Data gives us insights into how we can improve the things we use every day, and as technology continues to advance, so does our communication with the world. The ability to collect data on the things we use and turn it into helpful insights allows us to be more efficient in areas that matter the most.


Cars collect data to notify you when it is time for that next oil change or when something may be wrong with your engine. 


Thermostats collect data to give you usage trend reports and notify you when your air filter is due for a change.


Your phone collects GPS data to give you recommendations on nearby stores and restaurants, and calculate the best route options to get there.


The Internet of Things is what powers the connection of our smart devices to the internet. IoT takes the data from our devices and sends it to a dashboard. The dashboard then sends you notifications and alerts to keep you informed, which helps you change your oil on time and find the best route to the nearest P.F. Changs. 


While we all use smart IoT devices in our everyday lives, the majority of IoT devices are implemented in businesses, factories, and healthcare. Large scale operations depend on assets to carry out critical tasks, and IoT makes it possible to collect data from those assets so you can monitor their performance and boost their efficiencies. 


How IoT Improves Your Overall Equipment Effectiveness

OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) is a way to diagnose how efficient your assets are. While OEE is a great way to see when something is wrong, it does not give you visibility into what is causing the issue. With IoT, you can have more insights into how and why your assets perform the way they do, which allows you to take a proactive approach to find better solutions faster


IoT gives us the ability to understand and improve the equipment used in everyday business operations. The majority of IoT devices are most commonly used outside of our homes. According to Intel, these are the top industries utilizing IoT technology:


40.2% – Businesses and Manufacturing


30.3% – Healthcare


8.3% – Retail


7.7% – Security


All of the top industries utilizing IoT devices today have one thing in common – they rely on physical assets to get work done. The assets you use to complete a process – whether it’s making a popular line of deodorant or monitoring a patient’s vitals – are what drive your business to achieve goals. Goals can vary by industry and by company, however, the systems engineers in these fields typically have the same goal – make everything run more efficiently to save money!


Improving your OEE with IoT in 3 Steps


Step 1: Connect your assets to the web

The first step in implementing any IoT solution is securely connecting your assets to the internet. There are a wide variety of options available for connecting your assets to the web, and the specific needs, goals, and budget of your company will determine the perfect connectivity tools to use. Before you start establishing an IoT system in your business, have a list of operational requirements and goals handy so you can find the best solution faster.


As with any internet connection, cybersecurity is a major threat. All it takes is for one infected computer to take down your entire operation, and it may happen more often than most would like to admit. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities exist for businesses of all sizes, so it is important to find an IoT connection device that establishes a safe and secure connection to the web. We trust products from brands like Moxa that provide enhanced security features in their IoT devices.



Step 2: Send data to a dashboard

After your assets have a secure connection to the internet, the next step is setting up your dashboard to view the data. Dashboards take the data from your IoT connected asset and allow you to monitor, measure, and improve your overall equipment efficiency and performance.


Brands like Wonderware provide incredible software solutions to help you manage your operations. Wonderware offers a secure, cloud-based dashboard called Insight Performance, which is a highly trusted solution that transforms the way you manage your plant operations. Insight Performance allows you to monitor your OEE KPIs and equipment usage so you can generate intuitive charts and reports for your team. 



Step 3: Set up alerts and notifications

As with all IoT systems, each component that you pick will depend on the needs and goals of your business. After you have established an internet connection for your assets, and have your dashboard ready to go, the final step is to set up alerts and notifications. You can have alerts sent straight to your phone, which gives you the opportunity to have a lightning-fast response to issues that arise. 


With alert notification software like Win-911 and SeQent, you can send alarms and events to anyone on your team. No matter what communication equipment your team uses, SeQent allows you to send notifications in a variety of ways. You can send alarms and events to alphanumeric pagers, two-way radios, smartphones, mobile workforce devices, and email. Having this measure in place allows you to spring to action right when the most critical needs arise.


Final Thoughts


When it comes to implementing IoT to improve the efficiency of your equipment, you have a lot of options to choose from! Each IoT solution has its own unique set of benefits, so we suggest finding a solution that uniquely fits your business.


Navigating these solutions is challenging for any team to take on, so that’s why finding the right partner makes all the difference. Our team at ATR Distributing crafts customized solutions that help you achieve goals that are unique to your company, but we don’t stop there. After we help you build your IoT solution, we provide backend support to help you navigate the tools.


Ready to get started? So are we!