For decades, manufacturers have utilized sensors to improve manufacturing processes. However, advancements in technology like the Internet of Things and local computing power has allowed manufacturers to leverage smart sensor technology for even greater effect.
In short, smart sensors are sensors with a microprocessor that can also communicate with other devices. They can provide data to either a monitoring system or an operator, allowing businesses to gain deeper insights into what is occurring within their facilities during production or across their entire supply chain.
Armed with this data, businesses are able to vastly improve their operations, streamline production, improve quality, and more. In this blog, we’ll look at a few specific ways manufacturers are using smart sensor technology and ultrasonic sensors.
Using Smart Sensor Technology to Monitor Equipment and Environmental Conditions
Performing preventative maintenance and predicting when machine failures will occur is a huge challenge in manufacturing. All downtime is expensive, with unplanned downtime, in particular, causing costly delays.
Traditionally, manufacturers have relied on guesswork to create maintenance and repair schedules, doing their best to maintain machines at a low cost while still maximizing production uptime.
Smart sensor technology changes the game. With their ability to track temperatures, speed, weight, object movement, and other factors, smart sensors can be leveraged to notify manufacturing teams when a machine is behaving unusually. By noting potential issues or anomalies in advance, manufacturers can minimize unplanned downtime due to overheated machines and machine failures.
Reducing Energy Costs With Smart Sensor Technology
For years, companies have used sensors to determine when activity is occurring in a room and by extension when it needs to be illuminated or climate controlled. Ultrasonic smart sensors take this a step further.
For example, smart sensor technology can pinpoint where exactly humans are in a given facility, lighting rooms as they enter them and shutting off the lights as soon as they leave. Alternatively, they can assist with illuminating only the occupied portions of a larger room. The same can be said of temperature, allowing manufacturers to efficiently keep facilities comfortable without overspending on heating or cooling costs.
Optimizing Production and Engineering Better Facilities
In brief, ultrasonic smart sensor technology allows manufacturers to better understand the processes occurring in their production facilities and more – providing an incredibly granular level of detail on each step in the supply chain. With the data provided by these sensors, manufacturers are able to increase efficiency, boost product quality, and meet sustainability targets or other goals.
For example, smart sensor technology may provide manufacturers with an opportunity to understand where bottlenecks are occurring, which machine or line designs are most prone to collisions, and so forth. By gathering data over time with smart sensors, manufacturers can build vast data sets that allow them to gain deeper insights into their production processes and how they may be improved.
Smarter Sensor Technology for More Efficient Manufacturing
Manufacturers have tremendously improved their operations and products with smart sensor technology. The amount of data these sensors are able to capture and the actionable insights they provide would have been unthinkable with the traditional sensors of the past. As we look toward the future, it’s exciting to think of the possibilities and imagine all that manufacturers will be able to achieve with tomorrow’s sensing technologies.
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