The term was mentioned for the first time 10 years ago, at the Hanover fair. It refers to the 3 waves of the industrial revolution that have followed one another since the 18th century and Denis Papin’s steam engine (and not Jean-Pierre Papin, even if you have seen it, this article uses the football metaphor ) . was the latest. Born in the 1960s, it experienced its golden years in industries such as the automobile industry where robotics has continued to improve and become more and more autonomous.
The robotization of production where ” industry 3.0
Initially a simple telescopic arm intended to carry heavy loads on a production line surrounded by men, it has evolved over time through more complex and precise tasks: large assemblies, welding, painting… Needless to say, many other industrial activities have benefited from this progress.
Artificial intelligence gives a boost to Industry 4.0
Driven by artificial intelligence , robotization has experienced a new boost in recent years, particularly downstream of production chains, with the automation of logistics warehouses. Drawing great inspiration from the automotive industry, Amazon thus achieved its turning point in robotics by acquiring the company Kiva Systems in 2012.
Increasing its warehouse area each year, resulting in more and more online orders,
Amazon quickly understood that certain repetitive tasks could be done more efficiently by robots and this much faster. But the transformation of our factories no longer stops at robotization. Other (r)evolutions are underway and are boosted by multi-faceted technological progress : this is industry 4.0 (even if we are not going to lie to each other, many manufacturers have barely discovered 3.0).
Professional mobile apps embedded on a smartphone or tablet.
Let’s start with our first example that falls into the category of mature technologies, but not yet so widespread: professional mobile apps embedded on a smartphone or tablet. These facilitate communication, dematerialization and the sharing of operational information (zero paper, you dreamed of it, your iphone did it).Indeed, thanks to mobile terminals and their on-board functions – camera, video camera, voice command, web access – operational staff on production lines are becoming “ augmented operators ”
Among these are maintenance technicians.
Thanks to their mobile, they know at any time on which equipment to intervene in priority (curative, on a breakdown blocking the production, or in preventive inspection visit). Their intervention reports are done in the blink of an eye (in fact two thumbs are enough!) and the information collected in turn feeds data into new prediction systems which will make it possible to reduce new future equipment breakdowns.
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And in the end? An OEE at the top.
Sensors and connected objects, a new windfall at the service of data intelligenceThe IoT: the second technology that is on the rise in our factory of the futureSensors and connected objects. Our Anglo-Saxon friends have a consecrated term: the IoT (Internet of Things) . In fact, the IoT also takes on a myriad of different technologies. First of all the sensors, which alone can be broken down into dozens of different families depending on the type of data they collect.In an industrial environment, we will think of temperature, pressure or vibration sensors, or even sound frequencies!
Virtual reality offers total immersion in a virtual world through a “covering
This data will allow, among other things, to detect anomalies on certain equipment (and yes, it’s like for your boiler, when it makes a strange noise, it means that it may soon break down! ) or even to measure the yield of your production process (e.g. measurement of the quantity of raw materials at the input vs. the quantity of finished products at the output).
To start, a quick reminder on the difference between these two technologies
often considered interchangeable, wrongly.First of all, virtual reality offers total immersion in a virtual world through a “covering” headset that completely isolates you from the real world. You then live a “360° cinema” type experience with, in some cases, the possibility of interacting with the virtual world using joysticks (not far from video game joysticks: FIFA 21* fans will understand! ).
Virtual reality is well suited for training in operational risks in the industrial world. For example, simulations of falls from a height are particularly
impactful because the virtual allows you to truly feel the sensation of falling.
Augmented reality offers quite a different experience and uses. It consists in superimposing virtual information on real images. Imagine captions or clickable information in a video viewed through glasses or a connected headset . Here too, you can interact with this half-real, half-virtual world using your voice or pre-defined movements with your fingers.
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Among the most powerful uses of AR:
the possibility of accessing virtual documentation or technical information, directly in the visor of your helmet . It is particularly useful for industrial operators who have to follow a complex technical procedure while keeping their hands free.This type of technology also makes it possible to “live” the images filmed through the camera on board the helmet, including with a technical expert located kilometres away. Pictures speak louder than words, see in the video above how one of our customers uses this technology for remote troubleshooting of complex hardware or technical equipment. And at the end of the dream, the grail of industry 4.0: artificial intelligence at the service of production processes that consume less raw materials and energy