IIoT is Transforming the Future of Manufacturing

Cutting-edge companies in Ohio leverage innovation in IIoT
Glenn Richardson, managing director of advanced manufacturing, JobsOhio
Posted on

New connections are happening all across manufacturing facilities. Sensors may be monitoring a fleet of vehicles by sending crucial data back to the warehouse. Or perhaps plant managers run an entire operation armed with an iPad. As this type of connectivity and communication spreads across various industries, from automotive to healthcare, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is positioned to profoundly impact advanced manufacturing. Automation is one of the largest opportunities for growth for manufacturers of all sizes, and Ohio offers an environment ripe for companies ready to take their manufacturing floors to the next level.

Companies such as Crown Equipment Corp., Festo and Gosiger Automation are all leveraging IIoT to change the way things are made and delivered, as well as to train a future workforce, and they are doing it in Ohio.

Founded in New Bremen, Ohio, in 1945, Crown Equipment Corp. designs, manufactures, distributes and services forklift trucks. Considered one of the top five largest lift-truck manufacturers in the world, Crown Equipment has designed an automation and fleet management solution called InfoLink. It uses IIoT to connect lift trucks, operators and facilities to collect accurate, real-time information regarding productivity, fleet utilization, compliance and resource management. By having insight into how certain functions are operating day-to-day, their customers are able to reduce operating costs, ensure compliance, and protect the assets they have invested in using metrics provided by InfoLink.

Festo is another example of how talent, collaboration and commitment to innovation can help a global leader thrive in Ohio. The Germany-based corporation specializes in advanced automation technology for more than 40 industries. With a focus on two-way communication, Festo’s enabled devices, such as IO-Link, transmit machine data to factory management systems, where the data is downloaded and then sent back to the controller. In many cases, adjustments can be made while a machine is running. This type of monitoring and real-time diagnostics results in increased machine time and productivity. To keep up with customer demand, Festo announced in 2018 it is investing $90 million to nearly triple its existing state-of-the-art Regional Service and Manufacturing Center, bringing unprecedented growth in automation technology to Mason, Ohio.

Gosiger Automation, a robotics and technology company, located in Dayton, provides automation solutions for companies across an array of industries. The company has specialized in helping manufacturers seamlessly integrate robots into a manufacturing system for the past 30 years. Gosiger explores the needs of each company, whether it is a compact robot cell, designed to handle small parts up to five pounds, or larger models that can accommodate parts weighing up to 250 pounds. Often a custom solution is created for its customers. An increase in manufacturing productivity, performance and product quality are just a few benefits of robotics solutions.

JobsOhio and its partners also create opportunities for Ohio manufacturers to connect to resources that help them implement operational IIoT strategies. For example, the Northeast Ohio cluster for smart devices and systems provides companies the opportunity to network and learn about IIoT from early adopters, including how to assess the benefits and develop an appropriate implementation plan, while learning about key suppliers of IIoT services. A key partner in standing up this initiative has been David Moon, solutions consultant for Hitachi Vantara. A leader in advanced manufacturing, Hitachi Vantara is both a provider and a customer of IIoT. Its Lumada software provides necessary data and analytics to improve maintenance and repair processes, reduce downtime, and increase efficiencies on the
factory floor.

Ohio’s R&D resources, partnership opportunities and access to academic programs, make it easier for companies to develop and benefit from new innovations while Ohio continues its stronghold as a manufacturing powerhouse. Companies can develop new and exciting products and processes here, and our team at JobsOhio is here to help. Contact our advanced manufacturing team, and we will connect you with the right resources.