Dr Mohd Syahiran Abdul Latif
KUALA LUMPUR, April 15. The private sector must embrace new technologies in order for the country to accelerate its economic recovery, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
As a society and as marketers, we’ve moved into embracing a brave new world bursting with myriad emerging technologies so quickly that we don’t take the time to understand the interconnections.
Industry 4.0 advances traditional manufacturing with the connectivity and computing power of the digital world. The benefits are transformative as smart automation increases product quality and productivity. Say goodbye to downtime and the lost revenue that goes with it. Say hello to the productivity and efficiency of industry 4.0.
Downtime is one of manufacturing’s most pressing challenges, negatively impacting revenue by 10 to 20 percent. A single minute of downtime can cost an automotive manufacturer $22,000, and the average cost of unplanned downtime for process industries, such as chemical and petrochemical, per year-- a staggering $20B.
And then there are the priceless losses—time and attention away from potential new business and missed opportunities to innovate and focus on new products.
The advanced technologies of industry 4.0 automate the collection and analysis of machine data, enabling predictive maintenance that anticipates and corrects potential issues and failures before they occur.
As an example, in milling machines, spindles have a tendency to break, leading to expensive repairs. But thanks to predictive maintenance, ultrasonic sensors collect data on each spindle, which is analyzed for any pattern that suggests a fragile spindle. From there, an alert flags the issue for scheduled maintenance.
The disappearance of downtime will have an immediate impact on quality, cost and efficiency. Smart automation, as part of modern manufacturing, has the potential to reduce total machine downtime by 30 to 50 percent and reduce the cost of quality by up to 20 percent. Overall, automated solutions can increase productivity in technical professions by 40 to 55 percent.
Alleviating downtime can add the previously lost 10 to 20 percent of revenue back as profit.5 Companies can also reallocate investments in time and resources to other important growth areas, like product design and development, as well as new business.
A more self-governing factory is an investment in a company’s workforce, as well. Automation frees up employees for more value-add activities, while others can work alongside robots that perform tasks too difficult or dangerous for human beings to perform alone.
Machine learning (ML) allows data gathered from machines to be processed constantly. This gives the machines self-awareness and intervention capabilities that ensure the long-term protection of machine health. ML algorithms can also predict remaining useful life (RUL) of machines.
Smart automation enhances big data analytics and insights through feedback sensors in robotic assembly, making operations far more predictable within the smart factory. Predictive algorithms can even automate machines responses to potential issues or the placement of work orders.
A world without downtime means new levels of quality and efficiency that boost revenue, increase sustainability and ignite innovation for your business. The ability to predict will make your organization more agile in the face of market changes. A trusted partner can help you leverage modern manufacturing to automate your production and start reaping the benefits.
Learn more about how Flex is enabling smart automation and other industry 4.0 capabilities, like machine-to-machine learning and additive manufacturing.
That means it connects machinery, products, people and systems so as to enable processes that are largely automated. Companies can produce goods more efficiently, flexibly and cheaply in a smart factory.
We are at the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution. Known as Industry 4.0, it is proving to be a turning point for the automotive industry. While most automotive facilities are in a phase of evolving seamless human–machine connectedness,
Industry 4.0 might sound like a SimCity-style tycoon game, but it's really the biggest shift to hit global manufacturing since automation. Centered around advanced robotics and automation,
New Industry 4.0 technologies, spanning mobile computing to cloud computing, have undergone vast development in the last decade and are now ready to be used as commercially available, interconnected systems within manufacturing – this is Industry 4.0. It holds the key to accessing real-time results and data that will catapult the industry into new levels of lean achievements.
The concept of Industry 4.0 however, is not a simple one. It envelops many technologies and is used in a variety of different contexts. There are five pieces that define Industry 4.0 at its core. Each piece is similar in nature but, when integrated together, create capability that has never before been possible. In an effort to understand Industry 4.0, the following five terms are explained as they contribute to the next industrial revolution:
As per Forbes, Big Data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis. Today data is collected everywhere, from systems and sensors to mobile devices. The challenge is that the industry is still in the process of developing methods to best interpret data. It’s the evolution of Industry 4.0 that will change the way organizations and solutions within those organizations work together; teams will be able to make better, smarter decisions.
The concept of Smart Factory is the seamless connection of individual production steps, from planning stages to actuators in the field. In the near future, machinery and equipment will be able to improve processes through self-optimization; systems will autonomously adapt to the traffic profile and network environment. Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), are an integral part of the Smart Factory, as their autonomous intelligence connects the factory together, allowing seamless operations.
Leading by example is the Siemens Electronic Works facility in Amberg, Germany. Smart machines coordinate production and global distribution or a built-to-order process involving roughly 1.6 billion components. When the Smart Factory is achieved, it will represent a pivotal shift for Industry 4.0, as the revolution will begin to roll out across multiple verticals. Various markets spanning healthcare to consumer goods will adapt Industry 4.0 technologies initially modelled in the Smart Factory.
Cyber physical systems are integrations of computation, networking and physical processes. Computers and networks monitor and control physical processes with feedback loops; the physical system reacts, the system uses software to interpret actions and tracks results. The notion centers on computers and software being embedded in devices where the first use is not computation; rather it is a loop of action and machine learning.
The internet of things is a simple term for a grandiose concept. IoT is the connection of all devices to the internet and each other. As Wired said, “it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gather sensors; it’s mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection.” This interconnection will enable “smart factories” to take shape as equipment will use data to manufacture, move, report and learn at astounding rates, efficiently. Click here to learn how the industrial IoT drives productivity in factories.
Interoperability is in essence what happens when we bring the above elements together. It is the connection of cyber-physical systems, humans and smart factories communicating with each other through the IoT. In doing so, manufacturing partners can effectively share information, error-free. Consider that no single company can dictate all its partners use the same software or standards for how the information is represented. Interoperability enables error-free transmission and translation.
From 3D prints to self-driving vehicles, Industry 4.0 technologies are propelling the manufacturing industry with new means of efficiency, accuracy and reliability. The level of intelligence offered today is only the beginning for what is to come.
Self-driving vehicles (SDVs) are a primary example of this technological evolution. Compared to their predecessors (autonomous guided vehicles), SDVs offer industrial centers increased flexibility and efficiency, higher throughput rates, and a faster return on investment. They move through plants with purpose, finding the most efficient route to their final destination by way of infrastructure-free navigation (no beacons, magnetic tape or cables). Onboard intelligence provides obstacle avoidance to ensure safe, collaborative work environments. Meanwhile, SDVs such as OTTO also offer intuitive light signals, much like vehicles on outdoor roads, to effectively communicate behaviors like turning, stopping, or parking. SDVs collect and share data from within the fleet, whether that fleet is used in one facility or many. Therefore, executives have visibility of real-time data and are able to make informed, educated decisions to positively impact KPIs and grow of their operation.
SDVs are only one example of how Industry 4.0 is going to transform the manufacturing sector. This industrial revolution will collect, use and share data so that industry can reach new heights in safety and efficiency, driving the sector closer to the ultimate goal of lights-out manufacturing.