There’s no doubt the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has impacted thousands of manufacturers throughout the world over the past few years. As IIoT developments become more and more common across various industries, a wealth of data is starting to accumulate. This data is now being applied to even more industries to improve system functionality and evolve end user operations.
In the fluid power industry, these advances have created smart pumps, sensors, valves, and more, replacing tried-and-true devices of the past. These smart parts can now provide diagnostic data directly to developers, end-users, and OEMs. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Below, we’ve outlined the areas of fluid power evolving with the IIoT.
IIoT developments in fluid power can be integrated into traditional hydraulic or mechanical processes to make room for greater connectivity and data delivery. Allowing plant-wide systems to communicate seamlessly increases efficiency and lays the foundation for manufacturers to grow with new technology, as opposed to fighting against it. The trend of implementing IIoT hydraulic products creates a ripple effect, even causing fluid power companies to invest in behind-the-scenes tools and infrastructure to manage the influx of data collected.
Environment-friendly operations are more important now than ever. Utilizing smart products throughout fluid power operations and curating data to shrink a manufacturer’s carbon footprint can have a positive effect not only on sustainability efforts, but also on workforce and plant efficiency. For example, determining the energy consumption of a certain piece of equipment can help companies implement design changes to increase efficiency and productivity – effectively helping eliminate costly, unnecessary downtime. Smart fluid power technology is a win-win.
From mobile applications to predictive diagnostics, software is a key player in IIoT-integrated hydraulics. Smart products need to deliver data in a variety of ways: across networks, through the Cloud, and within individual facilities. At first glance, sensing components (like control elements) seem best suited to advance alongside the IIoT. However, hoses and other components that usually operate free from controls can now benefit from this technology. As a result, operators have reported an increased ease of machine use across the industry.
As technology advances and the fluid power industry grows, many manufacturers are faced with a common hurdle: a retiring generation of engineering staff is leaving a void that needs to be filled by younger, talented engineers with a passion for the IIoT. To draw in intelligent and passionate workers, manufacturers are adopting IIoT products throughout their facilities and committing their company to forward-thinking practices. The industry is embracing this opportunity to raise a new generation of manufacturing engineers to carry fluid power technology into the decades to come.
Kundinger represents several companies that are developing IIoT solutions to further push the envelope and enhance IIoT in industrial applications. Companies like Parker, B&R, Comau, Sick Sensors, and Advantech are all leaders in pursuing IIoT applications, which help our customers increase productivity, reduce cost, and increase overall earnings on the bottom line. Call Kundinger today with your IIoT application or questions. Our goal is to make your job easier!