The concept of industry 4.0 emerged in world, where it is widely used in the manufacture of consumer goods. It is important to keep in mind that this concept is different from the so-called IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things).
Industry 4.0 involves the evolution and development of the industry in order to integrate the automation of the shop floor with the management levels of the organization encompassing the entire value chain of the organization.
Thus, this concept involves computerizing, integrating and generating value, from the acquisition of data at all corporate levels. To this end, this new industrial revolution makes use of concepts used in information systems, such as big data and Internet of Things . These are applied or integrated to industrial equipment and systems, in an effort to integrate all manufacturing systems, generating more accurate and real-time information.
Thus, we come to the great challenges that define the success or failure of implementing industrial systems that intend to use this new concept:
IoT and industry 4.0 are different things
IoT Yes, we have said this before, but equipment manufacturers sell IoT as industry 4.0 solutions, taking advantage of the fact that this concept is still not well understood by a good portion of professionals.
The big challenge, in this case, is to realize that the internet of things is a great ally, but not a complete solution.
It is necessary to properly understand how to extract the maximum potential from the new functionalities that industrial equipment brings on board.
With that, we can use them in favor of guaranteeing a better performance of the whole system, as well as extracting information that is relevant for the generation of useful information at all levels of the corporation, from the factory floor, to the report on the president’s desk .
Asset management is key
Asset managementThere is an increasing talk about asset management in the industrial environment. This concept, however, is mainly associated with instrumentation or industrial networks.
Okay, these were the areas that implemented this type of approach more quickly, but a system that intends to fully implement industry 4.0 must appreciate the performance and monitoring of all industrial assets, and not just a portion.
Big data is not an abstract concept
Big data If you were attentive, you realized that the previous challenges involved generating an enormous amount of information.
You can choose to handle all of this data on local servers and use dedicated database technologies. However, the financial effort to be spent to make this a reality is very large.
Big data emerges as a very interesting solution, as it reduces investment in IT infrastructure. In addition, as this type of system is cloud-based, it allows information to be accessible from anywhere in the world.
Thus, as long as you have access to the internet, you can access all types of reports available in the system.
Integrating is possible
It is not enough that we have information available on a large scale if we do not do something useful with it.
The availability of data allows its use in systems that do not have a direct connection with industrial production. Thus, the information can be used in logistics systems, inventory control, among others.
With this integration, it becomes possible to automate activities that were previously 100% dependent on human intervention. Thus, efficiency is increased and the error rate for indirect processes is reduced.
Where are we and where are we going in Industry 4.0?
The world is still trying to understand how best to use existing technologies to implement these new concepts. There are still few practical applications that can be used as successful cases, most of them in world. The trend, however, is that by 2025 more than 80% of European industries will have adopted similar models.
And do you believe that industry 4.0 represents a major challenge for engineering in the coming years? Feel free to make your comments.