TechDogs-What You Don’t Know About "Smart Industry 4.0"

Manufacturing Technology

What You Don’t Know About Smart Industry 4.0

By TechDogs

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Remember that incredible machine that made breakfast in the 1968 classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? It was probably the closest thing to automation that the masses had seen. If you're scratching your head, confused, think of Robin William's automated breakfast machine from Flubber that made omelettes, toast and pancakes - right from cracking the eggs and mixing the batter to serving hot food at the table.

Now, imagine a similar Rube Goldberg-like machine operating on an exceptionally advanced level, helping manufacturing industries automate basic as well as highly complex processes. Every process could be repeated with the same reliability, speed and precision - doesn't matter if you're making omelettes or jets!

You can stop imagining now because this insane revolution is already underway. Presenting to you Smart Industry 4.0 - the next big thing in industrial tech!
TechDogs-"From Making Omelettes To Jets".The Smarter Way-Smart Industry 4.0

Things You Didn't Know About Smart Industry 4.0

Smart Industry is a manufacturing ideology that aims to simplify manufacturing and associated industrial processes through constant advancement, to a point where these processes can be entirely automated. Even if you can't see it, Smart Industry is a digital transformation that's taking place around you and changing the way manufacturing works. Much like what Elon Musk said, "Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself." (Did you really think an article about manufacturing tech could be complete without a quote from our favorite inventor!)

Smart Industry 40 technology is all about making large machines think and analyze, almost as humans do but on an advanced scale with more extensive data. In short, complete automation with machine learning is the new face of industrial technology. If you haven't guessed it already, Smart Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution. In this article, we will be looking at what Smart Industry 4.0 is, the history of previous industrial revolutions, the building blocks of Smart Industry 4.0, its importance and its potential future.

What Is Smart Industry 4.0?

Smart Industry 4.0 or Smart Manufacturing is the brainchild of the constant human drive to simplify mass-production and achieve the highest level of scientific advancement in the manufacturing process. The '4.0' denotes the current iteration - the fourth one - of the industrial revolution. To understand how it is different from the earlier industry norms and what changes it aims to bring, we need to first understand what IoT means.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects (things) embedded with sensors to connect various devices and exchange their data with each other over the Internet. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) involves intelligent machines with smart sensors and real-time analytics that leverage smart technology data that 'dumb machines' have produced in industrial settings for years.

This is what's new with Smart Industry 4.0.

The current revolution is ensuring that all machines are now recording and managing their data while also communicating with each other. Smart factories using smart machines are the key ingredient in the latest industrial revolution.

Think of a highly efficient person who remembers every detail you tell them. This person might seem potentially annoying but if you had someone like that to help you out with your production process, you would surely be much more efficient (thinking of Sheldon Cooper, anyone?)! Self-governing machines are gradually taking over work that humans have executed for decades - and they are much better at it!

These machines have improved working conditions and reduced occupational hazards for the manufacturing industry drastically.

Tracing Industrial Revolution Through The Ages

The world has undergone four major industrial revolutions. Understanding how they impacted the manufacturing fraternity will emphasize what Industry 4.0 means.
  • The First Revolution saw humans come up with techniques like farming, utilizing livestock and eventually inventing the complex steam engines.

  • In the Second Revolution which occurred in the 1900s, electricity and steel made their debut in factories. Rapid economic growth and the technological innovation allowed long railway lines to be laid and spread electricity to various remote regions. The concept of assembly lines got popular during this period. This, in turn, streamlined production processes and led to the installation of the first moving assembly line by Henry Ford.

  • During the Third Revolution, car assembly lines were computerized. A digital revolution took over almost every industry and many workers were replaced by machines. Smartphones are a product of this era.

  • The current revolution, i.e., the Fourth Revolution, levels up this digitization and computerization to create smart industries, smart cities and intelligent machines. 

Building Blocks Of Industry 4.0

TechDogs-Building Blocks Of Industry 4.0-Image Showing 9 Technologies Of Smart Industry 4.0- "IIoT, Machine-To-Machine Communication, Big Data, Simulation, Robotics, The Cloud, Augmented Reality (AR), 3D Printing, Cybersecurity"
Now that you know what Smart Industry 4.0 is, let’s look at the 9 technologies that make Smart Industry 4.0 - a revolution 
  • IIoT

    Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT is a cool digital technology that allows manufacturers to send information to machines as well as get machines to send out information for various operational functions. It's like an asset tracking control center that lets manufacturers use this information on the factory floor to modernize the way they work - almost like one boss computer system that can talk to all the little computers and machines linked to them.

  • Machine-To-Machine Communication

    We're not talking about machines standing around the water cooler talking about what Stephen did at the Christmas party, although that isn't too far a stretch. Self-automation and information exchange between machines in real-time is a highlight of the smart revolution. For example, if a machine at one manufacturing facility is down, another machine at another location can fill in without a human getting involved.

  • Big Data

    Imagine a large chunk of letters coming into your mailbox every day. It's up to you to segregate these letters; keep the ones you need and discard the ones you could do without. Big Data is exactly that. It's a large amount of information collected by an organization on a daily basis. This information is analyzed and 'segregated' or structured to retain what can be used for business strategy. Big Data is very important for businesses in the sense that it helps them take progressive decisions and adopt tactics that enhance efficiency.

  • Simulation

    A simulation can be used to create a virtual model of the machines to test and optimize how they will work in the physical world instead of building the entire product, testing it and then making modifications. Actual data can be used to check how the processes will be affected before making the change in the physical world. This means that engineers will now have better tools to view their designs and troubleshoot issues whenever necessary.

  • Robotics

    Not just any robot but autonomous robots like the Roomba with smart sensors that guide the machine across the floor to clean it. Robots can lift heavy materials, move and pack finished products without a micromanaging boss. Owing to their advanced algorithms, autonomous robots are capable of learning from past data and don't require a lot of set rules to carry out their duties.

  • The Cloud

    An intrinsic part of Industry 4.0 is Cloud services - the magic sauce that makes things happen. In industries, sensors communicate with systems in real-time, informing managers about the machines. This generates a large amount of data that is stored in the cloud for data analysis and monitoring the processes in real-time. A simple example would be watching your DoorDash delivery make its way to you in real-time. That's possible because of the cloud.

  • Augmented Reality (AR)

    When you hear ' Augmented Reality ', you are bound to think about gaming - especially Pokémon Go. There's no denying that games with virtual environments popularized this technology massively. However, Augmented Reality is more than that. The term 'augmented' itself means to enlarge or enhance. AR does exactly that - it 'enhances' your experience by adding a layer over an existing environment or, in more technical terms, the analog world.

    Picture a situation where there's a glitch in your manufacturing system. You open up the rear panel but it's too complex for you to comprehend - let alone solve the issue. A technician (who could be on another continent) can help you troubleshoot using AR, allowing him to add a virtual layer over the console showing exactly which cables are to be disconnected or which buttons to push and in what order!
  • 3D Printing

    This revolutionary technology assists manufacturers in creating 3-dimensional models of various manufacturing tools and prototypes. It helps industries visualise precisely and create complex designs. Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D Printing has overtaken conventional manufacturing in a wide array of fields like aviation, architecture, prosthetics, healthcare, forensics, consumer products, entertainment props and much more.

  • Cybersecurity

    Industry 4.0 presents a new reality where cybersecurity is more important than ever. Security becomes a top priority as more devices get connected to each other. This connectivity makes the system functional but it is also what opens each system up to vulnerability. Cybersecurity allows you to keep checks on threats when entire systems are digitized and accessible to almost anyone in the network.

What Is The Fourth Industrial Revolution Trying To Achieve? 

Advanced digitization brings immense technological benefits and advantages. IIoT connects machines and their sensors to computers and then connects this system to humans, who can get a deeper understanding of manufacturing processes and production systems. The machines improve the way humans work who, in turn, use data to enhance the efficiency of machines - that's what we call a win-win situation!  
With smart robots and automated machinery, manufacturers can get work done in lesser time and at a lower cost. Smart Industry also reduces the carbon footprint as one machine can carry out multiple functions, helping manufacturers work "smart" rather than "hard."
Another highlight of Industry 4.0 is that everything is digitized to create a well-oiled system that runs without human intervention. This eradicates human error as an AI (Artificial Intelligence) does most of the 'thinking'. Cyber-physical systems, a network of computers that behave according to algorithms, allow machines to make decisions independently in specific scenarios. An algorithm instructs a machine on what needs to be done, when, where and how.
In smart factory 4.0, machines are analyzed continually. This relentless exercise ensures that a poorly performing machine can be serviced before a possible breakdown. This foresight allows manufacturers to design a maintenance budget, plan for potential repairs and stay away from "surprise expenses."
As a result of all the reduced errors, lesser downtime, better efficiency, improved safety, etc., expenses will go down drastically. Impressive!

What's Next After Industry 4.0?

TechDogs-What's Next After "Industry 4.0?"-Human Hand Touching Digital Interface To Create A Symbiotic Relationship Complementing Each Other
Industry 5.0 (sometimes called Society 5.0) emphasizes the need for collaboration between humans and technology. It aims to create a symbiotic relationship complementing each other, not replacing humans with machines. This is how a Cobot (Collaborative Robot) concept came about - a robot made to interact and work with humans in a shared workspace. Robots are meant to assume the risk of dangerous tasks and the monotony of repetitive work. The machine does the grunt work while humans are free to focus on creativity.
With Industrial iot 4.0 already in progress, you could get your own Bicentennial Man someday to take care of your housekeeping while you relax at the beach with your favorite book sipping on a Mai Tai!

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Smart Industry 4.0Smart Industry Smart Manufacturing Industrial Revolution 4.0 Industrial Revolution Fourth Industrial Revolution Technology Infrastructure Machine Learning Big Data 3D Printing Cloud Computing Data Analysis Benefits Of Smart Industry 4.0 Smart Industry 4.0 Solutions Smart Factory Technology Smart Industry 4.0 Benefits

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