What is IoT?

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You may have heard that the “internet of things” or “IoT” is the next big thing, but what is it, and what can it do for you?

No longer is the Internet exclusively the playground of people, but also sensors – loads and loads of sensors – delivering information on temperature, light, capacity, location, equipment on or off, edge devices like mobile computer scanners and printers, and all sorts of things, all connected online and feeding information into your applications at an astounding rate.

IoT is a big driver for 5G technologies. We all want 5G for the huge download and upload speeds it gives you while on-the-go. However, the big promise of 5G is not simply speed; it is reliability and low latency. By “low latency” we mean very little delay between sending and receiving messages.

The Epicor ERP system, as a business enabler, embraces the potential IoT offers to the industries we serve like manufacturing and aged care.

In fact, by feeding in continually collected real-time health metrics on your industrial components and machinery, Epicor’s rule-based engine can create maintenance suggestions for you, actively determining and preventing predictable faults and downtime.

The issue of downtime cannot be under-estimated. In fact, research (references below) finds:

  • most companies lose 5% of productive capacity, even up to 20%, during an unplanned outage
  • over 80% of companies have no model to quantify downtime costs, and under-estimate it by 200-300%
  • case studies for the automotive industry put downtime at $1.3m/hour
  • oil and gas industries have mechanical breakdowns as their largest major contributor of downtime at 46%, and maintenance related downtimes at 23%. Of these maintenance-related downtimes, only 8% were planned.

Yet, to combat unplanned outages, some organisations are overly aggressive, or not tackling the right problems:

  • 30% of planned maintenance activities are carried out too frequently
  • 40% of preventative maintenance costs are spent on assets with negligible effect on uptime failure.

With so much cost involved in unplanned outages, or in incorrectly focused planned outages, it is no surprise research estimates a functioning predictive maintenance program can deliver an ROI of 10x!

Epicor’s IoT workflow can monitor equipment, assets, environmental factors, inventory locations and their corresponding IoT data. Events and data, such as sensor and machine telemetry, are gathered, and then Epicor’s advanced rule-based engine detects patterns and raises alerts and notifications to trigger business process changes like raising a maintenance suggestion.

This is one example of what IoT can do for you. Really, the possibilities of IoT are limited only by your imagination. The sky is truly the limit, and this is the creativity and solutions-focus approach we love to embrace at BISCIT, with our mantra “limitless possibilities.”



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