At our advanced robotics lab, we currently try to be intact with the upcoming 4th Industrial Revolution, developing more advanced, machine learning manufacturing systems…
Simply imagine a future in which even the most sophisticated and demanding industries employ intelligent, high-performing, energy consumption efficient and fully predictive machinery. A smart machinery at a smart factory. That is our ultimate understanding of what the 4th Industrial Revolution is all about and this is our ultimate destination. Industry 4.0, a movement that gains incredible traction around the world today.
Industry 4.0 is known and so has a myriad of aliases that ti goes by – the factory of the future, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, smart factory, smart production, intelligent machinery, AI machinery, brilliant factories or, at the Swiss level, Industry 2025.
But never mind the name, the vision itself brings together a constellation of intelligence and modern automation, data exchange and the most advanced manufacturing technologies.
Major ones among these are:
- Adaptive cyber-physical systems, engineered by seamless incorporating miscellaneous computational algorithms and physical components including machinery & tools.
- The Internet of Things and Services, which basically constitutes a large interconnected system that helps any device or machine connect to the Internet and/or with other devices. This kind of a mechanics enables objects used in the manufacturing chain to become “smart” and to gather, analyze and exploit massive amounts of data (big data analytics). The Internet of Things and Services enhances many business models massively, giving a bump to a powerhouse of new services.
Solutions to meet industry’s challenges
Examples of how Industry 4.0 benefits manufacturers can easily be found in a wide range of industries, says Umberto Perez, head of Industry 4.0, at GF Machining Solutions.
“Our major strategical development policy focuses on industrial segments that share the challenges of constantly maintaining highest productivity, quality, and accuracy in their manufacturing processes. All the while it contributes for the cost-efficiency and increases the overall agility and flexibility of any production!. At the same time, we must provide solutions for specific requirements, like the aerospace and medical industries’ need for surface integrity and process traceability,” Perez explains. “Our Industry 4.0 approach is to envision intelligent manufacturing solutions that will target fully predictable & programmable processes, which could be readily tuned to the best performance. A big part of our studies here within specific but fast-changing requirements faced by complex manufacturing businesses”.
Making those solutions possible is digitization, the conversion of information into a digital format that can be understood by computer systems. Digitization establishes the foundation for cyber-physical systems.
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