Quality control is fundamental to every industry that designs, produces or transports physical goods, but is particularly important in manufacturing. As the software developer BehrTech explains, manufacturers strive for consistent, high-quality results and minimal rejection rates to help offset the volatile market demand and steep material costs that are the norm in the industry. When paired with the "mission-critical nature" of end products, it's no surprise that many manufacturing firms have been hyper-focused on improving their quality control processes and integrating new technologies to give them a competitive advantage.
In today's tech-centric landscape, the ability to monitor and control production equipment is paramount to the quality of manufactured goods. Technicians are constantly recalibrating equipment and optimizing production lines to ensure consistent process parameters and eliminate time-wasting inefficiencies. The same retooling is also taking place in the later stages of production, with automated systems and robotics playing a key role. Historically, manufacturing plants employed workforces of trained quality assurance specialists to verify the integrity of finished goods. But with the rise of internet-of-things technologies and Industry 4.0, companies are integrating new processes and systems to streamline product monitoring and flaw detection tasks.
How IoT is impacting quality control
For manufacturers, IoT technologies represent the next step in real-time monitoring, process automation and data analytics. By outfitting production lines with dozens of IoT sensors, plant managers can keep track of environmental conditions, equipment performance and more. This added insight can allow manufacturers to better understand where quality control issues stem from, and take action with renewed confidence. In terms of specific applications, IoT is helping manufacturing companies:
While quality control is a major priority for manufacturing firms, IoT can also provide enormous benefits in terms of innovation and process development. Armed with environmental data and performance analytics, plant managers can locate inefficiencies and oversights that waste time and money. These findings can empower manufacturers to improve subpar processes, create more efficient material handling strategies and ensure consistent outputs across multiple production sites. This partially accounts for why more than 40% of all active IoT devices will be used in industry and manufacturing over the next 10 years, according to research from Intel. Of course, to prepare for Industry 4.0 and the quality control revolution currently making waves in the manufacturing industry, companies will need to have the right networking equipment in place.
Perle offers industrial-grade connectivity tools that are designed for use in the harshest conditions, including indoor manufacturing plants and outdoor installations. Our industrial media converters and Ethernet switches are built to exceed commercial specifications, making them ideal for big data environments with high ambient temperatures.
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