are justifiable for business reasons.
Does IoT integration suit the nature of operations?
You need to identify and plan out how your prospective clients can actually make use of Internet of Things in their operations. For example, internet protocols are often non-existent in undergrounds (e.g. mining operations) or in buildings and factories surrounded by thick walls.
How can IoT be integrated with existing systems?
Clients will worry what to do with their existing and/or wired systems when they go full wireless. Most often, going full wireless is cheaper than converting and integrating old systems. You might want to prepare a comparative analysis of the costs between going full wireless and integrating with the old systems.
How to deal with cybersecurity matters?
Being connected to the internet exposes the business to hackers and other cybersecurity risks. There’s also the need to constantly download software updates since new vulnerabilities are often discovered and hackers are learning new ways to breach security protocols. As an electronics manufacturer, you must partner with a reliable internet security company to ensure cybersecurity matters are dealt with.
Your clients can gain the confidence to embrace wireless industrial control or even a full integration of IoT in their operations when you can honestly clear up the pros and cons to them.
For more information on IPC certification and electronics manufacturing skills training, get in touch with Blackfox today. We’re the premier training and certification institution in the electronic manufacturing industry.