Design Principles to be followed in Industry 4.0
From using manual processes to automating them with the help of machines and digitization, the industrial revolution has evolved over the last century. It has changed the way we work and live. Currently, we are in the fourth industrial revolution, also called Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is more connected, i.e., it interconnects machines, hardware, software, and people to manufacture products efficiently. Data is the engine that propels the manufacturing processes.
Industry 4.0 uses three main technologies
- Cyber-physical systems (CPS): They combine hardware and software components through a connected network to operate a process and communicate with each other and with the workforce.
- Internet of Things (IoT): In IoT, the products and machines are interconnected and communicate in real-time through the internet.
- Cloud computing: All the resources, such as applications, data storage, etc., are managed in the cloud, making it easily accessible to all authorized resources.
These components work together efficiently when there’s a well-designed system in place. That’s when design principles come into the picture. They help build well-connected systems that optimize the workers’ productivity and realize the full potential of Industry 4.0.
Design Principles for Industry 4.0
Let’s look into the details of design principles that can enhance Industry 4.0.
The first design principle is interoperability. It enables the machines, devices, sensors, and people to connect and communicate through the internet.
Companies need to digitize their systems and integrate platforms and systems that allow easy information exchange and build interoperability. They must break the barriers between systems, machines, and people to enable easy data exchange. Without interoperability, information exchange between machines and humans will be difficult. The principle of interoperability is about creating a network of interconnected data sources, allowing it to be accessed anytime anywhere. The enhanced information facilitates better decision making. Open and real-time exchange of information will help businesses minimize the expenditure on collecting and managing information, prevent unnecessary duplication, and access more data from third-party applications whenever required.
Information transparency requires information systems to have the ability to create a virtual copy of the physical world by enriching digital models of the plant with sensor data. In order to achieve this, raw sensor data to be aggregated with context information.
Industry 4.0 relies largely on information exchanged between machines and humans. Hence, there must be easy flow and access to information. Information transparency allows companies to gather information from everywhere, monitor the processes on the shop floor, and optimize them for better productivity and efficiency. The more they gather the information; the better will be their visibility on the operations. Information transparency guides companies to identify gaps and improve their processes with ease.
Technical assistance is about the ability of cyber-physical systems to support people with aggregated information for informed decision making and addressing of problems on urgency.
The cyber-physical systems gather and aggregate the data and provide data-driven insights to employees in a visual format. It helps the employees identify the issues quickly and resolve them before they escalate or become too late. Technical assistance also physically supports the employees in performing hazardous and exhausting tasks to prevent workplace-related injuries. Companies can leverage virtualization to study the machine’s real-time health, analyze its performance, and resolve issues before they arise. This helps companies to reduce unnecessary expenses on hardware, unscheduled downtime etc. It helps the employees to understand the state of systems and maintain it in good shape.
Industry 4.0 demands scalability and speed-to-market. Hence, companies can no longer rely on a centralized decision making mechanism. Decision decentralization enables all components of a cyber-physical system to make decisions on their own and perform tasks independent of people involved. This allows the machines and systems to take actions and perform tasks with minimal human intervention. Human intervention is necessary only when there’s an exception, interferences, or conflicting goals where the task delegation is required. Functions such as problem-solving, calibration, and adjustments become automated. Employees don’t have to monitor variances or material needs manually. A decentralized system enables scalability and enhances the ability to respond to changes quickly. Companies just need to add more nodes to the system to connect and scale the system.
To thrive in Industry 4.0, companies must quickly accelerate their digitization journey with the right investment. They need to develop an infrastructure that allows easy data exchange and connectivity. To build such a connected solution, companies need to work with a partner who can successfully implement an end-to-end industrial IoT platform (IIoT) based systems and solutions.
That’s exactly what Delpheon offers – A scalable, configurable, secure, and feature-rich IIoT platform to help companies connect devices, scale, and achieve their business results successfully.
To know more about our advanced IIoT platform, contact us.