The Internet of Things can provide a host of data about a manufacturing operation.

The Integration of IoT is Vital for Hydraulics

May 1, 2023
The Internet of Things can provide an array of data which can be used to improve the safety and maintenance of hydraulic systems.

Hydraulics have been crucial to the manufacturing industry for decades, helping power everything from assembly lines to automated machinery. However, with the rise of Industry 4.0, these technologies are becoming even more essential to modern manufacturing.

Introducing Industry 4.0 to Manufacturing

Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, incorporates the web and other digital aspects into manufacturing. It is characterized by smart factories comprising three branches: the Internet of Services, Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The IoT is the most important and active component of these branches. It refers to connecting devices that use the internet without human influence. In manufacturing, for example, the IoT can be used to relay a host of information. This can include energy consumption and function status, which can be assessed by the manufacturer anywhere and at any time.

READ MORE: What’s the Difference Between Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0?

The global IoT manufacturing market size is only projected to grow. Technological innovation and advancement will continue to optimize performance in this area, making it widely used in downstream applications. While hydraulics in manufacturing have already benefited from Industry 4.0, the integration of IoT takes manufacturers to another level.

Integrating IoT into Your Processes

Manufacturers can improve safety and prevent equipment breakdowns with the integration of the IoT into hydraulic systems. A connection to the IoT can relay a host of information and maintenance personnel can receive that data, while others in the production chain can use it to bolster efficiency in manufacturing their products and improve service life.

READ MORE: IoT Enables Better Problem Solving in Fluid Power

Bosch Rexroth presented a case study merging the physical and virtual worlds. The engineering firm demonstrated how typical controllers for hydraulics come pre-programmed with software that helps transition from path control to force control. This transition assists systems in being synchronous with one another during the production process. Ultimately, Industry 4.0 helped disperse intelligence by allowing hydraulics to function independently and adapt to changing process parameters.

Understanding the Data

Gathering data from the IoT is changing the way manufacturers deliver information. Knowing the work profile and energy consumption of a piece of equipment is transformational. For example, this type of information can help engineers make design changes to maximize efficiency and productivity. But with the IoT growing rapidly, the amount of data available only increases.  

While there are advantages to having large amounts of information, too much can overwhelm manufacturers. This is where effectively using IoT can help streamline information in a manner that leverages only the information required to operate their systems.

IoT is rapidly expanding, creating a new class in the workforce who are trained in technology, engineering and science. Those trained and skilled at filtering through the data and turning it into tangible and actionable information are already playing a critical role in the evolution of manufacturing.

Virtually all industries are exploring the IoT to stay competitive in this fast-paced world. The IoT is an essential part of Industry 4.0 to help drive the next wave of technological innovation in manufacturing. Therefore, integrating the IoT into hydraulics is significant in providing critical information on operational data, energy consumption and functional status in real time.

WATCH MORE: IoT Has A Key Role in NFPA Roadmap

Hydraulics are integral in the operation of “intelligent" production systems that communicate detailed and predictive information on any particular part. As we move further into Industry 4.0, the IoT will continue to revolutionize hydraulics, making systems even more essential to modern manufacturing.

This article was written and contributed by John Joyce, Director of Marketing at Brennan Industries

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