Industry 4.0 Internet of Things Technology

Analog Devices’ Equation For A Smart Factory

Since a couple of months we are running a campaign dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT) together with our manufacturing partner Analog Devices (ADI). The objective of the campaign is to realize the best possible outcomes for customers and their IoT projects. We already introduced ADI’s solutions for smart building in an earlier article. The focus here will be on “Smart Factory”, which is becoming a more and more prominent matter in the society.

What Matters In The Industrial Internet Of Things

In our article about smart building security solutions, we already stressed the importance of sensor technology. They are one of the most important elements that are necessary for the IoT. But they require other components to be able to unfold their power. They need interaction with other components and technologies to bring added value. Although the topic we are talking about here admittedly is not the easiest one, the ADI equation theoretically is pretty simple. The creation of information through sensing, measuring, interpreting, connecting and analysing data in the industrial environment is what matters in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

industrial internet defined
(Image: Analog Devices)

The Vision Of A Digitized Industrial Production

Experts believe that the vision of Industry 4.0 – the “Smart Factory” – will become reality within the next 20 years. We at EBV are collaborating with our partners to make this vision happen. The concept is still in the early stages. Companies are still shy investing in Industry 4.0, according to McKinsey survey from 2015. Only 6 of 10 companies in Germany feel prepared for the next industrial revolution. Even though most of them see digitalisation of industrial production as a chance, and they expect a productivity increase of 20 per cent. But often, new technology such as 3D printing, big data and the Internet of Things will be seen as a risk. That’s why persuasive effort is needed, which we try to do when running such campaigns.

The Value Of A Smart Factory

We want to demonstrate why we think the topic of a smart factory is so important and what kind of value it can deliver. First of all companies are always seeking to lower their costs in order to remain competitive or in the best case to have an advantage over their competition. A smart factory can provide a lot of factors that contribute to achieve this goal. Just to name a few there is lowering maintenance costs, improved quality, reduction in stock levels and optimised use of resources due to self-optimized processes. The objective of a “Smart Factory” is to provide a highly flexible, individualized and resource-friendly mass production. Products will find their way independently through the production process. Machines and products will communicate with each other co-operatively and drive production.

Cyber Physical Systems In Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is combining three things: Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralized decisions. In order to achieve this, devices, machines and materials will be equipped with sensors and communication technology. When connecting them, the industrial internet of things evolves, namely the communication and cooperation of the systems. CPS are even able to optimize themselves. Every sensor and actuator is a participant in the Internet of Things. Industrial internet of services, internal and cross-organizational services, such as cloud computing, analytics and logistics, are offered and utilized by participants of the value chain.

sensor signal chain for smart factory
(Image: Analog Devices)

The Analog Devices Signal Chain

As described above, smart sensors and connectivity is required to establish the Industry 4.0. ADI delivers products that enable the entire sensing, measuring, interpretation and connectivity signal chain. iSensor MEMS IMUs are highly integrated, multiaxis solutions that combine gyroscopes, accelerometers, magnetometers and pressures sensors into 1 device providing autonomous operation and data collection. High performance Isolated Sigma-Delta modulators convert an analog input signal into a high speed data stream, with on-chip digital isolation technology. The analog input is continuously sampled by a high performance analog modulator, and converted to a digital output stream, where the data information lies in the density of ones. ADI provides embedded application processors for intelligent pre-processing of measurement data at the node. RF transceivers for 6LoWPAN, Wireless M-bus, WiSUN, Zigbee, Sigfox and RF ADRadioNet provide the customer with a full set of wireless connectivity options.

One practical example is the use of sensors that are able to identify upcoming equipment failure and consequently proactively schedule maintenance when it is needed. Production outages can be avoided more easily with such predictive maintenance.

If you want to learn more about the solutions for “Smart Factory” from Analog Devices please visit our campaign website or reach out and contact us personally here.

We also recommend you to watch the webinar “Sensor Signal Chain / Industry 4.0 Ready” covering ADI’s offer in industrial automation as part of the EBV University series.

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