SMDH Explores building a low cost digital factory at LEDCOM workshop

SMDH deliver a range of Smart Manufacturing workshops on IOT, Data Analysis, Virtual manufacturing testbeds across the UK regions

Exploring Low cost digital factories, using IoT,  and Data Analysis

The SMDH team are continuing to deliver a range of Smart Manufacturing workshops, with the latest held in March 2023 in Ledcom, Larne, which was attended by manufacturing businesses.

During the session, accessible IoT, Data Analysis, Low cost digital factory set up and Virtual Manufacturing solutions were explored by Dr. Justin Quinn from Ulster University.  Justin outlined the major benefits to be had for manufacturers considering digitising factories, such as becoming more competitive, saving money, improving factory agility and efficiencies, becoming more sustainable and working towards Net Zero.

Start the digital factory journey with an easy install of IoT sensors

Attendees at the workshop were shown a range of easy to install IoT sensors that immediately gather valuable data from equipment and machinery.

Some of the IoT devices that were discussed included power monitoring sensors, air temperature sensors, equipment temperature sensors and job tracking software.

Justin Quinn noted:

You can measure anything in the factory, it is what you then do with the data that really matters

Case Studies

Conal Curran from MEGA and a business development officer with SMDH, discussed some case studies from the NI region and how SMDH had brought value to businesses by introducing the use of IoT sensors and data analysis systems.

One case study outlined the challenge of increasing the use of data intelligence within company processes. The first stage was understanding the exact energy usage for each machine. As the cost of energy has risen, it is becoming more important to understand the energy consumption of individual machines. Low cost power sensors were installed which provided immediate dataflows and, in a short time, intelligence and understanding of how much energy was used in producing certain products and how much time was spent on machine idling. The outcomes for the company include raised awareness of power usage per product and knowledge of which machine utilisation. The company is now embracing a low cost digital factory and working towards expanding their use of sensors and data analysis with SMDH.

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