Industry 4.0 and IPS

Factory floor

How many revolutions?

You may have heard about the first industrial revolution. You probably have an inherent idea of what it is too. Steam and water power literally pushed industry into a new era. What you may not know is we’ve started the fourth industrial revolution. A time of interconnectivity, information transparency, technical assistance and decentralised decision making. Introducing things such as the mobile devices we all love and cherish, the internet of things (IoT), smart sensors, big data and indoor positioning systems (IPS).

The digital revolution (the third industrial revolution) saw the introduction of computers. This increased effectiveness, improved autonomy of machinery and decreased the necessity of human involvement. Now that the infrastructure is in place, we can start to see the early stages of Industry 4.0 really manifest itself in daily operations. Monitoring machinery, asset management, data visualisation, on-demand availability of computer system resources, augmented reality, wearables and EHS.

The factory floor

A large factory complex will have production lines (pre-assembly, assembly and packaging), robots, testing facilities, warehouses, monitoring stations, management offices, common areas and meeting rooms. 

This is where Industry 4.0 becomes very integral to modern day production. With computer based processes, using the tools at our disposal, we can run a smooth, well-oiled machinery with minimal intervention, but maximising oversight and efficiency. With Forkbeard’s technology, we can augment processes that are an integral part of what makes up Industry 4.0. Indoor positioning with location detection capabilities adds another dimension to your business for asset management, monitoring, data gathering and/or data visualisation.

What IPS bring to the table

With IPS installed in the factory, you have a great basis to cover several of the hallmarks of Industry 4.0. 

Asset management (read more here), covers several use cases. You know where your equipment is, whether it’s mobile or fixed. With IoT sensors, monitor the status of an asset. If a production unit is offline or malfunctioning, this can trigger an alarm, notifying a technician. With the Forkbeard SDK and APIs integrated into the factory system, you can notify the closest person, or the on-call technician, to the asset that needs attention and automatically cancel an alarm when a technician arrives at the origin asset.

An asset that is offline can cause cascading issues. With IPS, you improve response time to ensure improved uptime. In business, any downtime can have massive monetary consequences.

The average cost of unplanned equipment downtime is $260,000 per hour, according to research conducted by Aberdeen.

Wearables and EHS are other building blocks of Industry 4.0. Forkbeard IPS technology can augment what they have to offer. You can see where and when specific areas of the factory floor are the busiest. Use this to plan cleaning or increasing safety measures in populous areas. Add positioning information to your augmented reality wearables (Xiaomi just announced their Smart Glasses concept) to help identify the asset functions, status and location.

As we’re moving ever forward with digitalisation and further development of services that define Industry 4.0, let your imagination take over. The sky is the limit. With all the tools available to us in this ever growing interconnectivity, integrating Forkbeard IPS into your operations, can push your business to set and achieve Objectives and Key Results (OKR) based on insightful data.

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