We foresee great scope for the growth in cable and connection technology with Industry 4.0
August 1, 2022 12:31 pm
Expressing his views with OEM Update, Gary Bateman, Managing Director, LAPP India, pronounced that the involvement of cobots in business processes is a practical step towards Industry 4.0 to help attract tech-savvy talent to an organisation.
What is your outlook on the present scenario of digital transformation taking place in Indian manufacturing?
Irrespective of the line of business, organisations are constantly pursuing effective productivity and launching innovative products that meet evolving customer demands. To support these objectives, manufacturing companies focus on getting products to market as quickly as possible. Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, including cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things and cloud computing.
This has led to the rise of “smart factories”. The rise and development of the concept of Industry 4.0 and the reach of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will make this possible via the interconnectedness of machines, facilities, and systems. This connectivity allows network components and sub-frameworks to trade data and control one another self-sufficiently. It enables decentralised control of production procedures for smaller batch sizes and makes it possible to have a high number of product variants. Smart Factories enable businesses to be more plugged into the Industrial Internet of Things, allowing them to look for ways to identify, isolate and prioritise the predictable and repeatable components of processes. It also helps in minimising downtime by constantly monitoring the health of the business systems and equipment to identify or even predict problems. As a result, smart factories have the requirement to be much more networked and interconnected than they are today.
Undoubtedly, digital transformation is revolutionising industries, with automation of systems becoming an essential part of this process. We foresee great scope for the growth in cable and connection technology with Industry 4.0. Manufacturers must leverage this potential to implement solutions that enable digital transformations, gaining maximum efficiency from their systems.
How can enterprises flexibly integrate automation into design and manufacturing?
As a pacesetter for innovative economic developments, automation significantly contributes to industries and infrastructure. Digital manufacturing is one of the key themes set to shape the foreseeable future of Industry 4.0. Automation technology is of prime importance in achieving higher productivity across industries.
The automation industry demands connections to be more robust, standardised and compact. We also witness scenarios where the same production lines are utilised for multiple products, requiring modular, flexible and robust connections to function reliably. Industrial automation components used in the systems must meet the demands necessary for smooth and flexible integration. Automation has created a demand for compact and light hybrid/ custom cable solutions that use minimal space and promise high speed. Cables form the backbone of the automation industry.
Why are digital twins suitable for continuous monitoring and optimising operations?
LAPP’s experience has indicated that most customers are keen on the digital twin approach and less interested in physical samples. This indicates the changing preference from product to digital information. A digital twin contains much more information about the product than a physical product sample. Therefore, the digital twin can be considered the basis for AI applications. It is also foreseeable that these digital components and systems will communicate and develop each other .
How could SMEs reduce production downtime and enhance efficiency?
A suitable method for SMEs to reduce production downtime and enhance efficiency is by adopting the practice of predictive maintenance. Devices and systems with predictive maintenance help increase plant availability through planned machine downtimes, thereby reducing maintenance costs. This concept helps with early fault detection, improves the reliability of the plant, extends equipment life, and offers superior performance, ensuring maximum efficiency.
One such product example would be ETHERLINE® GUARD, a product from the LAPP portfolio launched recently in India. It is a stationary monitoring device that continuously monitors an Ethernet cable, detects a decline in performance and displays the cable status. Usage of this device helps predict potential issues that could occur, avoiding the possibility of unplanned downtimes or total system failures.
Cobots are transforming the manufacturing and production processes for SMEs.
Cobots or collaborative robots are predicted to be the future of SMEs. They serve as a quick and cost-effective solution to tackle labour shortages and cost pressures across the globe. The involvement of cobots in business processes is a practical step towards Industry 4.0 and helps attract tech-savvy talent to your organisation. They have the potential to increase flexibility and quality and boost production speed, playing a pivotal role in assisting SMEs to scale up at a faster rate.
Given below are the functions for which cobots are commonly used in manufacturing and production processes today:
- Packaging and Palletising
- Gluing, Dispensing and Welding
- Injection Moulding
- Screw Driving
- Quality Inspection
- Pick and Place
- Machine Tending
- Lab Analysis.