Mitigating the effects of the Pandemic through IoT

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Covid-19 is having an unprecedented impact on our society and economy. But there are strong indications that technologies will see an accelerated adoption in near future as people embrace technology while working remotely from home and become digitally dependent.

Today we use technology in our everyday lives, for banking, bill payments, purchase of essentials, track and monitor, virtual meetings, training digital diagnostics etc. These are classic examples of the shift from physical to digital.

Technologies, software solutions, IoT and applications have been a boon for us as individuals. Our day-to-day transactions have become contact less, cashless in virtual environment. Business houses are no exception to it.
This pandemic has triggered deployment of technology solutions for enterprises too.Mark Muro, Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution says – “Economic literature over the last decade shows that investments into automation are made especially during a crisis.” Result of Eclipse Foundation study on Industries Future plans for deploying IoT solutions reveals that 40% of respondents have planned to increase IoT spending in the next fiscal year.
The need towards more transparency, reduction in Capex and automation of processes clearly explains business requirement to go with IoT applications.

For ex. the rapidly changing dynamics of the pandemic and the restrictions in movement to visit some sites physically has made us realize that transparency about employee whereabouts and well-being, about materials in transit and about production has become crucial.Before the crisis, automation was in many cases seen as the enemy of our jobs as robots, and other automated technologies were threatening to replace them. But in coming months, businesses will need to automate their processes more. The solution providers too are coming forward with SaaS model (Software as a Service) thus showing readiness, flexibility to shift from conventional Capex model to Opex model.

To monitor critical processes (ex. ED bath operation in paint shop or dust level measurement in Pharma), hazard operations (ex. LPG/LNG fuel farm management) and manufacturing process (packing line,batch process etc.) remote asset access has become important.

Virtual meeting tools like Zoom are growing rapidly because they help connecting people and teams remotely. In a similar fashion, remote asset access tools will also be deployed as they connect the people with their machines, processes and assets. They enable people to remotely communicate with machines and perform virtual operations, inspections, remote diagnostics and support.

Business with technology driven initiatives, which includes but not limited to IoT, AI, ML and automated processes is future. It is reality.

There is no doubt that Digitalization will gain momentum among manufacturers. Outdated processes will get a much-needed overhaul. The internet of things (IoT), embedded sensors, machine-to-machine connectivity, supply-chain networks, automated warehouses, and robotics will play critical roles in driving shop-floor automation and improving efficiency.

But let us not forget that for digitalization to be effective, the plant maintenance strategy must also keep pace with technological change and so does the workforce.These “smart” assets, from temperature-controlled warehouse systems to visual monitoring tools for quality control, can be connected to a central solution (ex. BMS, EMS, BMI etc.) and once properly deployed, will need little supervision. This allows personnel to focus on more creative and challenging tasks.For some, it may prove to be threat and for others opportunity. We need to digest the 3A mantra – Adapt, Adopt, Adept to be better prepared to perform creative & challenging tasks.

We at UPSPL strongly believe that we are not into mere asset maintenance but we monitor health and performance of the assets with technology driven initiatives.

It is not FM but Smart FM!


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