The present age is highly enthusiastic about the upgradation happening around Industry 4.0. Various industries are taking leverage of advanced technologies and marching towards becoming fully integrated Industry 4.0 operations. The manufacturing industry contributing as one of the high growth sectors in India is also at the forefront of harnessing the benefits of the 4th industrial revolution, giving rise to a phenomenon called ‘smart manufacturing.’
Manufacturing as a sector has always been agile enough to embrace futuristic technologies, and in recent years, it is at the cusp of radical change by employing advanced technologies like 3D printing, cloud computing, AI, AR, and robotics to the maximum use. Industry 4.0 is setting the stage for the confluence of smart digital technology and manufacturing giving access to real-time insights and information enhancing the manufacturing process with the help of automation, machine learning, and real-time data.
As smart manufacturing is redefining the profitability of various industries, the HVAC&R is counted as one of those fields, which is setting the best example of effective utilization. For example, advanced digital solutions under Industry 4.0 are augmenting the utility of the industry by producing efficient and sustainable products.
Significant value is being added with the help of cost-effective and energy-efficient solutions. The various IoT platforms are championing automatic management rendering global quality products with minimalistic wastage of resources and acutely focusing on reducing customer claims but at the same time increasing user satisfaction.
The intelligent solutions (special algorithms) inbuilt in the systems help modulate various critical components for real time energy optimization. Smart Factories is the best viable illustration that makes use of IoT to exercise efficient control over the equipment and systems. These smart factories are adept at troubleshooting, operating, and monitoring the process without the intervention of humans. Additionally, IoT enables the connection of HVAC systems with automation systems that allow hassle-free access from a laptop, desktop, cellphone, and even tablet.
The automation systems are taking the operations to next level where they are playing an instrumental role in optimizing performance by regulating the predictive maintenance service. It contributes to system optimization by considering the fault prediction provided by the real-time data. The various algorithms formed around the data points supervise the remote monitoring aimed at improving the adaptability and performance of the system. In line with managing the crisis beforehand, nowadays IoT is enabling alarm management that makes use of in-depth remote technical analysis to keep a tap on the critical conditions.
Industry 4.0 is paving the way for more flexible and versatile manufacturing. IoT-powered cloud services are championing interactive interfaces backed up with the ability to streamline various stakeholders from users to managers in the same loop. The various advanced technologies like AI, big data, machine learning, robotics, cloud computing, etc. are changing the way manufacturing was done before. Every stage of the product cycle is highly driven by unified information-driven decisions that are made in a factory environment. It has improved the efficiency from automating engineering processes to overseeing the business functioning. AR is another technology that is bringing about the unification of real-world and digital world order to amplify the virtual world applicability.
All the components are helping manufacturers in aggregating cloud data to access real-time information assisting them in getting the comprehensive status of various processes. The new data processing technologies integrated into the cloud portals are providing value-added services by channelizing effective and easy everyday activity. Day-to-day workflows are approved making use of automation. Managers can keep track of the numerous operations and align real-time updates by sending notifications for material, invoicing sales orders, and inventory monitoring.
Manufacturers are intensively working towards building a strong infrastructure by revolutionizing the digital investment, IT/ data centers & supply chain with the help of advanced technologies. They are taping on the evolving business models and revenue sources based upon data and services which is giving new digital existence to the manufacturing business across the industries. They have truly become a part of the overall smart supply chain and go beyond automation and optimization goals.
The entire Industry 4.0 built around the digital revolution has brought in a whole new level of automation, analysis, and monitoring that is leading to smart manufacturing. Owing to this the manufacturers are able to maximize the yield, helping them to be a part of and contribute to this digital economy.
Guest contributor Deepak Pahwa is the Chairman of the Pahwa Group & Managing Director at Bry-Air (Asia). Any opinions expressed in this article are strictly that of the author.