The so-called digital factories are transforming manufacturing while implementing new technologies and are also encouraging professionals to pursue new skills and qualifications. The present and the future of manufacturing are being defined by these new trends that are already seen in industrial environments. Most of these trends will have an impact on this and in the coming years, showing the importance of keeping up to date on the understanding of how they work and what their impacts on the industry are.
Check out some industrial trends for 2020.
Keeping machines working is paramount to a factory’s success. The ability to predict failures and mitigate machine downtime problems has a high financial value, so having an effective maintenance plan helps with the continuous production cycle and reduced costs. The analysis of operating and machine data allows you to optimize the moment of maintenance in real time, extending the life of the equipment and keeping the operation flowing without stops.
A scenario of common application of machine learning techniques is Regression, which through the acquisition of equipment data through sensors and internal logs in successful cases, allows the recognition of failure patterns. However, the implementation of this type of solution is not simple, since there are many variables linked to the failure of an equipment such as: tool quality, temperature, operating speed, etc. Understanding which measures have more weight and seeking insights through this behavior is the key to the success of this technology. Keeping track of failures and abnormal machine behavior is the first step to integrate a predictive solution.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
There is always a confusion in the understanding of the technologies represented by the acronyms VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality). The first represents a scenario where the user is transported to a fully immersive virtual environment through virtual reality glasses. The second allows the insertion of virtual objects on the screen of a smartphone or tablet that interact with the scenario displayed on the screen and with the user. A third option is mixed reality, where digital AR elements are inserted into the virtual environment.
This AR / VR relationship allows for many possibilities in the industrial scenario. Product development and creation (immersion in the environment and digital element), process improvement (real simulation of the production line in an immersive environment) and training are examples where this technology can be used.
Smart industry is already a reality. It is an environment composed of machines and connected devices that together integrate a scenario of technologies such as Internet of Things, Automation, Intelligent Robots, Digital Processes etc. This network allows the creation of insights that make the industrial process efficient and closer to the end customer. The prominent arrival of 5G will further leverage the integration of these systems due to the physical characteristics of the network (low latency, greater speed and the possibility of private networks). The possibility of obtaining data in real time with greater coverage and directly from the data source – edge computing – will bring more scenarios for the application of AI in addition to allowing greater productive efficiency.
Information security is an old subject and extremely important. The possibility of making everything and everyone connected and in massive quantities brought new questions about data privacy, whether personal or industrial. In the case of industry, this trend does not change. More machines and sensors distributed – all connected – to allow greater productivity gains. Just as technology allows scenarios of great achievements, it also allows risky situations. Hacking facilities is getting easier and in ways never thought of. A simple flashdrive can be enough to install automatic malicious software on machines. The phone’s power cable may contain an embedded wireless device that allows remote access. And the possibilities go much further. A company’s ability to protect itself from attack is important and should remain a priority for years to come.
It may even seem that Cloud is already a matter of the past and it may be true for some large companies. . The US research institute IDC predicts that 70% of manufacturing companies will be using Cloud services by 2022
As the insertion of IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) devices is breaking records and with gigantic forecasts in the coming years, the use of services in the Cloud is essential in relation to infrastructure and cost.
The manufacturing of parts that previously was only possible through machining has become accessible through 3D printers. The most varied 3D equipment has become relatively accessible to makers and industries in general. The possibility of being able to manufacture plastic parts, for example, allows you to model and simulate products, perform functional tests, obtain faster production of parts for the production line, etc. The expectation is still for growth since, increasingly, the equipment is improving in print resolution and with new plastic materials. However, 3D printing is not yet a substitute for final machining in most scenarios.
As the industrial market advances in automation and software, the use of 3D printing is a to be incorporated in manufacturing as it unlocks previous production restrictions that require complex and resistant parts.
The decade is marked by major changes in the technological scenario. Breaking paradigms both in the industrial process and in the qualification of professionals are major challenges to be met. Companies that embrace change by developing an innovation strategy will be more distinctive and competitive in the industrial scenario. Technological trends show that there are opportunities that add value to the operation, in addition to bringing financial gains and better productive efficiency.