By WESCO Marketing
WESCO is a global supply chain solutions leader who services customers’ MRO, OEM, and capital project needs.
Many of us may feel well-versed on the Internet of Things (IoT) by now. We’ve experienced an avalanche of information about this technology in recent years, including how it’s going to change all of our lives. But regardless of what we already know, the IoT grows more complex every day. Its advancing capabilities are changing the business world in both big ways and small.
Now that we’re on the verge of an all-connected world, companies will need to embrace this technology in order to stay successful. And that’s not a bad thing.
Here’s where businesses can expect the IoT to take them in the coming years and beyond.
A Smarter Organization
The IoT is mostly about sensors that record and relay important information back to the cloud for easy access. And the best news is that they can be applied to everything from worker gear to coffee cups. Businesses looking for quick and unlimited access to product usage data, equipment updates or customer feedback can get it whenever they’d like.
A Safer Organization
Think of the IoT as a watchdog that’s constantly looking for red flags. This technology can easily track employees’ whereabouts and actions in the workplace or at a jobsite. If that sounds too Big Brother to you, remember what it can mean for a person’s safety. According to IBM, the rise of wearable technology is making workers vastly safer from falls, heat stress, machine incidents and more. These “connected workers” are equipped with embedded sensors that make it easier for businesses to monitor employee health and safety.
Most incidents can be prevented with a simple transmission through a worker’s helmet or wristband. An employer who notices that an employee hasn’t moved for an extended time can take immediate action to ensure that person is not injured or worse. New sensor technology can also help monitor worker surroundings. Gas, noise and radiation levels are just some environmental factors that employers can assess to ensure continued safety.
A More Productive Organization
The IoT is a great mediator for businesses looking to improve worker productivity. Its purpose is really to empower people, not things. A single device could soon act on a person’s behalf based on his or her schedule, preferences, and purchasing habits. It also might be time to say goodbye to manual data entry. Having more connected devices will allow people to focus on more productive tasks and do more with data than simply enter it.
We should also be prepared to see major changes in how we meet. Thanks to the crafty hands at Cisco, new advancements are underway that will take videoconferencing to the next level. Instead of using stationary cameras, you might soon get the full experience of a site visit or remote business meeting without physically being there. Pre-based robots could take you on a facility tour or allow you to meet people at the site — all while you enjoy the comforts of your office or home.
Rise of Machine-to-Machine Technology
Not everyone is ready or willing to welcome more technology into their businesses, homes or daily routines. Many of these concerns may be warranted, but they won’t slow down the future. Businesses should instead try to see beyond potential setbacks and focus on the many positives of this technology. There’s no doubting the IoT is capable of making businesses smarter, safer and more productive.
If that’s not convincing enough, keep in mind that 25 billion smart devices are expected to abound by 2020. Another projection estimates one trillion devices by 2025. Some even believe that their impact is putting us on the cusp of the next Industrial Revolution. If that doesn’t inspire you to take action, perhaps nothing will.
In this article: Data Communications
When you’re standing or sitting at work for long periods of time, there’s nothing worse than sore legs and feet. Every year, two million sick days are lost to lower limb disorders. Ergonomic injuries come at a high cost. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, $1 of every $3 spent on workers’ compensation comes from insufficient ergonomic protection. It’s clear that taking steps to prevent these injuries is well worth it.
Mar 3, 2017 | Safety
Electrical equipment is only as effective as it is protected. Whether you’re indoors, outdoors, exposed to water, or facing harsh weather conditions, electrical equipment needs to be protected by an enclosure. Choosing the right electrical enclosure requires some knowledge of electrical standards. Ratings from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) provide guidance on what level of protection your enclosure needs depending on the environmental factors it is subjected to.
Slips, trips and falls are some of the most preventable workplace accidents, yet the numbers don’t seem to prove it. Second only to motor vehicles, incidents related to slips, trips and falls account for 15 percent of accidental deaths. They can also cost an employer an average of tens of thousands of dollars per incident.
Did you know that four million workers go to work each day in damaging noise? In just one year, 23,000 cases were reported of occupational hearing loss that was great enough to cause hearing impairment. And these are only the cases that were reported! From these statistics, it’s clear that we’re not doing enough to prevent hearing loss at work. Employers give earplugs and earmuffs to employees, but getting employees to wear them when they need to is another story altogether.
Feb 24, 2017 | Safety