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Thinaer’s new integration with Azure solves a common problem for manufacturing businesses – taking a data-centric approach to solving common industrial challenges at scale.

Thinaer bridges Internet of Things (IoT) big data and actionable insights. By leveraging Thinaer’s scalable cloud-based technology, running on Microsoft Azure, production teams can monitor the supply chain, provide personalized customer experiences, and build innovative business models.

How Thinaer’s IoT Solutions Integrate with Azure

While having the ability to collect lots of data is enticing, the process of managing and analyzing physical and digital data can be tricky. All that data will become less valuable without the right strategy and platform.

That’s why many manufacturing companies are turning to IoT tools for help. “Thinaer’s IoT solutions are designed to solve manufacturing challenges by helping businesses improve processes and results,” says Bryan Merckling, CEO at Thinaer.

With Thinaer, IoT sensors are strategically placed on the factory floor to collect raw data in real time. That data is then transformed into impactful, value-adding solutions that help manufacturing companies make informed decisions about every aspect of their business.

Manufacturing companies are adopting these sensors to collect data and communicate with other devices. For example, businesses can use IoT devices to monitor energy consumption, products in transit, inventory in the factory, employee health, heat levels, and much more.

With the Azure integration, Thinaer has options for improved and increased scalability. This allows Thinaer to scale bigger deployments to more companies. In addition, Azure offers more flexible scaling options and a faster speed of deployment, which will help Thinaer to support more manufacturing companies manage their data.

3 Problems IoT Solves for Manufacturers

With the Azure integration, Thinaer transforms all the data collected from IoT sensors into actionable insights that help manufacturers reduce unplanned disruptions, improve product quality, and transform the supply chain.  Here’s how.

Unplanned Downtime

Manufacturing companies average 800 hours of unplanned downtime annually. Broken down, that’s an average of 15 hours of lost productivity every week. Unplanned downtime can lead to a loss of revenue, the need for expensive maintenance, and an increased risk of workplace accidents by 40%.

One way to prevent unplanned downtime is predictive maintenance. Through advanced analytics, IoT solutions use heat sensors to predict imminent equipment breakdowns. Thanks to the integration with Azure, Thinaer can quickly deploy sensors to manufacturers, ensuring that they minimize unplanned downtime as much as possible.

Thinaer’s sensors on manufacturing devices send maintenance alerts when machines begin to overheat or vibrate. They can also provide production teams with past data to help them predict when machine parts need replacing or repairing, thereby minimizing unplanned downtime. As a result, these predictive analytic tools can reduce overall manufacturing downtime by 30 to 50%, translating into millions of dollars.

Inventory and Supply Chain Management

Inventory distortion (i.e., lost revenue opportunities that could have been avoided) leads to an estimated $1.1 trillion in losses worldwide. In addition, supply chain visibility is one of the foremost strategic priorities for companies worldwide.

IoT-based inventory management solutions give manufacturers clear visibility into raw materials, components, production processes, and finished goods. This is achieved through real-time updates on the items’ location, status, and movement. Azure makes it easier and more sustainable for Thinaer to store and use data on its platform, ensuring that manufacturers can access all the data they need at their fingertips.

For example, Thinaer’s Sonar platform captures data from sensors placed on inventory items and factory floors. These sensors have unique identification numbers (UID) with encoded digital data about the specific inventory item, such as batch number and model. This can help manufacturers keep track of each item’s status at all times and reduce the number of lost inventory items.

Efficiency in Manufacturing Operations

Manufacturing efficiency can be determined by dividing standard output by actual output. This calculation results in an efficiency rate of around 60–80% for most manufacturers. 

Of course, the goal is to get as close to 100% efficiency as possible. By using programmable logic controllers, manufacturers can capture data from equipment and processes to find the best way to be efficient. Instead of improving efficiency only when there is an issue, manufacturers can use real-time analytics from interconnected IoT devices to identify and solve a potential problem’s root cause.

By extension, improving operational efficiency can also guarantee product quality control. Since Thinaer’s IoT solutions monitor equipment calibration and machine conditions, they can detect when sensor readings are abnormal and will cause product defects. Hence, this monitoring system will alert management and suggest a mitigation action to curb the manufacture of substandard products.

Azure’s Cosmos DB scaling model fits naturally with Thinaer’s IoT-centered workload and offers easy administration, accelerated deployment, and options for scalability. These features allow Thinaer to help manufacturers improve efficiency across their operations.

Conclusion

While we have discussed three of the most common challenges facing manufacturing companies, IoT devices can also solve other manufacturing problems.

For example, many countries are encouraging smart waste management and eco-friendly production. Smart sensors can use ultrasound technology to detect the fill levels in bins and containers. Then, they send the data to the Smart Waste Management System or the powerful cloud-based platform in use, such as Thinaer, to optimize waste operations.

Nimish Ghatalia, Principal Program Manager for Microsoft Azure, states, “For manufacturers, the ability to manage rapid change in an uncertain macroeconomic environment is no surprise; it’s status quo.  The good news is that technology is paving the way to a more enlightened and better-managed future.  With help from Microsoft partners, manufacturers can now choose from a host of pre-built edge-to-cloud solutions to help them become more efficient, modernize their operations, and even empower their associates.”

There is no shortage of ways that Thinaer can help manufacturers make the most of their operations by integrating IoT sensors with Azure. In today’s global economy, it is more important than ever for manufacturers to find ways to effectively manage and use the data they collect to drive their business forward.

Thinaer’s team of business analysts, PhDs, data scientists, and engineers, using Azure, helps production teams leverage IoT technologies and data analytics to overcome manufacturing challenges. Contact us today to learn more.

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