Whether you call it the Internet of Things (IoT), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), or Industry 4.0, one thing is clear; it’s revolutionizing every form of industry and production, and that includes injection molding. Smart manufacturing is making it easier than ever to collect and analyze data, strengthen weaknesses, and mitigate problems; it’s also been shown to cause clear gains in production efficiency, quality, and time to market. Here are some of the ways the IoT is being used in plastic injection molding.

 

Combating Issues

With smart manufacturing, the machines themselves can show failure points and collect data, helping you to optimize your use of both predictive and preventative maintenance. This proactive maintenance will improve uptime by avoiding future disasters and lengthy maintenance needs that could have been mitigated with the right data from the start. The machines use this data analysis to indicate exactly when intervention is required and even recommends the best courses of action.

 

Sensors and Connectivity

The IoT utilizes sensors for data collection and networks for data transportation. Standalone equipment inhibits the collective knowledge of the factory as a whole; increased connectivity reduces the amount of human intervention needed to monitor, collect, exchange, and analyze data. It also creates a fast, easy environment to communicate information both on the plant floor and between the floor and outside.

Your decisions about your data and sensors should optimize the IoT to achieve the highest benefits to your company and your customers. Be sure to discuss things like how and where the data should be housed, data security, remote connectivity, and the like for the best smart manufacturing experience.

 

Specific Benefits in Plastics

The gathered and analyzed data can present specific advantages in the plastics industry. For injection molding complex components, data can help to ensure a maximum level of repeatability in the molding process, create consistent quality, and mitigate defects. Of course, data also provides the general benefits of reduced downtime through preventative maintenance and machine upkeep.

Smart factories provide benefits for your customers, too. With the collected and reported data, consumers can receive important and highly accurate timing information on their order, increasing customer satisfaction and communication.

The IoT can turn your company into a smart company; it can transform the issues faced by manufacturing into the incredible benefits of smart manufacturing. New Berlin Plastics is an expert on plastic injection molding and readily partners with businesses to meet their needs. From program and material management to mold flow analysis and the production of high-quality products, New Berlin Plastics is well-equipped and experienced to deliver exactly what you need.