The importance of Industry 4.0 is encapsulated by the many benefits it brings to businesses. Predictive maintenance, energy monitoring, flexible production and real-time information from the shop floor are helping manufacturers revolutionise their facilities, making them more adaptable and potentially opening up new markets and ventures.
In order to make the benefits of Industry 4.0 a reality, much of the key technology is focused on accessing data from connected devices.
‘Smart factories’ rely on the industrial internet and the cloud to connect the real and virtual worlds, allowing the whole production process to be monitored. Therefore, the ability to gather and analyse data and transfer it to an intelligent management system is vital.
Image courtesy of HARTING
At this year’s Smart Factory Expo in Liverpool, HARTING will be showcasing their range of innovative Industry 4.0 solutions, one of which is MICA (Modular Industry Computer Architecture), a compact and rugged industrial computer designed for use in production environments.
MICA allows manufacturers to access information from machines, such as energy use and cycle times, and combine it with production figures to generate valuable real-time data.
Once this information is unlocked, it gives the user a much better understanding of what’s happening on the shop floor and allows them to develop strategies for efficient production planning and predictive maintenance.
Thanks to its open-source software, MICA is extremely versatile and can be used to undertake a variety of projects across a range of markets, including condition monitoring and asset management.
What’s more, it can be easily retrofitted to older legacy machines in order to achieve all the benefits of Industry 4.0 and the smart factory.
To learn more about our Industry 4.0 solutions or discuss your requirements with one of our product experts, please visit us on stand B20 at Smart Factory Expo:
13-14 NOVEMBER 2019 | EXHIBITION CENTRE LIVERPOOL
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This article first appeared in the November issue of The Manufacturer magazine. Click here to subscribe
Plug and play
HARTING will also be demonstrating a fully functional, new plug-and-play kit that utilises MICA and enables digital condition monitoring of any kind of machinery or equipment.
What’s particularly interesting about this development is that it can be installed in a few hours and begin to provide you with valuable production data immediately.
The robust and compact Bosch CISS sensor unit can be easily attached to any machine surface using the supplied magnets, allowing you to undertake short-term diagnostics or permanent condition monitoring.
Once it’s in place, it can simultaneously measure vibration, pressure, temperature, humidity, light, magnetic fields, acoustics and any changes in position.
Image courtesy of HARTING
RFID for all environments
Also on display will be HARTING’s range of robust and versatile UHF Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) products.
Our portfolio includes special transponders (known as ‘RFID tags’) for applications including on-metal smart labels for use on containers or identifying tools and antennae, which can be seamlessly installed on conveyor belts or used to create reading zones for smart shelves in stores.
An RFID system can cope with harsh, industrial environments – many HARTING RFID products are IP65/IP67 rated and are able to endure wide temperature variations, high humidity and continue to be readable in dirty environments where the tag may become coated in oil and grease.
Tags can also be securely encrypted and password protected to protect sensitive data. In addition, RFID hardware is future-proofed through the addition of features like WLAN, Bluetooth Low Energy and GSM.
Contributed by Gavin Stoppel, Industry 4.0 Product Manager, HARTING Ltd