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What is the Internet of things?

IoT can be explained as the network of physical objects or things embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity enabling these objects to collect and exchange data. This includes anything with an on and off switch, such as controlling your thermostats, light switches, or water meters to increase energy savings in your building or home.

The analyst firm, Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices. IoT is the relationship between people-people, people-things, and things-things.

How does this impact you?

The new rule for the future will soon become “anything that can be connected, will be connected.” There are several examples of what this will look like in the day to day of a company’s or person’s routine.

Say for example, you are on your way to a morning meeting, your car could access your calendar and already know the best route to take, and if there is traffic your phone could send a text to the attendees in the meeting to let them know you may be a few minutes late. Or, what if you want to adjust the temperature in your office building once you close up for the day to five to ten degrees higher to save on energy costs?

These are the types of things that are progressing to become our near reality or are already here.

Economic impact of IoT on businesses worldwide

IoT has the potential economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion per year by 2025. Sensors/modules and connectivity account for more than 50% of spending on IoT followed by IT services and software.

That economic value will be derived from the revenues from IoT device installations and sales and savings from efficiency gains in city services, and it is reported that 36% of companies in North America had IoT initiatives in 2015.

With sensors getting cheaper, more and more physical objects are becoming part of a network of things changing the way we live and work. IoT is about connecting devices and acquiring data to create more visibility; visibility in the performance of a machine, where a company is losing energy, where potential savings could be found, and future recommendations on how to fix these issues.

How Maintenance and IoT work together

Integration of systems will be the difference between hundreds and thousands saved within a company year over year. With the integration of IoT and preventative maintenance, you will be able to tell more quickly and accurately if one of your assets is faltering quicker than expected and determine what changes need to be made to avoid those problems from becoming disasters.

IoT will be fundamental in improving productivity and efficiency in maintenance by adjusting environment controls as well to increase cost savings.

IoT can help generate the following through maintenance:

  1. Greater adoption of predictive maintenance
  2. Real-time data analysis
  3. Recommended repair actions

Companies that have started using IoT initiatives, such as smart metering, have shown that energy monitoring technologies can help reduce energy consumption by 5-15%.

The hospitality industry can also utilize the IoT to save time, manual labor, and cost throughout the year.

Example: If you’re tracking 16 meters manually with a labor cost of $16/hour, checking the meters once per day will cost you $3,840. Now imagine checking the meters once per hour, per minute, and once per second. It becomes impossible to manually check your meters that often without the Internet of Things.

IoT combined with an EAM/CMMS system will allow your team to capture data on your assets and save time by eliminating printing, see trends emerging quickly with your assets, and aggregate other information based on new data.