This video tells us about Industry 4.0 and why it will play a pivotal role in shaping our future. In a simple, yet engaging style, Dr. Bharathy encourages us to pay heed to warnings as he delves into the earlier industrial revolutions, case studies in Industry 4.0 by leading organizations and the applications of these technologies in manufacturing, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. The video explains the advantages to you and also provides answers to your most difficult questions on adoption. Please share with the leaders and change-enablers in your organization and deliver smart manufacturing for a brighter future.
We believe in sharing advances in technology and its applications in industry for the benefit of everyone. We deliver business seminars, workshops and educational presentations to help understand, explore and begin or refine your immersive Industry 4.0 journeys. Allow us to help you navigate into the exciting new world of smart manufacturing. Our experienced team of professionals can custom design Workshops and Seminars at your chosen venue for any target audience.
Our workshops not only educate top-managements and employees, but also ignite their interest and actively engage them in the range of Industry 4.0 technologies. Being industry pioneers, we have a range of XR hardware and software right from the early days to demonstrate and help participants to understand and experience them at these events. Plus your team has the opportunity to interact with leading industry professionals and gain invaluable perspectives.
A comprehensive one day Workshops at Client-Site by Experienced Industry 4.0 Professionals
Reliance Petrochemicals | Yokogawa | ABB | Petronas | Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited | Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited DRDO | Indian Oil Corporation | ADNOC | Technip FMC India | Mondelez | Apollo Tyres | SKF bearings | FLSmidth & many Other global clients.
A Cyber-Physical System (CPS) is the integration of computers and robots with the physical/human systems to deliver capabilities that improve function and efficiency. An example of a CPS is the self-driving car. This type of car enables safer driving, better traffic management and also frees up humans to perform productive activities during travel. Other examples are robots deployed along with humans in manufacturing, drones used in combat etc.
A PDP or Physical-Digital-Physical loop is an interactive process that captures data from various sources in the physical world, digitizes it for analysis, visualization and decisions which is then fed back into the physical systems to deliver improved operations, outputs and results. This can also be summarized as Physical-Digital phase where information is digitized, Digital-Digital phase where the digitized information is analyzed and Digital-Physical phase where the analysis is actioned in the physical system. The last phase is very crucial, completing the cycle and delivering the true Industry 4.0 transformation.
Industry 4.0 adoption has grown significantly during this COVID-19 pandemic that affected everyone across the world. There have been many applications identified by industry experts that made a huge difference. These are just the beginning and aggressive efforts are underway to maximize the use of Industry 4.0 technologies to ensure better healthcare.
Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled real time data collection on COVID-19 patients, available medical support and critical medical logistics. Covid data analytics and live dashboards powered by artificial intelligence (AI) has ensured speedy, efficient and life-saving decisions
Blockchain technology has enabled critical data collection platforms to ensure integrity of information on pandemic status, infection rates, supplies availability, vaccine distribution and the complete supply chain for medical and pharma products etc. using the highly transparent and immutable decentralized block chain ledger
3D Printing has effectively managed the dramatic increase of demand for ventilators, valves, adapters, PPEs, quarantine booths, fittings, accessories etc
Drones have supported distribution of medical supplies distribution, quarantine/lockdown surveillance, disinfection, crowd control with aerial mapping etc
VR Simulator training for better learning outcomes on managing COVID affected patients, viral impact on the body, its organs and the necessary diagnostic and treatment methods
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) has been deployed for spatial mapping of contextual Covid spread, medical supplies, infrastructure support data to enable and assist effective decision making
Remote collaboration platforms and Augmented Reality (AR) wearables to support ongoing manufacturing and troubleshooting efforts
Digital Twins of critical assets and processes to closely monitor and manage with minimal physical intervention from engineers and technicians
The most widely known of Industry 4.0 technologies are Immersive Technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), Industrial IoT (IIoT), Big Data & Analytics, Simulation/Digital Twins, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Autonomous Robots, Additive Manufacturing, Drones, Cybersecurity Technology and the Cloud.
VR/AR/MR (collectively known as Extended Reality or XR) are widely adopted to enhance design, operations, maintenance, reliability and safety operations in factories, refineries and manufacturing units by enhancing human performance and productivity. Within the Industry 4.0 landscape, XR is unique and stands out from the rest. While every other technology in the spectrum helps make machines and processes smarter, XR is the only technology that focuses on making humans smarter – by dramatically improving the workforce’s knowledge, skill, wisdom and integrity through empathetic experiential learning.
In addition to XR, there is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) which refers to the collection of sensor data and the enabling of communication between equipment, devices, instrumentation to achieve better integration in operations. The data thus obtained is quite voluminous and the process of analyzing that to obtain insight and intelligence to make data driven decisions is often called as Big Data and Analytics, another key Industry 4.0 technology.
The data that is obtained, analyzed often leads to better decisions, predictions, prescriptions and automation through Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Computer Vision etc.). It is noticeable that these technologies are sequential or integrated in some sense.
All of the above mentioned technologies lead enterprises towards the development of Simulation and Digital Twins which deliver on long term equipment reliability, efficiency and cost savings. The real-life examples are widely published and its adoption is helping businesses increase their competitiveness.
We see many examples of digital twins of industrial compressors and wind turbines, Virtual Reality Operator Training Simulators, equipment inspections using drones, artificial intelligence based decision making to minimize human errors in manufacturing and even 3D printed bridges. These examples are not science fiction anymore and quite real and available to every industry. Plus, there are very competent Industry 4.0 solution providers in India to help with world class implementation of these technologies.
Virtual Reality or VR in Industry 4.0 is a key technology that is leading the transformation of the industrial landscape towards developing a smart workforce of the future by helping to improve the employee’s knowledge, skill, wisdom and integrity through empathetic experiential learning.
Virtual reality’s immersive experience has the potential to catalyze and enhance design processes, train employees quickly and more effectively on operations, maintenance, emergency response procedures etc. All of these are key functions in the manufacturing space to enhance production, reduce maintenance and improve ROI.
For example, VR in Oil & Gas industry helps during exploration with better visualization of sub-surface deposits and enable safer drilling operations. VR also helps with training with the Virtual Reality Operator Training Simulator (VR-OTS). This simulator presents a highly realistic virtual recreation of the plant or shop floor that is integrated with content and controls to simulate actions that develop the necessary skill sets required in the company’s SOPs and SMPs. Operators, technicians and engineers are able to familiarize themselves with the plant environment and get trained to perform actions required to develop the requisite competencies without even entering the plant.
The learning is gamified, allowing users to make mistakes and learn from them without any adverse impact. Such training has widespread applications in almost every type of industry from oil & gas, chemicals, nuclear, power generation, mining, aviation, automotive, pharma etc. particularly during the COVID pandemic.
Augmented Reality in Industry 4.0 enables the augmented digital overlay of information to enhance the user experience of their physical environment in a smart factory. AR requires the use of a smart phone, tablet or a wearable goggle.
While the user performs the assigned tasks at the factory floor, AR applications for on-the-job assistance provides relevant, contextual information or simulation that adds value to the task. This helps the user to complete the tasks in a safe, correct and efficient manner. These applications have widespread use and helps companies to save time, costs and effort.
AR helps multiple teams from different locations collaborate effectively on product design reviews, checking and verifying applicability and compatibility under various conditions. Such efforts provide valuable insights that improve the design of a prototype even before its actual construction.
AR helps greatly in providing automated assistance through the application or remote assistance from a specialist engineer to guide the overhaul of critical help reduce plant downtime and boost production volumes without the need for having the expert’s physical presence. This has been very useful during the COVID-19 pandemic as travel became almost impossible.
AR operator and maintenance training simulators (AR-OTS & AR-MTS) enable faster training of personnel on critical tasks at the plant, offshore oil rigs or at a car assembly line. These applications can be deployed in the Nuclear, Mining, Power, Utilities, Pharma and Automotive industries also. There is a tremendous number of use cases to support implementation of Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing sector and is just waiting to be exploited.
Mixed Reality technology is being widely adopted by manufacturing companies to enhance their overall competitiveness in the market. MR can be considered as an enhanced version of AR that provides immersion as well for users. Mixed Reality applications helps with the integration of the desired digital assets and experiences with the physical world. As with AR and VR, MR also plays a key role in the plant and shop environment, but also in design, customer service and marketing.
Design teams are able to collaborate, review and finalize designs and accelerate the overall process and win the race to the market much more effectively than their competitors by adopting MR into their processes. The COVID-19 pandemic has enabled remote support from specialists and experts using MR devices and applications. Guidance and instructions are digitally delivered in real time to the worksite from the expert to the work crew at site. This has been possible by enabling overlay of the live process values, alarm status, design data, SAP data or instructions that help deliver the desired outcomes for resolving challenges. This technology saves time, effort and expenses by reducing manufacturing downtime, minimizing supply-chain issues and maximizing customer satisfaction.
MR applications are unique in their ability to map the user environment, making it interactive and thereby enabling the conduct of simulations that provide new insight, data or intelligence. Mixed reality applications use devices such as Microsoft HoloLens which are available for use inside office environments and intrinsically safe versions for use in hazardous environments such as refineries and chemical plants.
Mixed reality technology has an exciting future as it has widespread applications in oil & gas, chemicals, nuclear, mining, power, utilities, healthcare, pharma etc. This technology is supported by some of the biggest names in the industry which would make it more cost effective for companies and individuals to adopt this in their businesses.
While Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution is new, the challenges in its implementation are actually not neither unique nor different from the challenges in implementation of strategic projects in any organization. However, it is useful to identify a few challenges and share some insight on overcoming those challenges while implementing Industry 4.0 technologies.
The first challenge relates to the selection of appropriate technologies that generate the most value or returns on investments made for smart manufacturing. Organizations can overcome this challenge by obtaining a good understanding of these technologies and the use cases that would fit into their long-term strategic business objectives.
Engaging an experienced and reputed consultant or solutions provider to study the specific problems of the plant/process, perform a gap analysis and recommend suitable use cases with cost-benefit analyses is a must.
Organizations also need to depute or employ the right in-house technical champion to co-ordinate with consultants, navigate teething problems with the solutions providers and establish the systems necessary for sustained success. KPIs need to be established to evaluate performance and obtain feedback to address issues and challenges.
Another challenge is obtaining leadership support and funding to implement the selected use cases. Companies can overcome by making capital allocations for digital transformation projects during budgeting exercise each year. It is necessary that the board and senior management exercise foresight and approve capital budgets for these initiatives.
At this stage it is imperative that companies engage the right technology partner with domain experience and SME support. There are many Industry 4.0 solution providers in India each having technological expertise in different areas of Industry 4.0 solutions. There is actually no one single vendor who can effectively cater to the entire smart manufacturing landscape. For example, at Fusion VR, our core expertise is in collaborating and developing customized AR/VR/MR solutions which is just one part of the Industry 4.0 spectrum. So, it’s crucial to select the right partner to help with the implementation of your chosen initiative.
CEO and CTOs need to remember to start small and then scale up. Ambitious projects can get stuck without adequate technological, logistical and financial support. Expecting quick results may not be realistic as sufficient time is required to enable teams to maximize the various features of the solutions to be implemented.
Good leadership and competent project management in the implementation of Industry 4.0 projects is indispensable for success in overcoming the few challenges that were identified As experts often say, every challenge presents innumerable opportunities for those who look for it.
To achieve the safe and efficient operations in the manufacturing process, the plant has to be operated reliably without causing any unplanned downtime. Such conduct of operations requires highly trained operations and maintenance personnel with sophisticated skills who have a good understanding of the process and machinery involved.
Industry 4.0 technologies delivers smart manufacturing which helps plants operate its assets efficiently, safely and reliably to achieve operational, safety and environmental excellence. Building and operating process plants is both capital and labour intensive and making the most of such an investment is something all operations managers target all the time. Industry 4.0 is also creating incredible opportunities for the establishment of smart, intelligent digital ecosystems that would deliver sustainable environmentally friendly growth and better Returns on Investment (ROI).
For example, Chemical plants use hundreds of sensors and controllers that generate a vast treasure of data. The process is controlled with distributed digital control systems (DCS) and protected with safety instrumented systems (SIS) to ensure safe incident free operations. The data generated enables systems to interconnect, communicate and analyze the data for improvements to process and its economics.
While newer plants have embraced digital advancements, older plants are struggling to digitalize due to the high capital investments needed for digital transformation. The data generated from plants needs to be transferred to a cloud service using 4.0-standard OPC UA communications to enable data analysis and help develop AI based solutions that deliver operational improvements. Such intelligence can be further integrated with the dataavailable from SAP for better supply chain management and customer satisfaction.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Industry 4.0 help to enhance employee performance and productivity through better psychophysics-based solutions such as Virtual and Augmented Reality training simulators for operators, technicians and engineers. It has been reported that VR training is 4 times more effective than conventional classroom training ensuring better retention and employee confidence.
Virtual Reality training enables complete skilling of personnel in a virtually created highly realistic 3D model of the plant to perform all the steps as one would perform in a real plant with Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). This training allows personnel to make errors and learn from them without any consequence and cost for innumerable times until the skills are deeply ingrained. This skill development is not limited to operations and maintenance, but is crucial with delivering safety and emergency response training. More and more companies are integrating virtual reality training into their learning and development plan.
The traditional concept of plant maintenance has been to fix plant machinery and other equipment when they break down or fail to perform as expected. This meant urgent repairs to reduce plant downtime and restore production at the earliest. Industry 4.0 technologies are geared to deliver superior maintenance and reliability of plant assets using strategies driven by increased digitalization.
The cost of sensors has dropped about 70% over the last decade leading to its increased use in monitoring machineries. Sensors monitor various machine performance parameters and generate vast volumes of data. Analysis of this big data helps to generate insight and intelligence on machinery performance and development of predictive and prescriptive maintenance strategies. Such a data driven approaches using IIoT, Big Data & Analytics technologies prevent unplanned downtime, reduce costs, improve plant availability and maximize production. All of this improves plant economics by driving down the cost of production and controllable costs.
Data obtained from sensors also helps with the creation of a Digital Twin of critical machinery such as compressors, turbines, pumps etc. These digital twins could be for operational management, or more complex as the Intelligent twin or Immersive twins. Such Digital Twins enable better performance monitoring, scenario simulations, quicker troubleshooting and improved reliability.
VR/AR/MR are extensively used in the development of Training simulators for operators, technicians and engineers. PWC has reported that VR training is 4 times more effective than conventional classroom training ensuring better retention and employee confidence. Such training develops skills and competencies very quickly, thereby reducing training duration and costs and helping engineers and technicians contribute quickly and effectively. Fusion VR has core expertise in the development and implementation of VR/AR/AR training solutions across different manufacturing domains.
Virtual Reality training for example uses virtually created highly realistic 3D models to instruct trainees on the construction and maintenance of critical plant machinery. This is different from learning equipment design and assembly from 2D section drawings and manuals. Since the model is virtual, the learning is strengthened with a gamified approach. Errors committed during training do not impact the real plant and one can practice as many times as required until principles and concepts are well ingrained. Augmented Reality applications also deliver equally effective training without the immersive experience of virtual reality.
Industrial Drones are increasingly used in monitoring and inspecting equipment that are in remote, hazardous and inaccessible locations. This avoids extensive preparation, travel and make it safe for inspection personnel. Drones are also used to perform internal inspections of equipment to measure corrosion and mechanical damage. Such Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and inspections are critical to ensure mechanical integrity and process safety in hazardous services. Better inspections helps define repair scope quickly, enhance maintenance planning and execution.
Maintenance teams often rely on the availability of thousands of components and spares readily available in the warehouse to be used whenever needed. This however comes at a huge inventory cost that locks up millions of dollars. 3D printing technology provides the ability to fabricate urgent components locally without the need to air freight them when it’s needed urgently to restore a machine back in operation. The technology enables accurate reproduction with the right materials and dimensions at a fraction of the cost and time.
It must be evident by now, how crucial Industry 4.0 technologies can play a role in elevating maintenance performance that is more intelligent, efficient and cost saving to manufacturing organizations.
Almost every industry on earth that delivers products and services can fully exploit the advantages of Industry 4.0 technologies. It is geared to make the manufacturing ecosystem “smart” and delivervaluable insight and intelligence that drive continuous improvement, cost savings and better returns on investment for any chosen industry.
Industries such as Oil & Gas, Chemicals, Nuclear, Mining, Power, Automotive, Manufacturing, Pharma and Health Sciences, Design, Engineering & Construction industries are primary beneficiaries of Industry 4.0 technologies. Big Data & Analytics, IIoT, Artificial Intelligence, Additive Manufacturing, Drones, Immersive Technologies such as AR/VR/MR find several exciting applications in these industries identified above They can obtain maximum advantage as they employ significant capital and human resources to operate their businesses.
Automobile companies have already engaged robots in their assembly lines and are equipping their employees with AR wearables to become more productive and efficient in their tasks. Chemical and refining companies are deploying AR and VR training solutions to train employees on hazardous operational tasks and ensure preparedness for emergency response situations. Manufacturing companies are now integrating 3D printing into their existing manufacturing operations for better customer engagement and support.
To identify and maximize these advantages, it is crucial that Industry 4.0 experts such as Fusion VR, an Industry 4.0 solution provider in India are engaged early on. We come with a deep knowledge of variousindustry domains and help identify the right use cases in collaboration with a company’s engineers and technicians. This understanding and collaboration is essential for the digital transformation of any industry, sector or organization.