One question I get a lot focuses on the difference between Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. “Aren’t they the same thing?” Well, they are and they aren’t. The Internet of Things is a construct by which objects are connected and made smarter. Industry 4.0 connotes the fourth Industrial Revolution, in which this interplay between digital technologies and the physical world is scaled to an industrial level to enable connected production, supply chains, business operations, and beyond. In essence, it’s a scaled up, amped up, industrialized version of the IoT—which is why Industry 4.0 is also known to some as the Industrial Internet of Things.
Smart Predictive Maintenance accelerates the maintenance journey and has potential to increase machine availability and visibility across an entire asset network.
New techniques can improve plant throughput
Maintenance professionals today can face a number of issues, often including outsourcing, cost cutting, scarcity of experienced labor and increasing complexity of equipment. Whatever the challenge, maintenance and reliability professionals share a common goal – to maximize machine availability. Yet traditional maintenance programs can only take you so far. In fact, machine failures go well beyond statistical time-based failure. Recent studies show that only 20 percent of machine failures are time-based, while the other 80 percent of failures occur either in the infant mortality startup phase or most often due to random or unknown failure.1 But truly, no failure is random, only that the root causes have gone unidentified. Modern maintenance techniques can help detect impending failures before they happen with typically more accuracy than time-based approaches. For manufacturers, exceptional asset maintenance can be a strategic differentiator in improving a plant’s throughput, efficiency, quality and safety.
Hype and heightened expectations about how Industry 4.0 can help chemicals companies accelerate business growth and optimize operations is prompting executives to think through the advanced technologies they could implement within their company and with their partners in the value chain.