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3 Ways Contract Manufacturers Use IoT to Boost Sustainability (and Desirability)

Social and environmental consciousness among OEMs is on the rise and for good reason—62% of GenZ buyers prefer to buy from sustainable brands and the majority will gladly pay a premium up to 10% for guiltless products. This has big implications for contract manufacturers as the co-man trend continues to build, because OEMs seek facilities that will align with the ideals of their customers, not just the lowest bidder of reasonable quality.


1. Reduce Waste

Waste might as well be a four-letter word in the mouths of the sustainability minded. Waste means more landfill issues, plastics in our oceans, and a throwaway culture that squanders precious resources and destroys the Earth.

Modern contract manufacturers use industrial IoT devices to reduce waste in a couple of ways:

  • Reduce the number of scrap parts created
  • Reduce materials waste on tools that are replaced too quickly or so late as to cause damage to other equipment. 

IoT enables contract manufacturers to finetune their maintenance schedules. IoT devices like sensors or i/o data capture devices can monitor all of the equipment on a factory floor and provide details about when individual parts will need to be replaced. This process is called predictive maintenance and it can offer a leg up on scheduled maintenance. 

Utilizing data, CMs are able to use production equipment parts truly to their end of life at which point they either begin to cause quality issues or fully break down, often causing a host of other damages along the way. Instead, using historical and real-time data (usually with a low-latency Edge device), CMs are able to not only reduce scrap but also the number of parts and tools that were once simply thrown away but which often had perfectly functional uses within them.  (Not to mention all the fuel required to take those parts to the facility.)


IoT for Contract Manufacturers

2. Reduce Energy Inefficiency

A big part of going green comes for your relationship with energy. Contract manufacturers can utilize IoT both on the floor and throughout the building in order to reduce energy usage.

On a building-scale, IoT is often used to control utilities. This could include installing a smart thermostat, smart blinds, smart vents that optimize air flow, smart lights, or any other sort of smart utility. These types of devices help optimize energy consumption as well as offer convenience and comfort for employees.

On the floor, energy surges—as well as upticks in water usage and other utilities—can indicate impending tool failure. Contract manufacturers can use industrial IoT devices to monitor resource consumption on the production floor and get alerts about any potential problems that arise, leaving little room for excess resource usage to go unnoticed.


3. Eliminate Excess Inventory

Shipping, storing, and managing a lot of inventory takes resources. The more unchecked, excess inventory a contract manufacturer carries, the higher their impact on the planet. Additionally, carrying excessive inventory can lead to price hikes that OEMs are not likely to appreciate or even result in conflicts over inventory liability.

Using IoT data, contract manufacturers are able to enhance demand forecasting efforts so that less stock is required to stay within reasonable risk tolerances. IoT data used toward a predictive maintenance strategy means a smaller average repair inventory which translates to a smaller space to cool, heat, light, and manage for those items alone, reclaiming warehouse space for new project opportunities.


MachineMetrics is an industrial IoT platform that lets you collect data from any machine, analyze that data using edge computing, send it to the cloud for deeper analysis, generate digital twins of your factory floor, manage all of your assets, use predictive maintenance models to reduce your downtime, optimize all your processes in order of highest priority, keep your workers safe and happy, and so much more—all with a simple, color-coded dashboard that you can access anywhere.

Our tools can bolster your sustainability efforts and increase your desirability among OEMs by giving you unprecedented data collection speeds so you can optimize with greater accuracy than ever before. Book your demo today.


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