Customers can choose any number of Interstacks’ 12 sensor module options to customize the variables they want to track. Examples of sensor capabilities include vibration, temperature, energy consumption, light levels, GPS, humidity and CO2 levels. As industrial and public services sectors move toward automation, their need to quantify, analyze and manage these variables becomes vital. It’s all part of the IoT phenomena, the premise that virtually everything will one day be connected to the Internet. By building machine-to-machine and machine-to-cloud communication pathways, Interstacks is creating a virtual IoT doorway for its customers.

The feature that differentiates Interstacks’ modules is their ability to circumvent the incompatibility of machine languages. Each module captures a specified type of data, translates it as needed, and then passes it along to the next module and the next, until the accumulation of data reaches the cloud where it is analyzed and sent back to a customer’s central dashboard. Customers can use the dashboard to determine what conditions should trigger notifications. “It works somewhat like a bank account,” says Kiliany, “where customers can receive a notification anytime their balance drops below a pre-determined threshold.”

In this case, Interstacks becomes that mobile notification system, sending alerts when factors critical to daily operations are outside normal allowances. For example, when temperatures are too high or vibrations are too strong, customers can receive alerts and intercept potential equipment failure or assess the need for operational adjustments. This continuous cycle of monitoring and analysis allows companies to respond rapidly so that they can increase efficiency, prevent downtime, and ultimately reduce costs.

An industry looking to hire

One final note to this story: Representatives from Aerotech, Interstacks and BOSS all agree that the manufacturing industry, poised for growth, is hiring as more companies align themselves with advances in 3D printing, smart devices, automation and other new technologies.

Aerotech’s Steve Botos sees the need to draw a new workforce into manufacturing. “It’s not a dirty industry,” he notes. “Aerotech and other manufacturers hire very skilled workers who have an opportunity to work in clean, modern and positive environments.” He believes that the manufacturing industry has plenty of opportunity for solid, family-sustaining wages and benefits. He offers this assessment: “If you have a thirst to work in a cutting-edge, forward-looking industry, then manufacturing is a great place to be.”

BOSS’s Greg Puschnigg echoes this thinking. “BOSS produces smart products that function based on the IoT, but that integration is not eliminating the need for other job sectors. Our business still relies on electrical contractors and installers, as well as traditional manufacturing trades that include precision CNC, machine tooling and assembly.”