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13 March 2023

Industry 4.0: tools and systems to transform your production

A transformação digital no ambiente fabril promovida pela indústria 4.0 tem impactos diretos na carreira do profissional que atua no setor. Na última década, a manufatura entrou em um período de transformação. Novas tecnologias chegam ao chão de fábrica continuamente. O aumento significativo no poder de processamento e armazenamento de dados resultou em novas aplicações da tecnologia nos processos de fabricação de diversos produtos. The digital transformation in the manufacturing environment promoted by industry 4.0 has direct impacts on the career of professionals working in the sector. Over the past decade, manufacturing has entered a period of transformation. New technologies arrive on the shop floor continuously. The significant increase in processing power and data storage has resulted in new applications of technology in the manufacturing processes of various products.

Industry 4.0 is the term that summarizes the Fourth Industrial Revolution, marked by the adoption of digital technologies and large-scale connectivity in industrial production. It is a broader concept than just automation, as it involves the use of technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), advanced robotics, 3D printing, virtual reality (VR), big data and cloud computing.

The objective is to intelligently interconnect and coordinate machines and automated systems to:

  • increase production efficiency;
  • reduce costs;
  • improve the quality of products and services;
  • make operations more flexible and adaptable to market changes.

In addition, these technologies allow you to collect and analyze large amounts of data in real time. Therefore, they can be used to improve decision-making, identify problems and opportunities for improvement, and optimize the production chain as a whole.

First of all, it is important to say that Industry 4.0 is an important step for the future of industry and the global economy. After all, it has the potential to transform the way goods and services are produced, creating new business opportunities, jobs and solutions to global challenges.

Over the past 15 years, many new technologies have hit the market. The evolution of cell phones and smartwatches are examples. What used to be expensive and in low demand is now very affordable. In industry, too. The internet and connectivity inaugurated a new industrial revolution, which is Industry 4.0. This is an opportunity for industries to reduce costs and become more efficient,” says Thiago Queirós, manager of the areas of Projects, Consultancy and Experience at Vockan Consulting.

Data from Gartner and KPMG estimate that the Industry 4.0 market will exceed US$ 4 trillion by 2025. “Massive investment is taking place in this sector around the world”, he adds.

Industry 4.0 tools and systems

There are several tools and systems that make up Industry 4.0 solutions. Below, learn about the main ones and how they are applied in industries:

Internet of Things (IoT) – the connection of devices generates data and enables this information to be added to business management software, improving performance.

3D printing – it is additive manufacturing, in which the production process takes place by superimposing layer by layer, giving a 3D shape. It allows to greatly accelerate the development of new products, with faster and cheaper prototypes. Many industries are also adopting it as their main mean of production, with products made exclusively in a 3D printer.

Virtual Reality (VR) – Overlaying virtual elements on the physical context enables the creation of experiences to increase worker productivity and improve customer satisfaction. Some applications: delivering critical information to frontline workers, transferring expertise quickly, product demonstrations and immersive customer experiences.

Wearable – in industry, biosensors allow measuring the performance of workers and how they react to variations in the work environment, such as temperature, humidity or noise.

Cobots – collaborative robotics allows closer interaction between robots and humans in a safe way, thanks to the presence of sensors in the equipment.

Artificial intelligence (AI) – enables machine decision making without human interference.

Big Data – data makes it possible to analyze and optimize production processes.

Cloud Computing – the sharing and interconnection of servers over the internet allows systems to be stored so that they are accessible from anywhere in the world. In addition, it brings scalability and cost reduction, giving companies access to new technologies quickly.

Cybersecurity – The focus on workplace security is shifting to include information security as well, due to increasingly automated manufacturing and intelligent machines. Today, data is the greatest financial asset of the new millennium. Therefore, protecting them is essential.

Advantages of Industry 4.0

“It is interesting to note that these technologies converge with each other for common purposes. For example, 3D printing, Virtual Reality and IoT provide prototyping and customization conditions that were unthinkable until then. Likewise, Wearables, Virtual Reality and cobots, together, can provide significant operational improvements”, highlights Queirós.

However, the biggest gain, according to the Vockan specialist, is in data analysis for competitive advantage.

“A machine that is stopped is a pain for the industry, as it means lost money. It often stops because it breaks, which is why there is preventive maintenance. Proactive data analysis provides detailed information for predictive maintenance. Thus, based on the data available in the system, I conclude the time to stop to change a component, for example. This reduces downtime”, exemplifies Queirós.

So, count on Vockan to find the best process automation and data management solutions for your production. Enter the world of industry 4.0!

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