Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Solutions from BHS, Inc.
The Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, is part of the digital transformation taking place among manufacturers, distributors, supply chain operators, and more. But what exactly are we talking about when we discuss the Industrial IoT? There are about as many definitions of the term as there are purveyors of smart machinery.
We’ll keep it simple. In order to obtain the advantages associated with IIoT, users need three components:
Smart sensors embedded in industrial assets. These sensors collect and transmit real-time data through cloud technology, monitoring equipment condition, usage statistics, operator information, inventory, and more.
IIoT analytics software that can process sensor data into actionable insights. Ideally this is an entire software environment tied in with the user’s broader ERP.
Users. That is, people. Software can generate intelligence, but only people can take that intelligence and translate it into measurable efficiency gains. Operators interact with connected equipment through a human-machine interface, or HMI.
The Industrial Internet of Things itself is the network that incorporates these three elements. The competitive advantages that IIoT can provide require a customized, streamlined approach built for each individual environment.
Here’s how BHS, Inc. can help forklift users, material handling operators, and electrical supply distributors obtain the benefits of IIoT functionality. These benefits improve safety, operational efficiency, and, ultimately, the bottom line. Keep reading for information on BHS IIoT solutions and links to our custom IIoT mobile portals. If you have any questions, call us at 1.800.BHS.9500.
BHS IIoT Solutions in the Forklift Battery Room
Battery usage has a huge impact on the cost of running an electric forklift fleet. Without a data-driven fleet management strategy, 30 percent of forklift batteries end up underused. The use of IIoT Fleet Management Systems can boost average operating time of up to 30 minutes per battery per charge. Click here to learn about why forklift battery rotation management is important.
BHS, Inc. provides software, hardware, and smart battery handling equipment to create an entire enclosed digital environment that can extend the working life of every battery in the fleet.
BHS Fleet Tracker® (FLT-IIOT) is a cloud-based fleet-management system, with detailed reporting that allows users to right-size their fleets for optimal efficiency. Connection to the IIoT allows managers to measure the health of batteries, stands, and trucks by logging into a secured Web Portal.
Fleet Tracker’s touchscreen HMI mounted on an Operator Aboard Battery Extractor (BE) guides users to charged batteries, posts maintenance reminders, and updates the status of battery assets to the cloud. The Fleet Tracker system improves battery health, improves change-out efficiency, and gives managers the real-time data they need to eliminate waste by matching assets to needs exactly.
The IIoT-Integrated Operator Aboard Battery Extractor (BE-IIOT) is a fully connected battery change-out machine for high-volume users. In addition to the efficiency and safety benefits already associated with BHS BE models, the the IIoT-enabled unit provides telematics capabilities to capture and transmit key data points.
Smart sensors located throughout the system send push notifications when the unit is off-level or when oil begins to degrade. The BE-IIOT also incorporates an accelerometer in the battery bed, which allows the system to report unsafe use. Sensors transmit data in real time, allowing users to employ a condition-based or predictive maintenance strategy. Compared to maintenance schedules, these upkeep models reduce unscheduled downtime and boost overall uptime by addressing maintenance needs as they actually arise, but before adverse conditions can cause harm.
The BE-IIOT only allows authorized users to log in through the touch screen HMI located on the unit. The system tracks usage and productivity across every shift. And it ships with a subscription to the BHS IIoT Portal, a dashboard managers can access from virtually any internet-connected computer or mobile device. This Portal gives managers access to detailed operational data and analytics. By generating detailed reports using this data, company leadership can make more informed decisions on everything from staffing levels to productivity goals.
Users setup with a login can click here to access the BE-IIOT remote-access dashboard. For more information on how BHS products can reduce the cost of ownership for electric forklifts, call our sales team at 1.800.BHS.9500.
BHS IIoT Solutions in Material Handling
An IIoT system can save considerable time and labor in material handling applications, leading to a much leaner operation. The IIoT-enabled Will Call Dropbox features digital smart locks, controllable by a remote user interface. Admins can provide instant access to this parcel locker through an Android or Apple OS mobile app. Alternately, authorized users can access lockers with key fobs, RFID cards, or even their phones. Digital parcel lockers like the Will Call Dropbox allow for after-hours deliveries, and are ideal for construction sites, utility work, and shipping/receiving operations.
To learn more about Material Handling Equipment from BHS, click here. To discuss custom material handling solutions, including connected equipment compatible with IIoT ecosystems, call our sales team at 1.800.BHS.9500.
BHS IIoT Solutions in the Electrical Industry
Suppliers of electrical materials face the unique challenges of dispensing industry-scale orders of wire, cable, and conduit (among other product families). When distributors provide cut-to-length cable services, keeping inventory straight can become very difficult indeed.
That’s one reason we developed the IIoT-enabled Spool Winding Trolley (SWT-IIOT). This stand-alone cable payout solution rolls easily over existing jack stands, engaging them with adjustable overhead rollers. This design avoids the hazardous, time-consuming task of removing reels, placing them in a payout, and then replacing them on jack stands for storage.
In our IIoT model Spool Winding Trolley, we add the following smart features to harness the power of big data:
- A cable length-counter with a digital display. This feature tracks every length of cable as it pays out to a delivery reel. The display allows users to choose units of measurement. Sync cable usage data with Inventory Management Systems for accurate counts every time; data carriers like barcodes and RFID chips can further identify each reel in the system. (These synced features are not part of the SWT-IIOT software package, but are included to show the possibilities of a fully connected workplace. Talk to your IIoT developers for more information on these system-level capabilities.)
- Connection between the BHS IIoT Portal and a touchscreen HMI on the unit. Managers can log into an online portal anywhere with internet access. There, they can pre-program jobs for each machine and track usage statistics, including e-stop instances and cable payout length. These features are included in the SWT-IIOT software package, free for 6 months with the purchase of each SWT-IIOT unit.
- Inventory tracking through real-time cable payout measurement. The SWT-IIOT counts cable payout by the user’s preferred unit of measurement, tracking every job for data-driven inventory management. Tracking payout length also ensures accuracy in every order, and managers can verify this accuracy from anywhere with the mobile BHS IIoT Portal.
Sign into the custom IIoT dashboard for SWT systems here. To find your nearest BHS electrical equipment dealer, call our sales team at 1.800.BHS.9500.
The Industrial Internet of Things is the next step in the evolution of the industrial economy. BHS, Inc. can help make the transition.