Developing empowerment in IIoT
IIoT is changing manufacturing, and as its adoption accelerates, it will bring new challenges for producers. But even with all the benefits of connectivity it provides, most industrial operations risk performing sub-optimally. Significantly, it will dramatically impact on the new generation of engineers and workers that control it.
Schneider Electric argues that the solution lies in worker empowerment in IIoT. This encourages the workforce to control cybersecurity risk, reliability risk, safety risk, and profitability in real-time to change that trend.
By providing the workforce with the right technology and deploying the right recruiting, training, and retention tactics, companies will move from merely managing their business and control it.
Managing unplanned downtime
Unplanned downtime is expensive in terms of lost production and waste. Advanced predictive maintenance tools provide an early insight into asset performance and abnormal operating conditions. However, technology alone is not sufficient to optimise business performance and profitability.
A strong strategy to cultivate and empower staff is critical if a company is to take advantage of the technological advancements of the IIoT. That is where the empowered workforce comes into play and why it is so important. Plant personnel are uniquely able to make smarter business and operating decisions and then act on them before an incident even occurs.
Empowerment in IIoT-employee engagement
Many manufacturing workforces are aging. The experienced workers can help by digitising their records, old manuals and processes. Records can be organised and accessible to any employee from any location.
New workers will require digital tools, not only to capture the knowledge, but make it available in a way that supports their preference for digital work practices. By pairing new and experienced workers, mentoring programmes will develop toolkits for crossing the gap transferring knowledge and addressing the different work practices.
There is a shortage of workers who have the requisite technical skills to work in manufacturing. Recruiters need to identify candidates with skills that go beyond the traditional mindset. Data science, artificial intelligence, and energy management—all non-traditional manufacturing skills—will be relevant and important.
Most entry level prospects, college graduates, and other inexperienced candidates don’t think manufacturing is a particularly exciting field. Yet, manufacturing globally is growing, and will remain a vital source of innovation and competitiveness. It will continue making important contributions to research and development, exports, and productivity growth.
Empowerment in IIoT represents a great opportunity for companies to engage young new workers with emerging technology. Significantly, it allows them to be more actively involved in and responsible for business success.
New tools will allow the generating of digital overlays of equipment on work tablets. This means they can diagnose issues and reroute them to plant operators to determine the best action for solving the problem.
They can even incorporate geolocation, which allows users to take photos of equipment and tag its location in the plant, making it much easier to find when it’s time for maintenance or repair.
But maybe the biggest risk is complacency….
The white paper “Empowering the workforce to control the Future of Automation is available here, from Schneider Electric
Recent blog posts