Real-World Examples of Digital Manufacturing in Industry 4.0
Industrial 4.0, IIoT, and digitization are among the most discussed and discussed topics in manufacturing today.There’s still plenty of confusion about Industry 4.0, today we’ll explore the main technologies that are behind Industry 4.0, as well as applications in the real world.
Industry 4.0 in an easy to understand way
Industry 4.0 is signalling a shift in the manufacturing industry’s traditional landscape. Also called”the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0 includes three major technological developments which are driving this shift that are connectedness, intelligence as well as flexible automation.Industry 4.0 is a convergence of IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology), to create a cyber-physical ecosystem.This convergence was enabled by the rise of digital solutions as well as advanced technologies, often connected to Industry 4.0. They include:
- Industrial Internet of Things
- Big Data
- Cloud computing
- Manufacturing with additives (AM)
- Robotics with advanced technology
- Virtual and Augmented Reality (AR/VR)
These technologies help accelerate the digital transformation of manufacturing through connecting previously incompatible systems and processes by interconnecting computer systems throughout the supply and value chain.
Accepting Industry 4.0 digital manufacturing, digital manufacturing, and the inter connectivity that goes with it can bring a variety of benefits for businesses such as more flexibility, agility and operational efficiency.
Industrial Internet of Things
At the core of Industry 4.0 is the Internet of Things (IoT).Simply put, IoT refers to a network of physical devices that are digitally connected which facilitates transfer and communication of data via the Internet. These devices can range from smartphones and household appliances to automobiles and even buildings.
Industrial IoT is one subset that is part of Internet of Things, where different sensors and radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags electronic devices, software and other electronics are integrated into industrial machines and systems that gather real-time information about their performance and condition.IIoT is a vast field of applications including tracking and asset management being among the most significant applications for the technology in the present.
As an example, IIoT can be used in order to prevent stocking up or the understocking of inventory.
A way to do this is by using sensor devices that are fitted to shelves and weight devices to transmit inventory data into your management software for warehouses. Implementing such a system the warehouse allows managers to keep track of the level of inventory, and thus gain the real-time information and control of the inventory.
Let’s examine the way BJC Healthcare utilizes an integrated management of inventory system to make savings within the supply chain.
The company utilizes RFID (RFID) technologies to monitor and control thousands of medical equipment. RFID technology utilizes radio waves to read and record data stored on tags that are attached to an object like healthcare equipment.
In the past, monitoring inventory was lots of manual labour. However, logging inventory by hand isn’t easy as hospitals buy many different items from vendors and store lots of things on the premises for procedures that require specific items.
In certain instances, the date of expiration for products will require a close eye and the loss of stock could cause a lot of time spent performing the inventory check.
Big Data and Analytics
Big Data refers to the massive and complicated data sets produced from IoT devices. These data sets are sourced from a myriad of enterprise and cloud applications such as websites, computers sensors, cameras, and many more. It is all available in various types and formats.
In the manufacturing sector there are a variety of kinds of information to take into account, including information gathered from equipment that is equipped with sensors and databases generated by ERP CRM, ERP as well as MES systems.However, how do manufacturers transform the information they collect into useful business insights and real gains?
Based on analysis of data
In the case of data, data analytics is vital for converting data into information that provides useful insight.Data visualization can help in data analytics processes. In general, machine learning methods employ powerful algorithms for computation to process huge data sets. Data visualisation tools allow manufacturers to better comprehend the information that the data provides.
In the end, by using data sets that were previously unreliable and analyzing the data, companies are capable of finding new ways to improve processes to have the most effect on yield.
For many years, companies collect and keep data in the hopes of enhancing their processes.
But, due to the rise of IoT and Digital Manufacturing in Industry 4.0, the fact of the matter is that information is produced at an alarming rate and at high volumes making it difficult to manage manually. This calls for a system which can store and manage this data with greater efficiency.
This is the reason cloud computing is so important.
Cloud computing provides a way that lets users manage and store huge amounts of data stored on remote servers. It lets companies use computing resources without the need to create an infrastructure of computing on their premises.
Cloud computing is a reference to data saved on the “cloud”, accessed remotely through the Internet. Cloud computing isn’t an end-all-be-all solution by itself however it allows the use of other options that require massive computing power.
The ability of cloud computing to offer the ability to scale computing resources and storage space allows businesses to collect and use business intelligence by making use of Big Data Analytics, assisting companies to streamline and consolidate manufacturing and business processes.Globally, the spending of manufacturers in cloud computing systems is anticipated to be $9.2 billion by 2021 as per IDC. The main reason for this growth is the advantages of having the ability to centralize processes, removing the need for data to be distributed throughout an entire organization.
According to an IDC study, Quality Control, Computer-Aided Engineering, and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) are the top three widely used cloud-based applications.It is clear that cloud computing is revolutionizing the entire manufacturing process including workflow management, production processes – and even product quality.
Connected vehicles are a huge new development in the automotive industry. They have emerged as a chance to provide the customers with digital value-added services. The first car manufacturer who jumped onto this trend was Volkswagen who has partnered with Microsoft to create an online cloud platform, called”Volkswagen Automotive Cloud “Volkswagen Automotive Cloud”.
The technology, scheduled to be launched in 2020 will include various features, such as smart home connectivity as well as personal digital assistants and predictive maintenance service. It will also offer updates and media streaming.
While robotics have been utilized in manufacturing for a long time, Industry 4.0 has brought New life and meaning to this type of technology.Thanks to recent technological advancements, a brand new technology called advanced robotics is being developed, capable of completing challenging as well as delicate jobs. With advanced sensors and software that can detect as well as analyse and respond to the information they gather from their surroundings, and can even learn and collaborate with humans.
One area where robotics is growing in popularity includes collaborative robots (“cobots”) that are designed to be able to safely work around people to free people from repetitive and risky jobs.
A DHL distribution centre located in the Netherlands uses Fetch AMRs for pick and place tasks. At DHL AMRs, they autonomously move through the facility with the employees, learning automatically how to share the best routes for travel. Utilising autonomous robots as a result will reduce the cycle times by as much as 50% and deliver more than double the efficiency of picking According to DHL.
As robots become more autonomous and adaptable and collaborative and flexible, they’ll be able to handle more challenging assignments, freeing workers of monotonous work and boosting productivity on production lines.
Together with robotics, and other intelligent systems, additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing has become an essential technology that drives Industry 4.0. Additive manufacturing uses digital 3D models that are created to make parts using layers of 3D printers layer by layer.In the framework of In the context of 4.0, 3D printing is growing as a useful production technology that can be used digitally. It was once a purely rapid prototyping technique; nowadays, AM is a vast array of manufacturing options, ranging from tools to mass customization across all industries.It allows components to be recorded as designs in virtual inventories, which means it can then be manufactured at a moment’s notice and near the point of need which is a method that is referred to as Distributed Manufacturing.
This type of centralised manufacturing approach could reduce the distances to transport and thus costs and also simplify the management of inventory by using digital files rather than physical components.
The idea that a digital twin has huge potential for optimizing the efficiency and reliability of systems in the industrial sector. The global research company, Gartner, predicts that in 2021, 50% of industrial giants will be employing digital twins to control and monitor their processes and assets.Digital twins are digital representations of a live product or machine, process or system which allows businesses to understand, analyse and optimize their processes using real-time simulation.
While digital twins may be confused with simulations that are employed in engineering, there’s plenty more to this notion.Contrary to engineering simulations digital twin operates an online simulation using data from sensors attached to a device or device.
The use of digital twins has been a crucial instrument in the aerospace heavy machinery, automotive and aerospace applications. Today, advancements in the field of computing technology such as machine learning, sensors as well as sensors have widened the idea of digital twinning to other sectors.Teams in motor racing face the most challenging demands in terms of the development of products and American professional racing team Team Penske is no exception.
Despite its widespread use in the realm of consumer apps, manufacturing companies are only beginning to investigate the advantages that come with Augmented Reality (AR) technology. Yet, there’s an enormous untapped opportunity for the technology, ranging from aiding the assembly process to helping keep manufacturing equipment in good condition.
Augmented reality bridges physical and digital worlds by superimposing images or information onto physical objects. To achieve this, it uses AR-capable gadgets, like tablets, smartphones, or smart glasses.
Let’s consider a medical scenario for an example: an operating surgeon wearing AR glasses for a surgery procedure. The glasses could overlay information from the patient’s MRI or CT scans, including major blood vessels, nerves and ducts on the patient as well as highlight these in bright colour. This allows the surgeon to determine the most secure route to the region that is in need of invasion which reduces the chance of complications while increasing the surgeon’s accuracy.
In the manufacturing context, AR could enable workers to improve the speed of assembly and boost the process of making decisions. For instance, AR glasses could be utilized to project information such as layouts of assembly guidelines, locations of potential malfunctions or serial numbers of the component, onto the actual part, which can facilitate speedier and simpler work procedures.
Riding the Wave of Digital Manufacturing
With innovative, technological advancements appearing, it’s an exciting moment for the manufacturing industry. The emergence of technological advancements opens possibilities for businesses to move towards more efficiency, flexibility, and sustainability. Digital Manufacturing in Industry 4.0 will also open up new methods for machines and humans to collaborate, enabling companies to gain greater insight as well as reduce the risk of errors and make better decisions.
In the end, Industry 4.0 is set to spread throughout the entire Digital Manufacturing in Industry 4.0. However, only through understanding and harnessing the technology driving Industry 4.0 will manufacturing companies remain in the forefront of the new digital age.