Waste Management Gets Sexy With Smart Sensor Tech

8 February 2018 Admin Leave a comment Blog

Garbage.

Everyone creates it.

No one wants to separate the recycling.

And no one likes to haul it to the curb.

Let’s face it, the business of garbage isn’t very appealing. Nor has the business of garbage disposal changed much over the years. Waste is constantly being created – then has to be collected and hauled away. Since the beginning of civilized society, often the lowliest of citizens took on the unpleasant task of waste removal.

As industries go, waste management is decidedly unsexy.

But now the waste industry is upping its sex appeal with innovative technology. Leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT), waste operations are being transformed with slick, new remote monitors and sensors that are changing the garbage game.

IIoT – The Industrial Internet of Things

In the last couple of years, the use of IoT devices has exploded, offering internet-controlled advancements for everything from health trackers to connected cars.

A recent Gartner report pegged IoT device use at 8.4 billion connected “things” in 2017 – more devices than there are people on the planet, and growing. Fast. Experts estimate 50 billion IoT objects by 2020.

All smart, connected devices have three components:

1. Physical – sensor, detector or monitor
2. Smart – operating system, digital interface, data capture
3. Connected – enables communication over a network

When people talk of the “internet of things”, they mostly refer to consumer IoT devices (CIoT) comprised of offerings like smart home connected solutions and wearable tech. But IoT is having a massive impact on businesses as well – that’s the Industrial internet of things (IIoT) – a market predicted to be $330B US by 2020.
Industrial IoT, also referred to as the “Industrial internet” and “Industry 4.0”, incorporates several components that operate together, making it a rather different and a more complex beast than consumer IoT applications. Techtarget’s definition of IIoT:

IIoT incorporates machine learning and big data technology, harnessing sensor data, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and automation.

They also point out that smart machines are “better than humans at accurately capturing and communicating data, able to pick up on inefficiencies and problems sooner, saving time and money. IIoT also holds great potential for quality control and sustainable and green practices.”
Half of all businesses now have significant Industrial IoT programs in operation, concluded this global study, far greater than integrations of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions or robotics. Enterprises large and small without specific IoT initiatives in place report various stages of investigation, planning or pilots.

Entire industries, especially those that have not seen major advancements in recent years, are being transformed with IIoT solutions for its two biggest benefits: improved efficiency and cost savings. Existing automated industrial systems are enjoying a renaissance with IIoT smarts that bring new sensor technology and the ability to share valuable data from participating components.

IIoT for Waste Management

Waste management is a key industry leveraging Industrial IoT for better efficiencies. Waste removal operations that have always relied on strict hauling schedules no longer have to. With IIoT-controlled remote fullness monitoring, haulers can now optimize collection routes based on which sites actually need collection – enabling them to free up resources for other things like expanding their businesses.

Real-time monitoring in this new “on-demand hauling” scenario is cutting waste management overhead for waste makers by up to a whopping 60 percent. For industries that are the heaviest waste producers (retail, municipalities, food, healthcare), this translates into significant reductions in waste hauling expenses. Sensors enabling predictive maintenance also bring measurable ROI, keeping equipment running optimally and avoiding emergency service calls.

Remote monitoring with Industrial IoT technology is helping remove wasteful operations from the business of waste. What’s more, scheduling waste pickups as needed reduces our collective carbon footprint.

As more industries implement smart, connected technologies, the result will be lower overhead, cost savings, tighter operations, and fewer wasted resources – all thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things.

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