[VIDEO] Stanley Black & Decker Introduces the Internet of Things to its Factory
Toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker has outfitted its manufacturing center in Reynosa, Mexico with sensors that have the ability to detect issues or delays in the production line. The company says the effort has led to significant improvement in production, despite some initial teething problems.
The initiative was introduced by Stanley’s CIO in 2012 and since has increased tool production by 10 percent and labor productivity by 12 percent. The sensors are able to detect problems along the product line a lot faster than a human could. This saves time and negates the need for managers to walk the factory floor all day.
Stanley Black & Decker is not the only multi-national corporation to tap into the Internet of Things to help with production – General Electric (GE) and Honeywell have also used the system to boost efficiency.
Introducing RFID Technology
In Reynosa – the manufacturing hub for Stanley Black & Decker’s DeWALT range – RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags and monitoring software provides managers with real-time feedback from the assembly lines. This feedback helps to measure how each section of the production line is performing.
The RFID tags wirelessly relay data to the plants computer network. They measure product time stamps, the number of products created and the level of quality among other things. If the software detects a problem it will alert the site manager via a desktop, tablet or smartphone. Workers can also alert supervisors of any concerns using the push of a button.
Significant Time Saving
Before the Internet of Things, the discovery of defects was a manual exercise and one that was left to managers walking the production floor. Considering the scales of many of these plants, it goes without saying that automating the process is a huge time saver, not to mention that fact that any defects are identified quickly, saving cost and reducing waste. Stanley Black & Decker has plans to roll out the Internet of Things to seven of its manufacturing facilities around the world.
CIO, Gary Frederick talking about RFID technology at Stanley Black & Decker's Mexico plant: