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FEATURE INDUSTRY 4.0/IIOT SHED LIGHT ON THE FUTURE


Martin Walder, VP Industrial Automation at Schneider Electric, says the smart factory brings with it countless benefits, and cites Schneider’s own Le Vaudreuil motor control manufacturing plant as a good example of a factory of the future


W


hen it comes to the world of manufacturing, Industry 4.0, the


Industrial Internet of Things and Smart manufacturing are all terms we hear thrown around a lot. Whilst these terms can all be used in isolation; they share one very important commonality – they are all impacted by digital transformation. According to the National Institute of


Standards and Technology (NIST), the smart landscape can be defined as ‘fully integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real time to meet changing demands and conditions in the factory, in the supply network and in customer needs.’ At present, manufacturing systems are


benefitting from an array of new, innovative technologies. Technologies including; big data, robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, 3D level of control, and the oversight that they bring all play a role in helping us to create a digital twin of an entire manufacturing system. The benefit of these digital twins is the increased business performance and greater real- time understanding of an object or process in play.


LIGHTHOUSES LEAD THE WAY A smart factory brings with it countless benefits. Smart factories embrace planning, supply chain logistics and all


aspects of product development and innovation. Those failing to adopt smart manufacturing technologies and practices are the ones who will fall behind the competition and ultimately are likely to disappear. For factories to become truly smart,


they first need to understand what it means to be smart. The World Economic Forum has listed nine of the world’s smartest factories, calling them ‘lighthouses’ that shed light on the benefits of Industry 4.0. These factories are the ones that have successfully implemented the smartest technologies, whilst keeping people and sustainability at the heart of what they do.


ENTER: LE VAUDREUIL A great example of one of these lighthouses is the Le Vaudreuil, one of Schneider Electric’s motor control manufacturing plants in Normandy. This factory draws on our EcoStruxure technology and utilises a wide range of our digital tools. This factory represents the future of


manufacturing. Think about it. Inside the factory there are mini data centres storing critical site data, all USB keys pass through a decontamination terminal, and sensors monitor machinery to predict – as opposed to reacting to all factory maintenance needs. What’s more – as a result of augmented reality, the factory is


The next stage in the journey is to focus on the human element, and how machines and humans can work together


benefiting from a 7 per cent increase in productivity, and energy savings of up to 30 per cent. Seems like a no-brainer. If we can be sure of one thing, it’s that


the future is constantly changing. Right now, we’re focused on Industry 4.0. But – very soon, Industry 5.0 will be the talk of the town. Industry 5.0 will focus on the human elements. It will no longer be all about machine and system interconnectivity, but about how machines and humans can work together – something known as cobotics.


Martin Walder says ‘To avoid falling off the bandwagon and keep pace with the competition, manufacturers need to embrace smart technologies – and become a smart factory’


THE TRUE SPIRIT OF IMPLEMENTING AN INDUSTRY 4.0 STRATEGY


Siemens Digital Industries Software has announced a collaboration with The Absolut Company regarding Siemens Opcenter Execution software, part of the Siemens Digital Enterprise Suite, Manufacturing Execution System (MES) solution. The company will conduct a pilot of Siemens Opcenter Execution Process (formerly known as SIMATIC IT Unified Architecture Process Industries) in one of their three factories in Åhus as the first step of an enterprise-wide roll-out across the three factories, which produce spirits for global distribution. Siemens Opcenter can help The Absolut Company to better meet some of the challenges in the beverage sector, including the increasing demand for high quality and variety in products and production as well as the high cost pressures of the global food and beverage market. “The Absolut Company always strives to have best in class manufacturing where Industry 4.0 will be a


key enabler to deliver on future consumer demands. We are happy to have Siemens Digital Industries Software as a key partner on this journey,” said Anna Schreil, VP Operations at The Absolut Company. Siemens Opcenter Execution is part of Siemens’ offering for the consumer-packaged goods and food and


beverage industries. The solution has been developed to cover the entire value chain, from reception of incoming material to distribution of produced goods, including quality control, product planning and scheduling as well as reporting, trends and advanced analysis. Siemens Opcenter Execution Process can help The Absolut Company to increase traceability, to manage orders more efficiently and to monitor production in real time. Siemens Digital Industries Software


www.sw.siemens.com


FACILITATING MORE JOBS We must remember that automation has not taken over human roles in the factory. Whilst new technologies are vital for future success, so too is human input. Be it by offering a sense of direction, or gathering and analysing data, there is still a lot to be done. Smart factories are here to stay, but they aren’t here to replace our jobs. They are here to help businesses remain competitive and successful. With greater success, comes more jobs. Ultimately, smarter factories will also facilitate more jobs in the long run. Another important development is the


arrival of 5G. It will bring faster downloads and quicker responses from applications as a result of lower latency. Sensors will become even more widespread and responsive, and businesses will be able to react to information in real time. With 5G technology having now arrived in the UK, we must assess how it can make smart factories even smarter. Among the potential is preventative maintenance and controlling machines remotely.


Schneider Electric www.se.com


16 NOVEMBER 2019 | PROCESS & CONTROL 


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