New Articles
  April 25th, 2023 | Written by

6 Reasons to Connect the IoT to Electro-Hydraulic Systems

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="13106399"]

Electro-hydraulic systems are common in fleets across several industries, from construction to warehousing. However, they can also be more challenging to manage than some equipment, so businesses should optimize them wherever possible. That means capitalizing on electro-hydraulic automation technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT).

Like any new technology, IoT systems often incur high upfront costs and may require adjustment to get used to. Despite those challenges, the benefits of IoT connectivity far outweigh the potential obstacles. Businesses that can learn what these advantages are and apply them effectively can see considerable operational improvements as a result. 

Here’s what companies should know and the benefits they can reap from implementing IoT in electro-hydraulic systems.

Increased Uptime

Predictive maintenance is one of the most popular use cases for industrial IoT systems and an important part of electro-hydraulic automation. This practice uses IoT-connected sensors to monitor performance factors like hydraulic pressure, fluid viscosity or temperatures to determine when a machine needs repair. The sensors then alert employees when it’s time to maintain the equipment.

These real-time alerts enable faster responses to emerging maintenance concerns, enabling more effective fixes. As a result, companies can achieve previously unattainable levels of equipment uptime. Machine availability can increase by as much as 20%, and maintenance planning time can fall by 50%.

Even a modest improvement in uptime can translate into hours more of availability per year. That extra time gives companies more value from their electro-hydraulic systems, driving higher productivity and profits.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Fleets that implement predictive maintenance programs can enjoy benefits beyond uptime improvements. The most significant of these is a reduction in repair-related costs. U.S. companies spend $50 million annually on maintenance and repairs, so savings in this area can substantially impact the bottom line.

Using real-time IoT data to drive maintenance programs instead of running equipment to failure means companies can fix issues while they’re small. Electro-hydraulic repairs can quickly get expensive and complex, so preventing larger breakdowns like this is essential. Fleets will also raise operating margins by minimizing downtime.

The IoT also provides savings over conventional preventive maintenance. Because IoT-driven approaches are needs-based, they prevent unnecessary repairs and related downtime. As a result, they’re more cost-effective than reactive and standard, schedule-based repair methods.

Remote Accessibility

Electro-hydraulic automation in maintenance is not the only benefit of IoT connectivity. Connecting this equipment to IoT systems also makes them remotely accessible, so routine operations are much more convenient.

Some IoT setups let workers check on connected equipment from their phones. Managers could look at operational data or check maintenance logs without being physically near the machine in question. That leaves more time in the workday to focus on value-adding tasks.

Businesses can also use the IoT to control electro-hydraulic systems remotely. In some setups, that means letting employees make smaller adjustments for improved accuracy and performance, even from a distance. That level of control without the need to be close to the machine can significantly streamline operations and boost output quality.

Improved Safety

Being able to control electro-hydraulic systems remotely also makes operations safer. IoT technologies play a critical role in safety in several industries, and this accessibility is a key reason why. Workers who don’t have to be close to heavy equipment and hydraulic pinch points can use this machinery without worrying about its physical hazards.

Using the IoT for predictive maintenance will further improve equipment safety. These IoT-driven repairs will minimize the chances of an unexpected breakdown, preventing accidents that could endanger machine operators or nearby workers.

IoT sensors on electro-hydraulic systems can also communicate with other nearby sensors to avoid collisions. Machines that detect they’re getting too close to each other can alert workers or automatically shut off to prevent accidents. This electro-hydraulic automation will ensure even a lack of employee awareness won’t jeopardize workplace safety.

Machine-to-Machine Communication

This machine-to-machine communication has implications outside of safety. IoT sensors in electro-hydraulic equipment can send more than location data to other machinery. They can transfer a wide range of workflow data back and forth, letting every machine adjust to changing conditions in the equipment around it.

This communication helps businesses overcome one of automation’s biggest obstacles — a lack of flexibility. In a conventional setup, automated electro-hydraulic equipment couldn’t handle an error or disruption in an earlier part of the workflow. That’s because robotics operate on the assumption that factors remain consistent. IoT connectivity can alert these systems about incoming changes, letting them adjust ahead of time to stop small mistakes from causing significant issues.

Automated systems that can adapt like this are a safer investment. As a result, the IoT can make electro-hydraulic automation more practical and cost-effective for a wider range of businesses.

Long-Term Process Improvements

Fleets that implement IoT systems in their electro-hydraulic equipment to experience these other benefits will also unlock longer-term possibilities. IoT sensors provide hard data on the processes they monitor, and businesses can use it to learn where and how to improve.

Studies show that companies with mature data practices experience two and a half times better business outcomes than those without. That’s because having more information to base decisions on provides crucial context, informing more effective decision-making.

IoT data can show which electro-hydraulic systems require the most maintenance, suggesting what machines to replace and when to do so. Alternatively, it could show where this equipment is most and least effective, informing better usage practices. Companies that review and adapt to this information will become increasingly productive and cost-efficient over time.

IoT Connectivity Expands Electro-Hydraulic Automation

Electro-hydraulic automation is an important part of many operations, and IoT systems can take it further. Businesses that connect this equipment to the IoT can use it more safely, efficiently and in a wider range of applications.

Achieving these benefits starts with learning what this technology has to offer. Getting familiar with the IoT and its potential applications today can equip companies for a more tech-driven tomorrow. Capitalizing on that promise ensures businesses surge ahead of their less tech-friendly competitors.