This month GD Rectifier’s managing director, Paul Bentley speaks exclusively to CIE magazine’s editor Amy Wallington on the benefits of IoT in power electronics
IoT (Internet of Things) can often sound quite daunting, when in reality, it simply means the ability to connect to any device with an on and off switch to the internet. This includes countless machines such as: mobile phones, coffee makers, washing machines and wearable devices that can work autonomously without requiring human input.
IoT enables designers to make smart equipment and machinery so that they can track, log, monitor and adjust itself accordingly. Whilst most users of power electronics will enjoy the countless benefits IoT will serve, many consumers are still sceptical about how IoT will affect their privacy by so many devices being connected to each other and sharing data.
IoT will see multiple devices communicate via smart technology, for example when someone’s alarm on their phone goes off in the morning, the phone would notify the coffee machine to start brewing coffee. Then when they get in their car, their car could send a text to colleagues notifying them that the traffic is bad and the person will be a few minutes late in to the office The benefits of IoT are endless, but it means people will have to be willing to change their lifestyles and the way they go about everyday tasks, incorporating the latest technology.
The Internet of Things industry experts predict that over 26 billion devices will be connected in 2020 and relationships will extend from people-people and people-things to things-things, making the world a much smarter place.
Benefits of IoT
IoT will have a massive impact on the manufacturing industry and businesses will benefit from a more efficient inventory management system, products will be easier to package, track and the likelihood of human errors will diminish. Businesses will have access to more data and metrics on consumer buying behaviours, including: order patterns, buying power and lead time expectations. IoT will provide a greater insight to product performance and manufacturers will be able to gauge demand in real time.
Employees will be able to work remotely controlling and managing an entire production line and store with just a tablet and an internet connection, however most businesses will still want to observe these operations in real-time, especially in the initial months. Most businesses are likely to see an increase in productivity because operations will be carried out more quickly and efficiently without them needing to be at the factory.
Most industries are likely to evolve over the next four years when IoT becomes mainstream, the manufacturing industry will be one of the first to trial and adopt this technology.
IoT will revolutionise transportation networks in numerous ways, including: smartphone detection, traffic congestion, smart roads, smart lighting, intelligent shopping and smart parking, the opportunities and benefits to the industry are endless.
IoT is already being used across manufacturing, distribution and logistics to carry out tasks such as send an alert when factory equipment needs maintenance, track the speed and safety of machines and monitor the environmental condition of products during shipment.
Every day more and more sensors are being introduced in factories to carry out motor checks on vibration and temperature. IoT technology is enabling manufacturers and distributors to reduce time spent carrying out the admin tasks and enables design engineers to focus on new product developments which will continue to boost the consumer electronics industry.
Disadvantages of IoT
The demand for connected electronics will continue to grow at a rapid speed and both manufacturers and distributors will need to keep up with the increase in demand. Businesses will need to be prepared to invest heavily in IoT, an abundance of time and
money will need to be invested to fully understand the process, the focus must be on technology integration and manufacturers will need to adapt to emerging IoT technologies.
Security is one of the biggest concerns and challenges surrounding IoT. With billions of devices being connected and exchanging data, people need to be confident that their information stays secure.
Businesses that need adopt IoT will need to be cautious about data protection and discover a way to store, track and analyse large amounts of data whilst using secure networks.
What’s next in IoT?
IoT is still in it’s infancy and conferences and conversations are taking place about it all over the world as we seek to understand how our daily lives will be affected.
More advanced IoT applications will emerge over the next few years with a strong focus on augmented reality, wearable technology and Industry 4.0. The future will see a strong focus on sophisticated backend systems and multiple security levels to protect the unlimited data that IoT will provide.
IoT will soon influence what power electronics components sell, OEMs and distributors will be able to react much more quickly to product developments and additional stock quantities, reducing customers lead times. IoT will also impact the new component designs driven forward which will in turn effect future technology and consumer buying trends for the foreseeable future.
GD Rectifiers is a global manufacturer and distributor of products, services and solutions to commercial and industrial users of power electronic components. They manufacture a wide range of power assemblies, heatsinks, high voltage diodes and selenium rectifiers and suppressors for some of the world’s leading engineering and technology companies. GD Rectifiers play a major role in the launch of new technologies, machines and transport strategies by supplying a wide range of standard semiconductor components and custom designed power assemblies, heatsinks, high voltage diodes and selenium rectifiers and suppressors.