What are IoT embedded systems and how do they work?
IoT embedded systems lie at the heart of the Industry 4.0 revolution. They are the backbone of smart factories, where data gathered from interconnected devices, machines, and systems allows manufacturers to optimise operational efficiency, streamline supply chains, ensure quality control and foster innovation.
In this article, we’ll explore what IoT embedded systems are, how they work, and how they can help you optimise the processes at your manufacturing company.
What are IoT embedded systems?
Traditionally, embedded systems are a combination of hardware and software that perform a dedicated function and typically control the operations of a machine it’s embedded within. The hardware elements include microcontrollers or microprocessors, actuators and sensors. The software components include an operating system, device drivers, and application software.
The Internet revolutionised the way we interact with technology. Today, embedded systems also include communication models, like wi-fi, Bluetooth or cellular connectivity, which allow them to collect and exchange data over the Internet that can be used later for monitoring and various analyses. Embedded systems that are used in IoT devices are called IoT embedded systems.
How do IoT embedded systems work?
IoT embedded systems enable devices to become part of the Internet-of-Things ecosystem. They are used widely in smart homes, healthcare, automotive and especially in the Industry 4.0 sector.
The sensors, which are part of the embedded system, gather information about physical surroundings, for example, temperature, vibrations or humidity. The collected data is then exchanged with other devices or systems over the Internet. The data can then be analysed and used to make more informed decisions, automate processes or provide real-time feedback on the state of a device.
IoT embedded systems bring many benefits to modern manufacturing. Let’s take a look at a couple of the most common applications.
How are IoT embedded systems used in Industry 4.0?
IoT embedded systems can be used to collect real-time data, such as temperature, pressure or vibration measurements, from machines at the manufacturing plant. Then, the data can be analysed using machine learning algorithms. The insights can help predict when maintenance is required, preventing unexpected downtime. It can also help minimise maintenance costs, since the maintenance is only done when there’s a real need for it.
IoT embedded systems are often used to monitor the production line in real time in order to detect potential defects in manufactured products. As a result defects can be spotted fast and be corrected immediately which means reduced waste and better product quality.
Chain efficiency is a key factor for manufacturers. IoT embedded systems can be used to track inventory levels and automate the ordering process. As a result, there’s a lower risk of stockouts or overstocking. What is more, IoT embedded systems can also be used to track the delivery of materials in a supply chain. Manufacturers can then track their inventory levels in real time, improving supply chain efficiency and minimising delays.
Remote monitoring and management
By gathering data from sensors, for example, thermostats, IoT embedded systems can monitor the performance and condition of machinery and equipment remotely. Real-time data can help identify potential problems and reduce the risk of failure by taking preventive actions on time. Also, the insights can help schedule maintenance activities based on the actual wear of the equipment, leading to increased device lifespan.
Through collecting and analysing data from various points of the production process, such as machine parameters or worker input, IoT embedded system can help identify possible bottlenecks or inefficiencies. Manufacturers can then make quick adjustments to optimise the production process.
Implement IoT embedded systems at your manufacturing company
IoT embedded systems are transforming the manufacturing industry by providing real-time data analytics, predictive maintenance, improved quality control, and more efficient supply chain management.
Implementing IoT embedded systems, will allow you to achieve higher productivity and reduce costs. Visit our Industry 4.0 offering page to find out more about how we can help you, or contact us directly via the form below.