Industry 4.0

The next Industrial Revolution is upon us. You may have heard the terms Industry 4.0, factories of the future, or smart factories, but do you really know what that means? Put simply, Industry 4.0 is the modernization of manufacturing. The cornerstone of Industry 4.0 is interoperability—making physical assets, devices, sensors, and people connect and communicate with each other in order to improve all areas of your manufacturing facility including efficiency, downtime, productivity, innovation, and customer service with a goal of sustainability and profitability.

The move to Industry 4.0 is a journey, and the place to start will vary by manufacturer. One plant may need to repair or replace plant machinery or legacy systems; one may need to look at people resources and training; another may need to reinvent their business model; or a combination of all of the above. While the route to modernizing plants will differ, they will all involve a digital transformation.

Disruptive technologies are the driving force behind Industry 4.0 including augmented reality, big data analytics and artificial intelligence, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cloud computing, and 3D printing. Here is a brief explanation of each.

Augmented Reality makes it possible for workers to access digital information and overlay the information with the physical realm.

Big data analytics and AI collects and analyzes large volumes of data coming from management systems and devices attached to plant assets.

IIoT monitors, manages, and services large scales of machines and equipment across multiple locations.

Cloud computing facilitates the ingestion and handling of substantial amounts of data needed to automate and protect the production processes

3D printing allows for fast prototyping and mass production of custom tooling.

For our purposes here, we’re going to focus on big data, IIoT, and cloud computing using intelligent sensors, and how these disruptive technologies can specifically switch your manufacturing mindset from preventative maintenance to proactive maintenance by monitoring the actual identifiable conditions of your industrial assets, which can significantly improve operating efficiencies and pinpoint when equipment may breakdown and repair it before it causes damage to that equipment or loss to your production, and or endangers your staff.

When you are able to manage maintenance (rather than simply predict), you reduce costs of repairs or replacements, decrease unplanned downtime, foresee machine failure, improve reaction times, gain valuable process awareness, and empower real-time decision making.

The SX3 Autonomous wireless monitoring combines state-of-the-art wireless sensors with best in class, high resolution data collection, analysis, and visualization to help provide a reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) approach that can prolong the life cycle of your plant assets.

These sensors autonomously monitor vibration, heat from rotating equipment or Pressure/temperature from pressurized pipes and equipment. If the equipment is not balanced or in decline from wear, these sensors detect the abnormalities and send alerts in real-time by collecting the data and sending it to the gateway, and then to the cloud where it is monitored, autonomously without the need for manual reading. Upon alerts thresholds human intervention of the data allows for significant detail into what is the exact cause of the issue.

But not all condition monitoring sensors are alike.

The SX3 Autonomous wireless sensor and cloud bridge by SpaceSense Corp. brings IIoT devices and technologies into a single managed environment and includes some distinct differences that truly make it a disruptive technology.

Matching expensive wired solutions, SX3 wireless sensor performs better in frequency range (FMAX), lines of resolution, battery life, and data quality that any other wireless solution on the market today. Here is what else sets SX3 apart from the industry.

Works with your existing equipment. Overhauling your plant’s legacy equipment may not be cost effective as you consider how to enter Industry 4.0; but it is also not required. SX3 sensors work with your assets, no matter their age. If it rotates, our sensors can monitor its vibration and/or pressure.

Reduces installation time and cost with wireless capabilities. SX3 is designed for convenience and scalability. No hardwiring into the control architecture needed, which saves you money on purchase, installation, configuration, and onsite reading. Reduces strain on networks and uses LiteDeploy™ simplifying deployment cost and support.

Keeps your employees safe. The location of equipment and data points for manual reading are often hard to reach and even dangerous for employees.  Once deployed high risk locations no longer need access to employees or contractors. Reduce COVID19 risks by reducing contractors’ access to your plant reducing the possible cost of plant shut down and decontamination.

Frees up resources. Stop firefighting and arm wrestling with your plant downtime. Using the SX3 Enterprise wireless sensors for Autonomous monitoring makes it convenient to collect data without employees being physically at the equipment to take manual measurements, which means your employees can focus on more value-added responsibilities such as fixing faults in advance of breakdown, even extending the life of your assets up to 25%.

Offers real time, not trending data. SX3 can find the problem in one, real-time data sweep so you can address problems or equipment emergencies immediately, before they happen. Conversely if you rely on historical data to trend over time, the asset can fail before you find the problem.

Provides high-resolution data. industry-leading data resolution with 20kHz sample rate disseminated down to  90 points of data, 30,000 lines (per X,Y,Z Axis)  @5kHz per second for a duration of six seconds, exceeding any other wireless sensor on the market for pinpoint accuracy. That is far above any other wireless sensor data resolution on the market.

Autonomous monitoring through the use of disruptive technologies provides insight into predictive analytics that wouldn’t be possible with, lower resolution trending data solutions. To prepare for Industry 4.0, begin by fully learning the technologies available to you and think about how you would apply them to your own plant’s business model. SpaceSense.Systems can answer any questions you have about our SX3 disruptive technology.

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