Machine-to-Machine Technology

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As Seen in CFO Studio Magazine Q3 2015 Issue

THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF THE INTERNET OF THINGS

Machine-to-Machine technology — also known as M2M, or the Internet of Things — is bringing about huge changes to manufacturing, logistics, and many other business, according to CFOs who took part in a panel discussion titled, “The Evolution of Manufacturing: Machine-to-Machine Technologies, Predictive Analytics, and More.” It took place at the CFO Innovation Conference, attended by more than 400 CFOs and other executives.

The panel was moderated by Greg Libertiny, senior vice president, finance and business operations, of Theorem, a Chatham, NJ–based global digital marketing partner that works with some of the world’s most recognizable organizations.

M2M systems use sensors and other devices to capture temperature changes, movement, and other events, instantly alerting human or other operators about the changes. Panelists gave examples.

“If oil companies had an M2M sensor on the choke mouth [a device used to control pressure] of their oil wells, some serious accidents in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere may have been avoided, because monitors would have known that a problem was about to occur,” noted Michael Eldredge, a cofounder of American Sensor Technologies. The Budd Lake, NJ–based company manufactures pressure sensors, transducers, and transmitters.

“It’s getting easier and less expensive to monitor and track assets, like 56,000 WalMart trailers,” added Ned Mavrommatis, CFO and treasurer of I.D. Systems, Inc., a Woodcliff Lake, NJ—based global provider of wireless M2M solutions. “You can easily tell whether they’re fully loaded, and where they are at any time.”

M2M may also help companies to cut costs and increase productivity, chimed in Rob Weingartz, vice president finance at Arrow Fastener, a Saddle Brook, NJ–based leader in manual, electric, and cordless fastening tools. “Some companies move to low-cost countries to enhance productivity and cut costs, but M2M can help them do that right here,” he reported.

M2M can make a big difference for manufacturing companies, noted John W. Kennedy, CEO of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, a Cedar Knolls, NJ–based not-for-profit that offers guidance to New Jersey’s small to mid-sized manufacturers. —Martin Daks

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