How important can indoor mapping be if there’s only one - very important or not - reason why industry 4.0 needs it?
The easy answer to this question would be, “very important”.
However, this would be an understatement. Indoor mapping is crucial to industry 4.0. I’d even go as far as saying that without an indoor map, there’s no need to invest too much in IIoT devices - far-fetched, but not entirely untrue.
More than one reason
Before diving into this one very important reason, let’s take a look at how indoor mapping can help connected manufactures and warehouses live up to their full potential. Because there is actually more than one reason why industry 4.0 needs indoor mapping.
Downtime is one of manufacturing’s most pressing challenges. According to Forbes, the average manufacturer has more than 15 hours of downtime per week. That’s more than 800 hours of equipment shutdown per year.
We all know time is money. And in this case, a LOT of money. As an example, the average automotive manufacturer loses $22,000 per minute when the production line stops and overall, unplanned downtime costs industrial manufacturers as much as $50 billion a year.
By integrating your equipment with a dynamic map of your spaces, you’ll be able to quickly locate shutdowns and take appropriate action. Maybe you need external help to repair the equipment, but finding the right machine or truck at a big and unknown plant can be quite the challenge. With an indoor map you can easily share the exact location through a link in a text message. When the repairman clicks on the link, they will get turn-by-turn navigation all the way from their current location to the broken equipment inside your plant, so your production will be up and running as quickly as possible.
Real-time asset tracking
Knowing where your assets are - whether its equipment or people - is important. But tagging your assets isn’t very helpful unless you have a dynamic map to visualize their real-time location so you can actually find them.
With a dynamic indoor map you’ll be equipped with live data, including asset tracking and positioning. This means that by integrating your tagged equipment and employees with the map, you’ll be able to see exactly where things are located, how fast (or slow) they’re moving, and you can get turn-by-turn navigation directly to them.
So, if equipment breaks down and you need one of your employees to fix it, you can easily get an overview of both the equipment and the nearest employee at the same time. This saves you the time and trouble of potentially calling several colleagues before finding the one closest to the machine.
Safety is another expensive challenge in manufacturing. According to Liberty Mutual’s workplace safety index 2021 for manufacturing, “the top five injury causes account for over $6.08 billion in costs and represent 74.5 percent of all injuries in the manufacturing industry annually.”
By integrating your employee tracking system with an indoor map, you’ll be able to quickly and easily see the position of all employees in case of emergency, ensuring that all employees are in a safe zone and locating those who are not. Likewise, the map enables you to quickly find and rescue injured employees.
With both equipment and employees connected, you can further increase safety through geofencing and restricted virtual zones. By setting up restricted virtual zones around dangerous equipment, facility management can be alerted when someone enters a high risk zone. If they continue into the zone, the machine will automatically stop, preventing any threat of injury. However, staying outside a virtual zone can be difficult unless you have a map visualizing where the restricted zones are. With an indoor map that can be integrated into your app and kiosks/monitors in the production area, you ensure that employees can always get an overview of your spaces no matter where they are.
The one very important reason
This leads us to the very important reason, I promised you in the beginning: the unifying link.
When disparate technologies are deployed for different (I)IoT use cases, bringing them together is often the failure point on execution. This means that you’ll be left with a lot of segregated data that isn’t bringing anyone real value and your IIoT will not live up to its potential either.
An indoor map serves as a unifying link between your equipment, personnel, and facility. It combines all relevant data in the perfect visual way, unlocking the full potential of your IIoT setup.
If you want to know more about indoor mapping for industry or if you’re looking for an indoor mapping platform to leverage your own IoT-based solution, reach out to us and we’re ready to help.