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Many Believe That Industry 4.0 Can Be Bought

Many Believe That Industry 4.0 Can Be Bought
Many Believe That Industry 4.0 Can Be Bought

Video: Many Believe That Industry 4.0 Can Be Bought

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Video: What Is Industry 4.0? 2023, January

Vogel-Heuser: Yes, there are definitions. But none that is really recognized. Or the definitions are so general that they no longer say anything. Industry 4.0 is actually a concept that has many facets. Summarizing that in one sentence just doesn't work.

What are the most common misunderstandings when it comes to Industry 4.0?

Many people think that they can buy Industry 4.0. This is not possible. Or trade fair stands advertise with the inscription: We have an Industry 4.0 PC. Total nonsense. A PC itself cannot be Industry 4.0 at all, it is a device with software. I often hear during training courses too: Tell me how Industry 4.0 works for my company. That will not do. Every company has to think for themselves what is interesting about this bouquet of components from Industry 4.0 for them, for their business and for their customers.

Can you give examples of this?

During a training session, I was in contact with a company that still works a lot manually. But there is a large core machine that fails more often. Now the company has teamed up with the competitor who also has this machine and has started an Industry 4.0 project with the machine manufacturer to reduce the failures and find the causes. In another case, for a large company that has many departments, the communication between the departments has to be optimized, for example, so that the engineering and data evaluation can be improved. So you can't say: tell me what to do in my company. Here everyone has to consider where weaknesses are and what is most useful.

So Industry 4.0 optimizes companies?

Yes, it's an optimization process. Ultimately, we want our plants to run better so that we can remain competitive or even improve our competitiveness. We have these various mechanisms of Industry 4.0. For example, I can now network because there is good internet almost everywhere. This networking can not only take place in your own company, but also with your competitors. Many companies are quite willing to share their data with some of their competitors. Because they get more knowledge and more knowledge means I can work more productively.

What can that look like specifically?

For example, manufacturers and construction site operators can exchange data about construction machines with each other, i.e. how often the device is used or which routes are being driven or which error messages were pending. When I see a device failing, I can quickly find out where I can get or borrow another. And maybe also with the competitor, if I know they don't need their excavator. And I'm going to give him a little money for that. Then we both have something of it. This is the really new thing, to look beyond company boundaries.

In the “My Yogurt” project, you work with several professors on one project.

Professors are also competitors when they do research and teach at different universities. We wanted to show that we can build something together and also learn together, even without funding. Everyone has their strengths and when we get together, an Industry 4.0 system results. And so it was, we wrote models and software together.

Another aspect of Industry 4.0 can be seen in this system: the intelligent product. How does this work?

You have a glass of yogurt, so to speak, that knows how to fill it. Let's say you want mango and strawberries. First you need to know: Can this be made, so all ingredients are available and can this fruit be processed at all in the system. Then the glasses are driven and get what they need. You are, so to speak, in contact with the system. The idea itself is pretty old. Now it can be implemented.

When people think of Industry 4.0, many people also think of fully automated production, in which workers are no longer necessary.

Deserted factories are not what we want to achieve. There are certain things that machines can do better than humans. For example, lifting heavy things or evaluating monotonous activities such as data. We want to get rid of these undemanding, time-consuming tasks. These many little things that keep us from doing what we want to do. Industry 4.0 can contribute to this. People can still do other things better than machines, such as reacting to critical and unforeseen situations. Machines in Industry 4.0 should also be supported in their work by machines.

How could it look like?

The question is: How can I train less qualified workers that they can, for example, maintain a machine. It is important to break down the complex work in simple steps and not to overwhelm people. It is possible to interpret their reactions. For example through glasses that determine the direction of view. If someone looks around and doesn't know what to do, you can find out and try to find out what they didn't understand. This information can then be used to reprogram and improve the interface and software.


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