Industry 4.0: Trends in 2017

  • Advanced manufacturing, intelligent optimization systems, automation, flexibility and digitization in control processes, will be some of the solutions to consider this year.
  • Adopting and deploying remote systems will enable real-time work, time savings, improved quality and productivity in many operations.

The continuous advances in Spanish industry have highlighted the importance of adapting to the so-called Industry 4.0. The objective of digital transformation is none other than to facilitate the day-to-day life of workers and intermediaries, while reducing production costs. Keyland, a company owned by Vector ITC Group and Grupo Antolín, points to the trends that are redefining this industry.

Increased embedded technology solutions with multiple applications

There will be a significant increase in the implementation and adoption of technological tools, to facilitate both the management of remote maintenance of products and equipment, as well as self-management. The technological evolution of control systems, sensors and artificial intelligence together with the new technologies that incorporates the Internet of Things, has made possible the production of self-managed products and equipment, in part or in total, offering great advantages to manufacturers and customers, with different applications.

These tools allow you to optimize and automate the after-sales service through remote collection of product/equipment information, with alerts, alarms, and other functions. In addition, it allows you to act remotely on the product/equipment to solve problems or prevent major damage or improve its performance

In this sense, remote services will be incorporated from both the manufacturer itself and third parties. In this way, you can give visibility to the product/team through portals, Service Apps, which report in real time the situation of the same, and where even customers can request or activate remote additional components or services. These tools improve product/team suitability to customer needs and behavior

Advanced manufacturing

Cyberphysical systems already in many companies are expanding, transversal and vertically. First for the ease of sensoring and controlling all the elements to optimize both measurement and control, as well as planning industrial operations, and secondly by improving integration with other systems and platforms, such as reality mobility applications, and advanced optimization and decision-making solutions, such as for trend analysis and prediction systems.” says Jorge Pereira, CEO of Keyland. These advanced feature sets within the Industrial environment have been incorporated into traditional systems, resulting in what is known as advanced manufacturing.

Smart optimization systems

One of the greatest advances has been in the field of intelligent systems, which can be useful for production processes, maintenance of equipment and facilities, routes (internal/external), planning and prediction and optimization of resources.

This revolution comes not from the advancement of statistical, predictive, simulation or optimization techniques and algorithms, but because of the technological ability to massively process large volumes of data, and perform calculations or analysis quickly and dynamics (real-time calculation variables are changed and simulations are performed). Another significant evolution has been the ability of some technologies to collect and store a large volume of information (millions of data), and now in addition to being efficient, they are relatively inexpensive and scaleable technologies.

Automation and flexibility

Industry 4.0 is characterized by the way it has brought together a number of new technologies integrating them with current ones to improve industrial processes. In this sense, 3D printing, for example, has enabled the production of components, tools or new designs in real time, relatively inexpensively and adapted to specific needs

This automation has also led to the advent of collaborative robotics, which allows to incorporate in open environments of automations that were traditionally not feasible. For example, for manual handling of high weight parts, performing repetitive picking tasks, visual control according to part type or requirement, or welding in complex situations.

The flexibility of these processes allows sensorization and action at specific control points, which integrates with intelligent positioning systems and allows to work with information in ubiquity and real time, automating operations, taking stockings, and other processes.

AGVs, self-guided systems for the transport of tools or equipment, or mobile telecare/telemaintenance systems with video and audio are also evolutions, already highly implemented, that save time, and improve quality and productivity in many operations

Digitizing control processes

Many of the processes of control, quality and information collection have traditionally been seen as manual processes, because of the complexity of them, the difficulty of operating in real time with HMIs in different locations, or the lack of mobility of some equipment. Improving omnichannel operations, and new work devices such as industrial tablets, augmented reality goggles or helmets, and their integration into new user interfaces have significantly improved both quality and ease and control mechanisms for these operations.