Industry Report

Are you ready for Smart Factory?

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Taking stock of Indian industry readiness in terms of smart factory

The factory of the future is here! Industry 4.0 is known for the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies which in further includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, Cloud computing and cognitive computing. The term Industry 4.0 creates what has been called a ‘smart factory’.

With the rise in factory automation especially in past few decades, factories are getting smarter day-by-day. Smart factory indeed is the need of the hour as it not only helps to enhance your total productivity, reduce manual errors, but also helps to channelise your manpower in other productive jobs. Take a look at what experts opines on the readiness for ‘smart factory’.

An integrated system for real-time control
“At Exor we are ready for smart factory and we are also partnering with Intel to provide the solution to Industry,” says Varun Arora, National Sales Manager, Exor India.

He informs, “Smart factory needs a new generation of controllers able to operate as Industrial IoT and able to dialogue semantic machine-to-machine and machine to connected world following the RAMI 4.0 model. Industry 4.0 controllers should integrate real-time control, visualisation, communication protocols that allow securing interoperability of devices.”

Exor has introduced an innovative Industry 4.0 IoT platform, based on ExorJMSoC, JMobile software and microSOM uS02 module based Intel / Altera SoC CV. The Exor solution integrates CODESYS 3.x PLC with the ability to be programmed for different field bus standard, such as EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, PROFINET, Powerlink and Modbus. At the same time microSOM integrates OPC-UA Client-Server architecture able to connect different controllers for Smart Factory deterministic TCP-IP backbone.

Industry 4.0: Moving towards the factories of the future
Ninad Deshpande, Head – Marketing, B&R Industrial Automation Pvt Ltd says, “In pursuit of smart, connected factory, industries embrace automation, open interfaces and communications, and latest manufacturing technologies. Today, even existing machines and factories are demanding a move towards Industry 4.0.”

B&R has been one of the pioneers in industrial automation, providing innovative solutions to machine and factory builders, enabling them to perfectly solve their requirements – set new standards in productivity, energy efficiency, flexibility and maintenance along the way. In addition, what today is paraded under the banner of Industry 4.0 have been common practice at B&R’s own production facilities for nearly a decade. The smart factory in the upper austrian town of Eggelsberg, which is HQ of B&R Industrial Automation has been fully networked since 2006 and is being upgraded all the time. With these technologically advanced solutions from B&R, even machine and factory builders can make their machines and factories smart and become Industry 4.0 ready.”

Today, factories demand remote maintenance, mass customisation, energy and condition monitoring solutions. B&R has adopted these in its own production lines for panels and PC, with the customer having more than two billion different hardware configurations to choose from, that’s without considering all of the software options.

Deshpande claims, “At B&R, we can produce a one-off item with the same efficiency as a batch of 1000. The ERP system plans an optimised order processing schedule and ensures that the logistics run smoothly. Parts that come from the warehouse are delivered just in time. The factory in Eggelsberg is completely networked – both horizontally and vertically. Machine and factory builders can leverage these benefits for their systems too by using B&R solutions and make their installations smart.”

Incorporate new ideas to make products more effective
Speaking on the readiness for ‘smart factory’, Mukesh Thakur, Assistant Manager– Sales & Marketing, Finder India Pvt Ltd, says, “Finder has always tried to incorporate new ideas to make its products more smart and innovative. The introduction of NFC feature in our products like timers and time switches have helped customer to save a lot of productive time which earlier got wasted in setting these device manually. Now, the parameters setting can be done smartly through your smart phones.”

Thakur outlines few examples of the smart devices that they offer for smart factory automation:
• Smart timer with LCD display and NFC feature helps to configure two independent programs on its two independent channels. All the major functions like on /off delay/ Interval/watchdog/asymmetrical flasher etc can programmed on this single device. No need to buy different models for different functions. Helps to streamline an inventory to unprecedented way.
• For the smart control of your indoor light loads Finder offers wide range of motion sensors compatible with latest building automation protocols like DALI and KNX. The company also offer a discrete range with bluetooth compatibility which helps to control these devices through your mobile phones.
• Finder’s smart astro time switches with inbuilt astro program helps to control a factory’s outdoor lights (i.e. street lights) with much ease and accuracy, again the settings can be done through finders NFC enabled smart phones.
• For smart energy management finder offers a wide range of energy meters with MODBUS and RS 485 compatibility to receive useful data on a personal computers.

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