For the most part, sensors have already become a forgettable part of daily life. Vehicle safety features such as airbags and antilock brakes; accelerometers in smartphones, automatic doors, sinks, lights, and smoke detectors have become available, and in some cases even mandated in products, as well as public and private places all over the US. What used to be a luxury technology is now part of the fabric that maintains the health and safety of first-world living.
When connected to IoT and used as part of internal business services, sensors become powerful tools to monitor the heartbeat and flow of operations. Sensor enabled IoT devices provide another level of data that is invisible to the human eye. They can detect changes in physical phenomena such as pressure, heat, airflow, humidity, and vibration, at very low levels. When this data is made available to employees, it can provide actionable insights for making better business decisions that lead to reduced maintenance, equipment, and labor costs.
With IoT, all data has the potential to be actionable and sensor data can be leveraged to bring efficiency to business-critical functions in 3 ways:
Enable action to limit potential disruption
IoT sensors embedded in infrastructure can monitor everything from roads and bridges to buildings and transportation. Data collected by sensor devices in the field can send reports to an IoT web platform to be viewed by authorized employees. This system allows preventive maintenance and repairs to be prioritized in order of severity while reducing the number of truck rolls to the physical location of the asset. The result is that employees can be engaged in other areas of the business while IoT devices continually check assets and their immediate environment for changes or disruptions.
- Monitoring air quality in the workplace
- Monitoring strain of cables and beams on a public bridge
- Monitoring presence of chemicals in the water supply
Enable action to stabilize a situation
Sensor enabled IoT devices can be configured to alert specific individuals when an event occurs, or a threshold is reached. This automatic alert saves time through bypassing the chain of command or dispatch operators who could be unreachable if an incident occurs during off-hours. Shortened response times help keep the risk of potential damage to a minimum, and when properly trained staff receives an immediate notification, they have more time to deal with the situation effectively.
- Detection of moisture from a pipe leaking
- Detection of overheating equipment
- Detection of humidity in a product storage facility
Enable action to reduce risk and aviod downtime
Climate data and sensor data can be used to evaluate if structures can withstand specific weather phenomenon. Restoration and improvement of assets and procedures will lead to improved readiness in the event an incident should occur. Just because a bridge or other structure doesn’t collapse after a damage-inducing event does not mean it is safe to continue regular use. IoT technology allows workers to determine the extent of damage and assess the condition of structures in ways that would be difficult without the help of sensors.
- Testing infrastructure for stability pre and post-event
- Add or shift the location of deployed devices
- Establish and set up proper alarm triggers
In June, GeoTraq attended Sensors Expo in San Jose, CA. There was a lot to see from sensors for health and safety, to utility monitoring, autonomous vehicles and the environment. We aim to use our Sensor-Modules tto bring simple IoT to legacy business models and smart cities that want to collect and utilize the data about their current operations. By monitoring and analyzing this data, organizations can make better road maps to ROI with a clear assessment of the health and wellbeing of their systems and infrastructure.