Industry 4.0 in industrial automation
It's a must. For some time now, the rules of Industry 4.0 have been a beacon and a guide not only for our sector (that of mechanics and, more specifically, industrial automation), but for the entire industrial panorama worldwide.
What is Industry 4.0?
The term indicates the trend in industrial automation to integrate new technologies to optimize work, create new business models, and increase the quality of products and working conditions related to industrial plants.
New digital technologies: how they change the way we work
The process of automation, fostered by Industry 4.0 guidelines, is greatly affecting the way we work and do business.
This change occurs in, at least, three areas:
- data: their use and transmission is centralized. The rules for their acquisition, storage and processing change;
- analysis: thanks to an increased acquisition of data and their better use, our predictive capabilities improve;
- man-machine interaction: it becomes simpler and more immediate, also thanks to the development of intuitive interfaces (PLC panels).
Industrial automation and Industry 4.0: prospects for the future
While the double-threaded link between automation processes and Industry 4.0 is clear, it is not always clear how this relationship may develop in the future.
One of the most sensitive issues is the evolution of human labor.
People have always felt threatened by the introduction of new technology, fearing that they may be replaced by it. Industrial automation, thanks to its close relation with the operators, aims to facilitate their tasks, becoming a valuable tool and a strategic ally for them, not an alternative.
Together is better
The company and the operator who choose the path of industrial automation (signposted, of course, by Industry 4.0) can therefore count on the optimization and facilitation of their work, and as a consequence, on an improvement in their own performance.
National Transition Plan 4.0
An automation intervention on an existing machine can be done with a view to modernization and optimization. This is the direction recommended and encouraged by the National Transition Plan 4.0, which offers a series of incentives for those who carry out retrofitting on company’s machinery and tools.
What can modernization consist of? For example, it may refer to the replacement (or implementation) of a PLC: replacing the old operator panel with a new model, more up-to-date, can already result in a significant increase in the optimization of data flow management.
Moreover, thinking about a more advanced type of integration, it is possible to install OPCS: C.E.B.A.’s platform for production control and for the management of the production system, which connects the company's machinery, simplifying, directing and managing data and information and thus increasing productivity and effectiveness.