Championing Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0, is poised to change the manufacturing world in ways that may be difficult to visualize and comprehend. We continually hear about the benefits of 4.0, but when can we start to see them? The best form of vetting is seeing it in action— first-hand. So yes, visualizing 4.0 is exactly what we are going to do.
We are excited to announce our 4 Million dollar investment into building a live, functioning industry 4.0 laboratory at Humber College’s North Campus.  Aside from being a 4.0 visual aid, the lab will act as a research and development hub allowing students the opportunity to explore new technologies that go well beyond 4.0.

Corporations will be invited to the lab and have the opportunity to ask questions and take a first-hand look at relatable system solutions and workflows before making the transition to industry 4.0.

While this Lab is in its infant stages of development, we encourage you to subscribe to our social channels for play-by-play updates and articles about the value of transitioning to Industry 4.0. This Month’s article looks at the indirect cost-effectiveness of a smart factory.

It’s no secret that all businesses need to profit. Most manufacturers are drawn to capital investments that have an immediate impact on its production goals and a better bottom-line. However, industry 4.0 technologies can yield valuable benefits that are not directly related to the amount produced, but instead, in the way which it is produced. Here are some examples;

Improved product quality: Real-time quality control and monitoring ensure no compromise is made on quality. Whenever there are simple decisions to be made, robots will make the decisions using artificial intelligence, big data, cognitive abilities, and the information obtained online. IIot sensors embedded in tools and machines keep track of environmental conditions such as temperature, pressure, and can even sense unwanted contaminents. This type of quality control can assist in identifying defective products and possibly prevent product recalls.

Cost-effectiveness:  Predictive maintenance uses smart sensors to alert operators about maintenance issues and possible system faults before they occur.  The ability to diagnose manufacturing problems while the system continues to operate is advantageous to operators because detailed system alerts are sent in real-time.  This flow of data allows maintenance personnel ample time to source parts and pre-plan the repair while the system continues to run.  Predictive Maintenance also eliminates the need to identify and trouble-shoot unplanned maintenance issues.

Increased worker safety: In a fully automated smart factory, robots perform the hazardous, strenuous and repetitive tasks.  They will bear the brunt of extreme temperature and pressure, toxic gases, and other potentially hazardous situations. Human workers are never exposed to risky situations. Whenever human workers are required to perform a dangerous task, they can use remote-controlled devices, automated guided vehicles (AGV’s)or augmented reality (AR) technology to perform the task without having to actually be there. 

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