24/7 IIoT Monitoring is Now Mandatory

MODEX 2018 Series: Intersection of AGVs and 24/7 IIoT Monitoring – Part 1


by John Hayes, VP Marketing and Sales

For first-time MODEX attendees in Atlanta, April 9 – 12, the show floor can be overwhelming and exciting. For those immersed in lean manufacturing material handling issues and serious about researching and buying AGVs, MODEX 2018 is the place to be.

For attendees who bounce between ProMat (in Chicago every other year) or those returning to MODEX, the presence of AGVs is unavoidable. The robotic element of AGVs has captured massive media attention and many companies from 3PLs to fast-growing e-commerce organizations are hunting for the best solution. The impact of Amazon cannot be underestimated as the entire nature of omni-channel fulfillment, goods-to-person delivery, high labor demand, and low labor availability are driving toward the critical intersection of AGVs and 24/7 IIoT Monitoring.

Until this year, the idea of IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) data and AGVs was futuristic. Specifically, the idea of using data captured by automated guided vehicles always seemed like an obvious segue. All the data points have never been available and actionable in predictive analytics, maintenance, safety, and best-practice lean manufacturing value proposition. That has changed, thanks to Vecna Robotics (MODEX 2018 Booth B4987).

Over the next two months before MODEX, the Vecna Robotics blog is going to discuss the critical role of IIoT monitoring and AGVs. Vecna Robotics is pleased and proud to be the only AGV exhibitor at MODEX displaying exactly how this technology works.

Pie chart MODEX 2018 mandatory iiot part 1

IIoT is Mandatory with AGVs

No longer an option, no AGV should ever be purchased without IIoT monitoring. As part of industrial, manufacturing, and distribution innovation policy, companies in record numbers are striving for continuous improvement. Even 3-shift operations benefit when others objectively review plant floor operations and take mandatory corrective action.

Increasingly, companies are starting lights-out pilot projects at facilities with the objective of running the plants without operating staff. Vecna Robotics, with 24/7 IIoT Monitoring, can handle the transport of pallets to intermediate storage buffers automatically. The system also handles the flow of empty pallets to the production lines.

Lights-out intralogistics results in considerable staff savings, emphasizing the urgency and necessity of 24/7 IIoT Monitoring. Reduced damage is achieved thanks to automatic handling leading to additional savings and quality improvement.

Labor Shortage Driving AGVs with IIoT Monitoring

Jeanne Schweder wrote for Automation World that there are a number of reasons why companies consider lights-out processes.

  • Better product quality and throughput rates.
  • Reduced workplace injuries, particularly in hazardous environments like paint shops, where high temperatures and noxious gases can pose human dangers.
  • Difficulty finding workers, with an estimated two million manufacturing jobs going unfilled today.

Attracting skilled employees is particularly difficult for small and medium-sized companies that make up the bulk of the country’s manufacturing base. Though machines cannot replace human workers in many production processes, even the smallest companies are finding AGVs an easy-to-deploy solution for this worker shortage.

Further compounding this problem is the fast-approaching retirement age of many maintenance professionals. Vecna Robotics uniquely offers the 24/7 IIoT Monitoring

service with all AGVs because risking loss of life and productivity is not an option.


Author Profile
John Hayes, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Vecna Robotics, is a widely respected thought leader for the manufacturing, distribution, and material handling industries and a Supply & Demand Chain Executive “Pros to Know” recipient. For more than twenty years he has been evaluating, designing, developing, and implementing innovative software and hardware solutions with a particular focus in the AGV (automated guided vehicle) space. Contact John at john.hayes@vecna.com.