one that will be at the origin of the factory of the future: industry 4.0 . The 4th industrial revolution was introduced with two essential goals: to produce better and to produce more intelligently. It is for this reason that we are already calling the ” smart factory “. » Factory 4.0: an intelligent, “Industrial revolution 4.0”, “factory 4.0” or simply “revolution 4.0”, so many terms to name the more efficient and interconnected factory that will operate according to IIoT technology, among others. Many so-called “old” industry technologies are still widely used today and have proven their reliability, however, it is the new technologies that are at the heart of this immense change.
New technologies represent a very wide range of equipment and software which, when connected, can transform a manufacturing company into the factory of the future and that is why in this article we are going to present to you some of the major technologies that we find at the heart of this industrial revolution.
The current industrial world requires ever more exchanges of data and information to be processed and it is mainly on this issue that artificial intelligence will work at the heart of industry 4.0 . It is no longer a question of summarising data as we know it, it is now necessary to exploit all this data in order to always be one step ahead: to deduce trends, to make predictions on the behaviour of the data in time, among other things. Some solutions are beginning to emerge, mainly based on deep learning.
The methods associated with the latter allow automatic learning with a high level of abstraction related to the observation of data. Concretely, this data can make it possible, for example, to predict the risks of slowdown or failure or to optimise a production chain. Artificial intelligence can now be used sensibly and wisely thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things. Nevertheless, AI still has a long way to go, especially when it comes to automated decision-making. For the moment, applications in this direction are only in their infancy and mostly offer effective solutions in “guided” decision-making.
This technology is a technique that allows live viewing of objects or physical environments in an improved way through the use of a digital medium, such as a tablet or smartphone, for example. Augmented reality can play an important role in Industry 4.0 , especially at the heart of industrial maintenance. Indeed, today the complexity of machine maintenance has increased and augmented reality through a tablet, for example, can inform and train operators in a didactic and visual way at the heart of production. The worker visualises in real time a machine that he observes through his tablet and the scene is “zoomed” in order to visually provide the most relevant and explanatory information.
Virtual reality immerses you in another world. While augmented reality will enlarge your visual field and clarify it, virtual reality, on the other hand, takes you to another reality where you can go so far as to interact with the elements that compose it. Virtual reality is only in its infancy in Industry 4.0 but it goes without saying that it will play a major role in the years to come. This technology brings, among other things, a new methodology to train its teams. It will allow an operator to interact directly with his machine and to practise reacting reactively in the event of a malfunction, for example.
Cobots (term derived from the contraction of “collaborative robots”) are small and light robots working directly with the operator and relieving him by carrying out the most thankless and restrictive tasks for him. This technology, which is already all the rage in Factory 4.0 , allows the operator to increase productivity and presents absolutely no danger in the workplace. It particularly opens the doors of robotics application in SMI-SME.
The IIoT: The Industrial Internet of Things
For any company in the production and/or transport of physical goods sector, for example, this makes it possible to obtain operational efficiency that will revolutionise its system. The IIoT makes it possible to make factories smarter, more efficient because each link in the production chain will be in constant communication to produce faster and more efficiently, it allows the increase in the use of renewable green energy, the number of positive energy and self-regulated buildings, also allows cities to adapt their road traffic in order to avoid congestion at peak times, for example. The Industrial Internet of Things Allows all links in the production chain (machine, operators, suppliers, customers, etc.) to be in perpetual connection with each other. The IIoT is a key technology in establishing the factory of the future.
Big Data refers to a set of data so large that it far exceeds the capabilities of humans and conventional computer tools in terms of data analysis. In Industry 4.0, Big Data plays a key role in processing the volume of information that makes up an industry’s information system. Big Data was created because all conventional data storage technologies are now overtaken by these gargantuan volumes. This 4.0 technology has allowed the birth of a whole new job: the Data Scientist , a person who creates powerful algorithms to extract usable data from Big Data platforms.
Let’s end this non-exhaustive list with the famous Cloud Computing . The Cloud is made up of several technologies that make it possible to exploit the computing power and storage of remote computer servers. More specifically, instead of being satisfied with having IT infrastructures locally, the Cloud makes it possible to relocate all or part of it. In Industry 4.0, the Cloud enables:The processing of an immense amount of information at a lower cost: saving money;Storage of a large volume of computer data: space saving;Data feedback from the various production points to a centralised node: centralised organisation.
The cloud provides an answer to the constraints related to storage, the decentralised organisation of data, as well as the processing of voluminous data.This list of technologies at the heart of Industry 4.0 is non-exhaustive and will flourish over the years as the Industrial 4.0 revolution is still in its infancy, but regardless, all these technologies will play a key role in the industry of the future, there is no doubt about it.