Industry is changing
There are many technologies that revolve around industry 4.0 and mechanical engineering . Most of them are digital, hence its significant impact.
This impact concerns:
- the possibility of connecting everything to collect data, there is a notion of IOT ( Internet of Things but not only…)
- the development of decentralized infrastructures (we are talking about “cloudification”)
- data analysis such as machine learning.
- A number of technologies now represent an evolution within the industry.
This is the case in the possibilities offered by electronic integration, cobotics, virtual, augmented reality, gamma ray NDT, etc… Finally, technological disruptions are unfolding.
We can mention the combination of artificial intelligence and vision systems, new cognitive interfaces, blockchain… Some of them, such as additive manufacturing, should really revolutionize the industrial world and the by the end making easier the maintenance of industrial robots, by for some time with impressive evolution of technos and mechanical engineering.
We address the subject in a pragmatic way focused on 2 fundamental aspects:
- The customer’s need (or the usage)
- Our market segment approach associated with our customers’ processes’ knowledge
Actemium's plan of the future is real.
We can apply our mechanical engineering approach to the plant of the future in 4 aspects:
- One directly linked to the production tool, ‘Process’
- One related to the interface between man and the ‘HMI’ process.
- One related to connectivity and data exchange, ‘Connected’
- And finally, the ‘Data usage’ relating to the use of the data to extract added value from it.
This to address the five main drivers/issues of the industry of the future:
- Quality, with a need to move up the range,
- Reliability, the key of an efficient (and safe) production, the apogee of mechanical engineering.
- Productivity, forever better competitiveness
- Flexibility, to be able to adapt to demand and produce at will, thanks to the industrial automation.
- Sustainability, which includes environmental aspects
This will permit to create a solution or service corresponding to a customer need, by integrating the best technologies of the moment, such as Gamma ray NDT ( non destructive testing).
Building the factory of the future does not mean a complete overhaul of industrial sites…
Quite the opposite first, thanks to the in-depth knowledge of the processes, and the contribution of new skills, the ability to optimize the performance of the installations, in particular in terms of reliability and productivity.
Ramp-up is also the implementation of LEAN manufacturing methods, proven for 25 years and boosted today by digital technology. It is also the adaptation of the existing system to make it more flexible.
Indeed, mechanical engineering, maintenance of industrial robots, industrial maintenance or industrial automation will be deeply transformed through this approach of adaptability. And it is finally a more and more widespread approach to the reuse of existing means of production.
Technologies bring new perspectives, for example in the field of industrial robots and gamma ray NDT. Cobots allow the operator to interact and work in collaborative mode.
Embedded robotics offers autonomy for many tasks (including construction and public works), it’s the very concept of Industrial automation.
The increase in computing power associated with artificial intelligence leads to the automatic qualification of defects in the NDT domain.
However, disruptive technologies could change the way things are done within the mechanical engineering approach.
Additive Manufacturing….. a real revolution is expected (or even in progress) thanks to the new modes of design and manufacture of products allowed by all “3D printing” technologies.
Artificial intelligence, associated with the five human senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste.
Here’s an example of the combination of computer vision and embedded cobot to create a Robot Aided Inspection solution.
Thanks to it, complex industrial setup can be controlled automatically with an autonomous and flexible tool working with the digital mock-up of the setup to control. This process will allow to revolutionize mechanical engineering and make easier the maintenance of the industrial robots.
Data is at the heart of the futuristic mechanical engineering industry.
Connectivity is essential to collect, transport and store data before analyzing it to extract added value.
Electronic integration, wireless technologies, cloud infrastructures are opening up new horizons.This will making the maintenance of industrial robots easier and improving your production process.
The main challenges of the industrial environment (OT: operational technology vs. IT) are:
- Heterogeneity of data sources: A lot of data is already available in PLCs, SCADA, MES, CMMS, ERP….
- Interoperability: many types of communication protocols
Digital transformation leads to the development of:
- Storage infrastructures (cloud and/or on premise)
- Decentralized data processing means.
- Industrial automation
This leads to the convergence between the OT and IT worlds with a major challenge in terms of cybersecurity.
All this leads to the development of IOT platforms proposed by all the historical manufacturers as well as by many new players. To be relevant, an IOT platform is supposed to cover the entire IT/OT value chain. The customers are not all convinced by the implementation of this type of platform (difficult to implement, incomplete solutions and for some of them not dedicated to industry).
Knowing how to contextualize the data indicate key to bring true value and helps improve industrial automation as well as industrial maintenance. It is Actemium’s added value to be able, through a very good knowledge of the process and the global industrial environment, to integrate mechanical and digital engineering solutions adapted to the customer’s needs and the use he can make of them.
It is Actemium’s added value to be able, through a very good knowledge of the process and the global industrial environment, to integrate mechanical and digital engineering solutions adapted to the customer’s needs and the use he can make of them.
It is one of the first uses of data: improving energy performance, industrial automation and the environment.
Actemium’s offer dedicated to the Energy Transition, based on the customer process, makes it possible to approach the subject in a pragmatic way by deploying a “Systemic Analysis” methodology.
This methodology has resulted in 30% savings on a site’s energy bill, making maintenance of industrial robots way less consuming.
Using data to improve performance
The use of data to improve industrial performance and industrial automation:
- Production optimization
- Reliability by improving the maintenance of industrial robots
- Advanced scheduling planning
For one of our customer, a NL sugar producer (SUIKER UNIE), the continuous use and analysis of the data make it possible to determine the optimal time for sharpening the knives of beet-root cutters (in fact large beet rappers several meters high) and to obtain significant gains on the efficiency of the overall process (better efficiency of mechanical engineering – energy saving – optimization of labour and material costs).
After three decades, preventive maintenance of industrial robots methods have reached an asymptote while customer requirements are still increasing.
It is therefore necessary to reinvent maintenance, for example by using data to move from preventive industrial maintenance to predictive or even prescriptive maintenance (when data makes it possible to reduce failures and increase the overall efficiency rate). This process allows to save cost, time and improve reliability.
The data boosts the prevention policy and its usage can be very relevant, especially in the maintenance of industrial robots and mechanical engineering concept.
Protect the workforce according to the individual risk level of workers and their environment. Real-time managing indicators related to occupational risks, health, workload and work efficiency such as LPS equipment (Lightning protection systems). Anticipate the risks of accidents and professional diseases by understanding the root causes before and after their occurrence.
We now see the possibility of digitizing work areas (Geo fencing), portable IOT’s for biometric data, connected shoes to measure the loads carried by an operator.