M2M – Remote Sensors
Machine-to-machine technology, otherwise known as M2M, involves machines communicating with one another to automatically accomplish various tasks, like transferring, monitoring and analyzing data. And it’s on the rise. According to a recent study by the GSMA, M2M connections are on track to reach 250 million this year globally.
M2M technology and remote sensors can be used within many industries to detect issues and ensure that production always runs smoothly. Some of the benefits associated with M2M technology and remote sensors include:
Access to real-time information: Using M2M and technologies like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensors, businesses can determine things like inventory levels to quickly replenish supply when needed. For example, sensors on warehouse shelves can send an alert to a mobile device when inventory on a particular SKU is low. Orders can then be filled quickly and easily, without interruption. As another example, buildings can be continuously monitored, providing daily reports on everything from the HVAC system to electricity and water usage. Scientists for the Canadian Forest Service have long been using remote sensors to keep an eye on Canada’s forests.
Reduced maintenance costs: Remote sensors can alert a company when a particular machine is malfunctioning, when it is due for maintenance, when a part might be defective, or if it goes offline altogether. This helps the company to react immediately – before costly mistakes happen.
Improved security & alerts: Things like security tags and monitors can advise when a product or manufacturing process might have been tampered with, or otherwise compromised. Sensors can also send alerts for events like theft, miscounts, temperature issues or unauthorized access.
Improved efficiency & productivity: Remote sensors that can track and analyze factors like speed of the manufacturing process, which areas might be slowing down production or which equipment is least efficient, can help a business improve processes and thus accomplish more in less time. In areas like utilities, smart meters mean that techs no longer need to visit every meter. Even things like traffic cameras and stoplights can be managed through an automated system, without the need to collect sensor data from each, one by one.
Enhanced vehicle management capability: Remote sensors can help businesses monitor vehicles, including things like mileage and distance travelled, maintenance needs and driver activity. For example, a company might be alerted if a truck travels outside of the driver’s route, if it remains stationary for too long and if deliveries are arriving late. When it comes to the contents of the vehicle, remote sensors can help monitor things like temperature and humidity, which can be particularly important if you’re transferring items like food or plants; as well as shock and pressure (by vang). The latter might include everything from rough driving conditions that could pose an issue for the cargo to a possible accident.
The bottom line
The benefits of remote industrial sensors are many, ranging from improving efficiencies to helping reduce costs, enhancing security and helping to keep the workflow as smooth as possible. Stay tuned to the Bell Blog for future posts on machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, and be sure to check out the earlier entries in our M2M post series here.
Has your company adopted remote industrial sensors yet? Which areas of your business do you feel can most benefit from M2M technology?