In the professional environment, it is customary to say that the world is on the verge of large-scale changes in production. And the one who quickly adapts to the new reality will secure a confident position in the market.
In fact, these changes have already taken place, at least in the area of strategic planning. Back in 2018, PwC surveyed 1,155 manufacturing executives in 26 countries. The results demonstrated the growing interest of the industry in the implementation of digital solutions: about 2/3 of industrialists reported that they are planning or have already started modernization according to the Industry 4.0 concept.
For example, Germany expects to receive up to € 78 billion in additional profit in 2025 by modernizing its mechanical engineering, automotive and chemical industries. Equally ambitious plans for the introduction of innovations in France, the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Lithuania has become the flagship of Industry 4.0 in Eastern Europe. Increasing the pace of digital transformation is one of the points of its economic development strategy for the next 5 years. Every year, about € 1 billion is allocated here for the introduction of innovations in the industry, which pays off € 6 billion in income.
So what technologies can radically change the approach to organizing production? Let’s take a look at a few of the key areas that are most commonly used to build a holistic ecosystem.
This category includes all developments related to Extended Reality. This is not an innovative concept, but it was the rapid development of technologies for the creation of intelligent devices and specialized software that gave a new impetus to the direction. The growing interest of venture capital in narrowly focused Industrial Augmented Reality (IAR) solutions also played an important role.
Since 2018, giants such as Microsoft and Google have focused on creating applications that can meet the needs of the industry. A distinctive feature of such products is that they can be used on almost any device. Yes, you read that right: modern smartphones and tablets already support IAR applications.
Industrial augmented reality is used in manufacturing to solve key tasks:
– Remote collaboration
IAR technologies allow you to receive expert advice remotely and collectively solve complex issues. Many businesses use augmented reality diagrams, markers, and annotations to set production goals. Whereas OEM-companies (Original Equipment Manufacturer – manufacturers of original equipment) with the help of such innovations were able to expand the geography and increase the efficiency of services.
Industry in different countries is experiencing a shortage of qualified personnel. Augmented reality helps speed up operator training. Companies create interactive trainings and workshops that reduce trainee adaptation time by several times. An important advantage of AR over VR is lower technical implementation costs: you do not have to purchase special equipment to simulate full immersion scenarios.
– Simplification of assembly operations
Replacing printed instructions with virtual ones is an effective way to increase productivity and improve product quality. In particular, AR-based solutions are actively used on assembly lines for automotive and semiconductor production.
Artificial intelligence and data manipulation
An extensive cluster of technologies that improve the collection, processing, analysis and storage of production data. This category includes Machine Vision and Machine Learning, Big Data and Cloud Computing, Artificial Neural Networks and other AI-based software solutions.
Giants like Siemens are pouring tens of billions of dollars into integrating AI-related technologies. Among the most iconic developments are Mindsphere, IBM’s Watson Analytics and Click2Make. The listed products and the like allow you to control the technical condition of assets, adjust resource consumption and automate processes.
AI-based software solutions provide many benefits:
– effective control of product quality;
– optimization of the production process;
– predicting breakdowns and downtime;
– improvement of working conditions and personnel safety;
– reduction of harmful effects on the environment;
– quick adaptation to marketing changes in the market;
– logistics optimization;
– improved customer support.
Effective work with data is the shortest way to turn your enterprise into a Smart Factory. But even if you are at the very first rung of digital transformation, you should not think that innovation is not for you. You can always find the right solution from SmartEAM in order to get an increase in production efficiency in the near future.
The innovations listed above are difficult to implement in production, if you do not create a holistic communication structure. A structure that could independently collect, aggregate and transfer large amounts of data.
For these needs, IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) is provided – a set of technologies that can unite production sites, service services, suppliers and product consumers into a single network.
IIoT helps to build a fundamentally new business model and solve a whole list of tasks:
– effective planning of the line load;
– product control at all stages of its life cycle;
– increasing the level of automation and reducing risk factors;
– assessment of productivity and efficiency of asset use;
– predictive maintenance of equipment;
– creating a cooperative chain and establishing feedback;
– optimization of logistics and reduction of transaction costs.
The industry’s interest in such innovations is reflected by IndustryARC research, according to which the growth of the IIoT market for the period from 2018 to 2023 will be 24.4%.
The main consumers of such technologies are the processing industry, the automotive industry and the energy sector, but the future of IIoT is being considered even in the context of the space program. After all, such a tool is suitable for the autonomous implementation of scenarios associated with industrial conditions hazardous to humans.
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