IoT: Building our industries of the future

We all know that the Internet of Things (IoT) has the power to make companies more productive, agile and streamlined – but there are other areas it will transform, including cutting environmental fines, improving employee safety and better inventory management and proactive support that often don’t receive the same degree of attention.

Industrialization has helped to intensify pollution and environmental health risks. According to figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 12.6 million people die from environmental health risks every year.  To help address the issue big fines for environmental fines are being put in place by governments. Emerging IoT solutions can have a positive impact on the environment.  IoT, for example, has the potential to cut waste help companies reduce their environmental footprints.

IoT-enabled maintenance tools can be deployed to monitor equipment and predict maintenance schedules, helping to identify any problems that may disrupt operations, fracture delivery times and threaten the environment.

Health and safety is another ongoing challenge for enterprises. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that more than 2.3 million people die every year due to accidents in the workplace or work-related diseases. IOT can make it easier for high risk industries such as construction and mining to spot and eliminate potential hazards in the work environment. IoT sensors can report on everything from air quality to body temperatures and ground stabilization detection. Coupled with data analytics, IoT can help drive more proactive safety programs. 

Smart Process monitoring and tagging

Instead of having employees continually monitoring systems for alerts, which is both time consuming and open to human error, IoT sensors can actively monitor machines 24/7 and send out an alert if systems deviate from their prescribed role. This speeds up maintenance response times and provides constant quality control.  The increased operational efficiency and little or no downtime as a result has a positive impact on the bottom line.

IoT is also invaluable when it comes to inventory management, vastly reducing the risk of management errors. Estimates of available supply are accurate, which prevents slowdowns in processes.  A factory in Russia, for example, is equipping its pallets with RFID (radio frequency identification) tags so it can control the location of the pallets in its warehouse. It now tracks one million operations annually, dramatically improving loading times, keeping deliveries on track and and reducing inventory costs.

IoT: the power to protect our environment

Enterprises are paying out huge fines for polluting the environment. In Russia alone, 6 billion rubles were collected by environmental watchdogs in 2016. IoT can have a huge impact on helping companies comply with increasingly stringent environmental regulations, allowing them to operate sustainably.

Sensors can be deployed to monitor water quality and radiation amongst others. Polluted, inaccessible or uninhabitable areas can easily be tracked and surveyed, without human intervention.

IoT-enabled technology, for example, has the potential to significantly reduce the effect mining has on the environment by monitoring assets more accurately and enabling fast action around any potential issues. Digital IoT networks are able to deliver accurate, real-time insight to mining companies so they can make informed environmental decisions.

IoT and Industrial safety

It is estimated that around 70 percent of occupational accidents occur due to negligence when it comes to safety policies. IoT is revolutionizing health and safety in organizations, using pervasive cloud connectivity to connect workers.

IoT’s ability to pull in data, analyze it and quickly respond to dangers in the workplace is invaluable as is its ability to predict issues before they impact workers. Organizations can also efficiently monitor compliance and demonstrate to adherence to rules as needed. IoT’s capabilities not only improve worker safety, but also lowers insurance premiums and corporate liability as a result of reduced accidents. 

Using geolocation workers can be easily tracked onsite to ensure their safety. IoT solutions can be integrated with access control systems, for example, to control qualification requirements for entering a danger zone. IoT is already being used to monitor fatigue in truck drivers and heavy machine operators and stop unauthorised workers starting up machinery. Mining, oil and gas are looking at wearables that monitor air quality and ensure workers stay in safe exposure limits. 

To show that we practice what we preach, we are using our own IoT solution to monitor online the health and safety of its personnel in the engine room of our data center in Moscow. The system alerts personnel if there is an accident on site. This gives us peace of mind and certainty that all regulations are being followed.

To read more about how Orange Business Russia is helping companies transform their business using digital, please visit:
Richard Van Wageningen

Richard van Wageningen is CEO of Orange Business in Russia and CIS and is the Head the IMEAR (Indirect, Middle East, Africa and Russia) region. He has extensive leadership experience in the IT and telecommunications industries – both in services and equipment manufacturing – and holds degrees from Groningen State Polytechnics and the University of North Carolina. Richard has lived in Russia for more than 10 years and speaks fluent Russian.