Industry 4.0 is currently immensely popular with a very good reason. It is termed as the “factory of the future” with its interconnected components and processes. This is also with reference to the great industrial revolutions of the past
What is Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0, Industrie 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution, is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things and cloud computing. Industry 4.0 creates what has been called a “smart factory”.
1st Revolution: Water Steam
2nd Revolution: Electricity
3rd Revolution: Automation
4th Revolution: Cyber physical Systems
The core of the Digital Industry 4.0 is highly intelligent connected systems that create a fully digital value chain, the 4th industrial revolution enabled by the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT).
Every technological Revolution has altered the way we live, work and relate to each other. The difference in the scope of visualization of a machine in the current generation to that of it a couple of years ago are gigantic. These days it’s all about sharing information and the internet has completely changed the way we access and share information.
How can 4.0 be enabled?
Overview of Functioning of Smart Factory:
Data is collected with a variety of sensors.
Data is collected from the energy generated by the machine to the damages it is bearing.
The factory is self-aware. “It knows, when the man needs rest, it knows when a machine needs to be replaced or repaired, it knows the humidity, temperature, everything.
This data that is collected goes through pre-analysis (meaning to convert it to a language that can be processed for analysis) and then the analysis happens and course correction is initiated wherever required,”
Digital 4.0 is a combination of communications, IT, data and physical elements. This advancement in technology has given rise to that of smart factories. In these Smart factories, machines talk to products and other machines, objects deliver decision-critical data and information is processed and distributed in real time resulting in profound changes to the entire industrial ecosystem.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) has already changed many areas of our lives, so how can the industry be at an exception. Today, the industrial internet of things is growing at about double the rate of the consumer internet. IoT has made it possible to connect all the phases of the production process i.e. machines, products, systems and people. This process enables machines and products to manage and communicate with each other.
Thus here to the software-based systems and service platforms bridge the connectivity, include data analysis between machines and the work pieces.
These Industry 4.0 solutions gather, visualize, analyse and monitor machine processes and the data from the sensors. This data is then translated into useful information that serves as a source of process analysis and improvement. Thus allowing to determine the optimization of production processes in the complete manufacturing chain.
Industry 4.0 is made possible by smart objects, autonomous products and decision-making processes which manage manufacturing and production networks in close-to-real-time.
Solutions provided through Industry 4.0:
• Manufacturing Analytics tools & Services
• Production Management
• Quality of the Processes Management
• Maintenance Manager
• Management of Remote Services
Benefits of Industry 4.0 Solutions:
• Optimization of production
• Optimization of logistics processes
• Collection and Analysis of machine and sensor data
• Collection and Visualization of machine and process data
• Transparency in data visibility
• Tracking the flow of material
• Reduction in faults
• Prevents the downtimes
Key Trends bought in by Industry 4.0:
The key trends that are bringing in the lifestyle changes for industrial companies and their employees today are:
• Controlling the flow of materials, goods and information, enabling faster decision-making, and a simplification of reporting are all benefits that organizations can expect from the move to Industry 4.0.
• Intelligent materials will inform machines how they need to be processed; maintenance and repair will be directly initiated by the components of the intelligent factory plant; and rigid production lines will be transformed into modular, efficient systems.
• Ultimately, the entire lifecycle of a product could be fully documented.
• Whilst a fully functioning Industry 4.0 may be a futuristic concept at this stage, progress already happening and will gradually lead to a comprehensive transformation and major changes at every enterprise level