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.
The move to digital supply networks can be daunting, especially when organizations consider how exactly to implement these solutions into their existing supply chain. With so much information and hype about digital, it can be hard for organizations to know what works for them and what might be a hidden roadblock. However, when the digital transformation is implemented correctly, it can also seamlessly enable an organization’s digital operations.
I have a confession to make. Although I spend much of my professional life thinking about how new types of mobility can reshape urban areas, I live in the sticks. The rural upper Midwest, to be precise, on “10 acres of brush and trouble,” in the words of singer-songwriter Greg Brown.
We’ve just come back from the RAPID + TCT 2017 conference this week, a platform for specialists from various organizations to showcase their latest applications in the 3D printing space.1
Addressing cyber risk in self-driving cars and beyond
Climbing into a car has long been among the riskier things that people do—famously, the least safe part of an airplane trip is the drive to the airport.1 So it’s likely no surprise that self-driving cars’ safety is one of their most often cited benefits. Indeed, many expect the emerging mobility ecosystem,2 with increasing shared access to transportation as well as autonomous technology, to all but eradicate routine accidents.
Sometimes I avoid change. This is only natural; a lot of people do, at least some of the time. I like things that are comfortable and familiar, things that I understand and know my way around. I may steer clear of change because I worry that new can be risky, and that I might result in being worse off in the end–-a tendency known as loss aversion. Beyond loss aversion, however, change can be particularly challenging because it tends to have a ripple effect–one change necessitates another, then another, until you find yourself having to update everything. Anyone who has ever upgraded just one piece of technology in their office, or even updated just one appliance in their kitchen, can understand this phenomenon.
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.
By Barb Renner
Shining a Spotlight on Global Water Management
I had the pleasure of participating in an event sponsored by my client Ecolab in conjunction with World Water Day on March 22nd. This, and other events of the day, shine a spotlight on the significance of preserving the world’s water supply for generations to come.
Four ways to bring architectural innovation to your technology
By Joe Mariani, Center for Integrated Research
When technology can’t give you a strategic advantage, connections can. Recent research on how to create a strategic advantage in manufacturing shows that proprietary technology may not always create competitive advantage. In fact, it is the connection—the architectural innovation—combined with technology that may provide the greatest opportunity for businesses.