New Industry 4.0 technology, spanning mobile computing to cloud computing, have experienced vast development in the last decade and are now ready to be used as commercially available, interconnected systems within manufacturing — this is Industry 4.0. It holds the key to accessing real-time results and data that will catapult the industry into new levels of lean achievements.
The notion of Industry 4.0 however, is not a straightforward one. It involves many technologies and is used in a variety of different contexts. These are the pieces that define Industry 4.0 at its center.
Each piece is similar in nature but, when integrated together, create capability that has never before been possible. In an effort to understand Industry 4.0, the following five terms are explained as they contribute to the next industrial revolution:
Big Data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for continuing discovery and analysis. Today data is accumulated everywhere, from systems and sensors to mobile devices.
The challenge is that the industry is still in the process of developing methods to best interpret data. It’s the evolution of Industry 4.0 that will change the way organizations and solutions within those organizations work together; teams will be able to make better, smarter decisions.
The notion of Smart Factory is the seamless connection of individual production steps, from planning stages to actuators in the field. In the near future, machinery and equipment will be able to improve processes through self-optimization; systems will autonomously adapt to the traffic profile and network environment.
Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), are an integral part of the Smart Factory, as their autonomous intelligence joins the factory together, allowing seamless operations.
When the Smart Factory is achieved, it is going to represent a pivotal shift for Industry 4.0, as the revolution will start to roll out across multiple verticals. Various markets spanning healthcare to consumer goods will adapt Industry 4.0 technologies initially modeled at the Smart Factory.
Cyber Physical Systems
Cyber physical systems are integrations of computation, networking and physical procedures. Computers and networks monitor and control physical processes with feedback loops; the physical system reacts, the system employs software to interpret actions and tracks results.
The notion centers around computers and software being embedded in devices where the first use is not computation; rather it is a loop of action and machine learning.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The internet of things is a simple term for a great idea. IoT is the connection of all devices to the internet and each other. As Wired said,”it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gather sensors; it is mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection.”
This interconnection will enable”smart factories” to take shape as equipment will utilize data to manufacture, move, report and learn at astounding rates, efficiently.
Interoperability is in essence what happens when we deliver the above elements together. It is the connection of cyber-physical systems, humans and smart factories communicating with each other through the IoT. In doing so, manufacturing partners can effectively share information, error-free.
Consider that no single company can dictate all its partners use the same software or standards for how the information is represented. Interoperability enables error-free transmission and translation.
Industry 4.0 technologies are propelling the manufacturing industry with new means of efficiency, accuracy and reliability.
Executives have visibility of real-time data and are able to make informed, educated decisions to positively impact KPIs and increase their operation.
This industrial revolution will collect, use and share data so that business can reach new heights in safety and efficiency, forcing the industry closer to the ultimate goal of lights-out manufacturing.