The confluence of smart sensors and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to redefine the industrial world. Experts believe a wave of new technologies is creating the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0. Defined by the trend of large industrial enterprises adopting automation, machine learning (ML) and real-time insights and configuration, Industry 4.0 will make global industrial operations smart and efficient. Industry 4.0 comprises of four key pillars: Industry 4.0 will lead to the creation of Smart Factories with machines that can communicate with each other. Backed by AI and a wealth of insights from raw data, these machines could be empowered to configure production processes and make modifications in real-time to optimize operations.
FANUC, the world's largest maker of industrial robots, plans to start connecting 400,000 of their installed systems by the end of this year. The goal is to collect data about their operations and, through the use of deep learning, improve performance. Similarly, Kuka is building a deep-learning AI network for their industrial robots. FANUC is now moving forward to connect all its manufacturing robots. The system proactively detects and informs of a potential equipment or process problem before unexpected downtime occurs.
In many manufacturing plants today, monitoring is a highly manual process. FOURDOTONE Teknoloji analyzes data from sensors to enable manufacturers to respond immediately to problems, and predict when machines are likely to fail. Downtime can be expensive, and in a tightly coupled manufacturing line a problem with one machine can have an impact on the entire factory. For many factories, avoiding downtime is a matter of luck rather than science: machine inspections are infrequent, and only capture what's visible to the eye. Data is gathered from the machines and analyzed in the factory, enabling an immediate response to emergencies or imminent problems.
Edge Computing (EC) allows data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) to be processed near its source, rather than sending the data great distances, to data centers or a Cloud. More specifically, Edge Computing uses a network of micro-data stations to process or store the data locally, within a range of 100 square feet. Prior to Edge Computing, it was assumed all data would be sent to the Cloud using a large and stable pipeline between the edge/IoT device and the Cloud.
The internet of things (IoT) can deliver benefits for companies in a variety of industries: Retail, healthcare, logistics/supply chain, etc. IIoT incorporates big data/analytics and machine learning technologies to glean insights from data gathered from production equipment, products, and sensors in industrial settings. Manufacturers can use the data to discover inefficiencies, cut costs, and improve customer service. IIoT can provide better quality control, more efficient supply chains, and sustainability. One company that's banking on IIoT is Rexnord Corp., which has a Process and Motion Control (PMC) platform that designs, manufactures, and services highly engineered mechanical components used within complex systems, where customer reliability requirements and the cost of failure or downtime are extremely high. The company's bearings, couplings, and gears are used at facilities such as power plants and mining operations, and its conveyer components help customers in manufacturing make everything from cars to food.