IoT for Smart Industry.
The Industrial world is changing in a trend which goes under a variety of names including Industry 4.0, Industrial Internet of Thing (IIoT) and smart manufacturing. This Smart Industry trend is bringing about a fundamental change in the way factories and workplaces function, making them safer, more efficient, more flexible and more environmentally friendly. With factories accounting for 40% of the world’s energy consumption, reducing their energy use will play a major role in putting the planet on a more sustainable course. Machines are evolving to be aware of the humans around them and provide new interfaces such as smart tools, augmented reality and touchless interfaces for easier and safer interactions. Machines are also becoming connected inside the factory and to the cloud, enabling optimal planning and flexibility in manufacturing and maintenance.
Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance at a glance.
IoT for Smart Industry Condition Monitoring (CM) is the monitoring of several parameters such as equipment vibration and temperature to identify potential issues such as misalignments or bearing failures. Condition monitoring tools can for instance map equipment degradation when a vibration analysis shows a change in the harmonic frequency of rotating equipment components. Frequency analyses can be based both on vibrometer and microphone data.
In today’s world, where manufacturing schedules and resources are often changed on the fly, it is important to ensure optimal planning and flexibility. To help reduce flow times and increase responsiveness, each machine inside a factory, as well as all its sensors and actuators, must be connected in real time to the factory process control and even to the larger supply chain and the cloud.
Real-time communication down to the lowest level of sensors and actuators is then a key enabler of the Industry 4.0 concept.
Robots and manipulators are key to help increase productivity and relieve humans from heavy, repetitive or dangerous tasks. Locally – within a factory – and connected globally, they are the centerpiece of the 4th industrial revolution or Industry 4.0.
An industrial multi-axis manipulator is a complex mechanical, electric and electronic system becoming over the years more and more sophisticated with as many as 18 different electric motors and a large array of sensors and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication means.
Industrial sensors are a key part of factory automation and Industry 4.0. Motion, environmental and vibration sensors are used to monitor the health of equipment, from linear or angular positioning, tilt sensing, leveling, shock or fall detection.
Dedicated industrial motion sensors based on micromachined sensing (MEMS) elements are suitable for Industry 4.0 applications with a wide mechanical frequency sensing bandwidth, high reliability, stable measurements and accurate operation up to 105°C.
Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC).
Programmable logic controllers (PLC) gather and process data from sensors and control actuators. They could be defined as highly integrated industrial computers, with real-time capabilities, an isolated power supply, analog and digital inputs and outputs (I/O), communication interfaces for fieldbus or real-time Ethernet links to connect various sensors and actuators.
Designed to be robust, multi-application and configurable, programmable logic controllers must be well protected against electrostatic discharge (ESD) and electromagnetic interference (EMI). They are often separated into several different modules: the PLC control unit containing the main processing unit and the various modules with the distributed functions and interfaces.
Where do we fit in?
The potential for smart manufacturing is enormous and should not be hampered by security doubts. Industry leaders must develop trust when creating or retrofitting smart factories. Solutions must be carefully and precisely selected and recognized for stellar performance. Because of the long life cycle of manufacturing equipment, it is also critical that chosen solutions have built-in flexibility and advanced over-the-air updating solutions to prevent threats today and well into the future.