A new whitepaper has been published by igus entitled How the Industrial Internet of Things has led to the development of next-generation smart plastics with sensing capabilities built in. Set to grow at a CAGR of eight percent from now until 2020, when IIoT will reach a value of over $150bn, the paper assesses the advantages and benefits it brings to businesses operating on global markets.
“There is now a discernible trend towards communication-capable, intelligent devices being used to create integrated systems across all levels of automation,” said Matthew Aldridge, Managing Director, igus. “Such data transparency opens up new business models for machine and plant builders across a wide range of industrial sectors.”
IIoT is helping manufacturers capture and analyse this data, warning machine and plant builders of problems before they occur. The tracking of patterns to indicate failure would be an enabler to condition based modelling, unleashing the true potential of predicative maintenance. “This predicative approach takes the black art out of maintenance, and turns it into a science,” added Aldridge.
It is from this context that a new breed of smart plastics is emerging – specifically resulting in cables, energy chains and bearings – embedded with intelligence via the addition of sensing, monitoring and communications. Enhanced with such technology, the lifespan of cables used in automated machinery and plant is predictable.
Energy chains and bearings can monitor their own wear. As a result, smart plastics can deliver IIoT-enabled capability, potentially delivering increased plant availability, maximised uptime and reduced costs through condition monitoring and predictive maintenance regimes.