The Rise of the Smart Machine

The Rise of the Smart Machine

Algorithms and integrated networks (Industry 4.0) will change the landscape of equipment in the years to come.  The power of well-constructed, self-healing, and adaptive networks is difficult to comprehend at this stage of their development, or maybe they are not.

 

 

For example, imagine a machining center that monitors each component of its function in real time, all the time, deciding its spindle needs replacement.  The machining center automatically adjusts its speeds and feeds for each tool to ensure the quality of the parts it machines are not compromised.  It also orders the new spindle or spindle bearings.  The delivery of the spindle determines when the machine will need to schedule its downtime for replacement.  The downtime is going to disrupt production, so it automatically adjusts raw material needs and its production times to ensure the downtime does not affect overall production.  If it is unable to...

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Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is a term used to reference the next phase of the industrial revolution.  My preference at this point is to call it an industrial evolution.  Technology continues to advance at rapid rates, but it has, for the most part, been compartmentalized.  In other words, cloud computing has primarily been applied to software services and file storage.  Industrial connectivity has focused on the collection of data and remote access for diagnostic purposes.  The Internet of Things (IoT) has not been leveraged in the industrial world.  Artificial Intelligence has largely not been leveraged in the industrial world either.

 

Industry 4.0 brings these technologies to industrial applications, allowing increased connectivity among devices and controllers.  If applied correctly, this increased connectivity will allow for decentralized decision making to take place.  These decisions will be made in real-time based on the communication between...

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