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#Connected Machines : Industrial Revolution 4.0

Mahesh Mutalik

"Industry 4.0 has been recognized as the future of manufacturing, and the future for India is in ensuring its position as the leading player in adopting Industry 4.0 across the industry. The benefits of Industry 4.0 include improved productivity and efficiency, better flexibility and agility, and increased profitability. Industry 4.0 advantages have nothing to do with the size of the company, and its implementation can be done with low investment and with the existing infrastructure. Let’s understand a bit more about Industry 4.0."

Evolution of Industry

Since last three centuries we are experiencing the industrial revolution. It has begun since 1760 since the inception of steam engine and its usage in the industry. The latest avatar of this evolution has been known as Industry 4.0 in Europe and the same is known as Smart Manufacturing in the U.S. The latest avatar is all about Interconnected Smart Machinery.

What is Industry 4.0?

Today we are on the verge of entering era of Industry 4.0; in which machines, computers and automation will come together. Robots/machines will be connected remotely to computers equipped with the machine learning software. This software can learn and control the robotics with very little input from human operators.

Industry 4.0 will enable integration of software and machines to monitor the operational parameters and process parameters of the factory and also enable them to make certain corrective decisions on their own. With internet of things machines and processes both will communicate and cooperate with each other and with human in real time.

In simple terms the Industry 4.0 can be achieved with following basic components: 1. You have existing machine or manually operated machine, PLC based or CNC machine 2. There are sensors, PLCs that collets the information from the machine 3. Software that collects the data and further analyze it These components combined together forms a basic structure for the Industry 4.0.

Cybersecurity will be an important part of industry 4.0 since industrial processes and information systems will be fully interconnected. The interconnection of all products will lead to massive data and metadata. With globalization, production has already spread over various locations, subcontractors and partner companies and along the value chain, it will be very rarely stored by a single company at a single location. Cloud Computing will provide the technological basis for the provision of data. Additive manufacturing will facilitate mass customization of products with higher level of flexibility using decentralized production capacities and greater level of resource efficiency adapting green technology.

Augmented Reality will enable us in automating and digitizing the way we do our work. So it will provide us the ability to present complex sets of information more easily to people. Under Industry 4.0, big data analytics will be useful in predictive manufacturing and will be a major theme for industrial technology development. It will assist manufacturers in maintaining a competitive edge in operational management control, improving their production efficiency and yield rates.

Industry 4.0 applications

There are a huge variety of Industry 4.0 applications, which helps industry to improve the efficiency, energy consumption and making sure there will not be any sudden breakdown. The machine can be anything at all – a manually operated machine, PLC based machine, CNC, robot. The sensor can measure cycle start/end, machine on/off, pressure, temperature, vibrations or any other parameter. The software can take the decision based on the data for e.g. software can shut down the machine if there’s a tool breakage; it can monitor vibrations and acoustics for predictive maintenance, inform people that a particular part needs to be changed; it can track machine run hours for preventive maintenance; it can make scheduling or purchasing decisions to maintain the inventory based on actual production, or do a bunch of other things. The OEM’s can keep a watch on the health of their machines remotely.

1. Machine monitoring for production and productivity: You can track the part counts on every machine, and generate reports for further analysis. You can track and improve OEE, A, P, Q. 2. Supply Chain: The production monitoring system tracks the part count produced by the machine. The information received from machines can be used by a purchase system to update the available row material and keep a 3. Part Traceability 4. Scheduling: The data received from the machines can be used by the Scheduling system to make the adjustments in the production plans. 5. Maintenance: You can track the running time of the machine and condition of various parts, generate reports and alerts for preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance. 6. Inspection These are some of the applications of Industry 4.0 applications, which are inside the factory and for shop floor. There are lots of other applications, which can bring the external stakeholders together in the production process.
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