By Sophie Mc Donagh on Feb. 15, 2019
If you only read the following, you will have a pretty good overview of the major trends currently dominating the digital sector.
The term “Internet of Things” was officially introduced in 1999 and since then the manufacturing industry has increasingly applied connected sensors directly on the production floor to collect data about the status of machines or track the location of assets. If, for example, a machine breaks down, connected sensors can automatically locate the issue and trigger a service request, thus dramatically improving operating efficiencies. But we knew that already, so far, so old.
The next generation of Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoTs) offers more advanced functions. Before the sensors would only warn the humans that a machine was failing, now the newest IIoT devices help manufacturers to predict a machine failure before entering a dangerous operating condition and eventually breaking down. This ensures better safety for human operators and huge cost savings. How do we do that? For instance, the sensor introduced by OneWatt analyzes the sound frequencies of motors. Similarly, CARFIT monitors the vibrations of a given car engine. The data obtained is then analyzed by AI-backed algorithms to identify potentially upcoming anomalies.
Other such as Tellmeplus go beyond by developing AI-driven analytic software platforms which can integrate data from various sensors and machines to create customized predictive models. Likewise, Amiral Technologies offers a predictive maintenance solution based on machine learning which allows the constant self-adaptation of the underlying predictive model to yield more accurate predictions.
Beyond machine management, IIoTs can transform traditional, linear manufacturing lines into dynamic, interconnected systems. The need to switch from the Ford-era assembly line to a more dynamic model is driven by the diversification of products. Instead of standard products, most manufacturers offer customized solutions to be able to compete in the market. Connected sensors and autonomous systems like the one introduced by Arculus, Hello Tomorrow’s 2017 Industry 4.0 Track winner, increase productivity thanks to an optimized use of machine operation time and given infrastructure.
Like Arculus in the automotive industry, Safety Line applies a network of sensors and autonomous systems to transform the ground traffic at airport sites. All aircraft on the ground are handled by an autonomous, electric tug, and those vehicles are remotely controlled by a central system that optimizes the airport traffic flow.
The third industrial application of sensors is in the field of non-destructive testing — the analysis of material without disassembling it into its smallest units. The team at Senorics builds customized sensors to optically test any given organic material like food ingredients. Its sensor measures the unique “optical fingerprint” of substances by detecting their specific absorption characteristics in the near infrared wavelength range.
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