101. Industry 4.0 demystified
Industry 4.0 – just the same old ingredients, new recipe
Industry 4.0 is the term for a system that comprises these 4 things:
+ Data transfer over internet
+ Software that analyzes the data and takes decisions
It is essentially this:
1. There’s a machine
2. There are sensors on the machine that collect data from it
3. The sensors send the data to the internet
4. There’s software that collects the data and analyzes it.
5. The software sends data to other software, displays it to people, or controls the machine.
You’ll see that all the individual parts of the system are familiar to us – machines, sensors, the internet, software. We’ve had machines with sensors – almost every machine has sensors showing fluid pressure, temperature, speeds, etc.. We’ve been using the internet for years now. We’ve been using all kinds of software for years now. None of them is new or revolutionary technology. What IS new and revolutionary is all these working together. Here’s a table that shows the difference between how the individual components worked traditionally, and how they work with Industry 4.0.
The machine can be anything at all – a manually operated machine, CNC, robot . The sensor can measure cycle start/end, machine on/off, pressure, temperature, vibrations or any other parameter. The software can shut down the machine if there’s a tool breakage; it can monitor vibrations for predictive maintenance, inform people that a particular part needs to be changed; it can make scheduling or purchasing decisions based on actual production, or do a bunch of other things.
The use of Industry 4.0 has nothing to do with the size of the company, and does not involve big investment. Even SMEs can implement it. Cadem LEANworks Cloud is an Industry 4.0 based production monitoring system that is used even by job shops with just one machine.
It costs as much as a cup of coffee per day, and is as energizing for your shop floor as a cup of coffee, improving profitability dramatically 🙂
Lots of teeth and fangs, but nobody got bitten
I was at work in a CNC machine shop recently, and was hanging around outside taking a small breather. Some distance away I saw this cobra also hanging around, minding its own business. A group of dogs chanced upon the cobra and started harassing it. The dogs were cleverly keeping a safe distance, and the cobra was trying to trying to scare them off by raising its hood. This went on for quite some time. Thankfully for all parties concerned (including me, who didn’t want to see any of them getting hurt), the snake managed to get away and none of the dogs got bitten.
The Portugese encountered the snake in India (presumably in Goa) in the 16th Century, and called it the ‘cobra de capello’, which means Snake with a hood. The word then got borrowed into English later. Cobra, the Portugese word for Snake, is from the Latin word Colubra, which means snake.
I was reading somewhere that a large snake can live on 50 calories a day, was intrigued, did some more reading, and this is what I learnt:
Snakes are cold blooded animals, meaning that their body temperature changes to that of the surroundings. Warm blooded animals like humans and other mammals keep their temperature constant, irrespective of the outside temperature. We mammals have automatic mechanisms like sweating to cool down or shivering to warm up, and spend a lot of energy on maintaining our body temperature. This is why cold blooded animals like snakes, lizards and crocodiles require far fewer calories per day than warm blooded animals.
Snakes need about 1/3 what a human requires, for the same body weight. That’s why they’ll eat a heavy meal and then not eat for days together.
Speaking of calories, a blue whale (which weighs 180 tons) can ingest half a million calories of food in a single mouthful. When the foodie monster in me wakes up (which it does whenever it sees good food), I think that’s how much I eat in a single mouthful. A conclusion based on the fact that I have to loosen my belt by a couple of notches after such a meal 🙂