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Modern Factory Automation and Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Guide


Using automation technology, any organization can execute processes with little or no human intervention. Automation technology can provide power to a range of devices, enabling them to achieve various goals in a variety of manufacturing environments.

Automation is so effective because it greatly reduces the risk of errors by reducing manual assistance to improve quality, output, and efficiency.

In its most basic form, automation uses a controller that evaluates the measurement status based on a predetermined list of values to maintain the required environment and conditions required for efficiency.

industrial automation

Automation in industrial environments uses control systems (such as computers) and large amounts of data to manage equipment and processes in a manufacturing environment. Enterprises in this industry have been looking for ways to increase production, productivity, and efficiency. Automation keeps the machine in a specific measurement state.

Most automated production lines consist of workstations and transmission systems that use various tools to change the purpose or appearance of a product, allowing it to move through multiple production stages.

The logic controller monitors the process by managing the order in which machines are used and how long each machine must work on the product.

When necessary, companies can use automated infrastructure to manufacture, refine, and produce individual parts, as well as assemble final products.

Different factory automation systems

There are four different types of automation, each with a specific purpose:

• Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) - Using FMS allows production lines to extend the functionality of programmable systems to achieve transitions with no or minimal production delays.

• Programmable - Programmable automation features allow operators to adjust and reorder the entire manufacturing process to address deviations in the final product, such as color changes in children's toys. This solution typically utilizes CNC machines running through computer programs to generate any deviations from different batches.

• Rigid, fixed, or rigid - As the name implies, these systems are fixed throughout the production process and cannot be changed without significant changes. This output is typically limited to production lines that produce a large number of individual products, such as automobile manufacturing.

• Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) - Computer integrated manufacturing systems cover all factory related automation and production processes that rely on computer systems. Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) systems typically include the following:

– Automated crane and transfer systems;

- CNC machine tools;

– CAD and CAM integration;

- Computer assisted planning;

– Computer assisted scheduling and production;

– Machine systems;

– Robotics.

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or simply Intelligent Manufacturing, is the use of automation and data sets in manufacturing scenarios. This highly intuitive and interconnected process enables production lines to meet the requirements of a rapidly changing industry.

Within the scope of Industry 4.0 setup, any independent activity can now be connected to other processes at a faster and more accurate speed, adding value to the entire operation.

Industry 4.0 consists of "nine pillars of technological progress", which are described in detail below:

• First pillar: Additive manufacturing - Additive manufacturing is another term for 3D printing, which uses 3D technology to create products by creating layers that form the entire object. This technology is commonly used for small batches of customized products, lightweight mechanical parts, and prototype work.

• Second pillar: Augmented Reality (AR) - Augmented Reality (AR) is very suitable for identifying problems in machines, as well as conducting training and diagnostics.

• The third pillar: autonomous robotics - robotics can change its core goals based on the stage of production. In addition to working safely in an artificial environment, robots can also communicate with each other.

• The fourth pillar: Big Data and Analysis - requires a large amount of data and analysis resources to improve the efficiency that every enterprise aspires to. Production lines can collect data at each stage of the chain to improve their processes and redeploy resources where they deem appropriate.

• Fifth pillar: Cloud computing - The manufacturing industry requires collaboration beyond company wide, which means that rapid cloud computing is necessary for data collection, analysis, storage, and monitoring.

• Pillar 6: Cybersecurity - The goal of Industry 4.0 is to transform from a traditional closed process to a more modern and connected environment. However, this requires more complex user access levels and greater reliance on network security.

• Pillar 7: Horizontal and Vertical System Integration - System integration is the complete coordination of all assets in the supply chain. For example, a production line manager may want to maintain labels in other areas of the supply chain, such as information from a retail organization or manufacturing department.

• Eighth pillar: Internet of Things (IoT) - IoT sensors exist in many assets in production lines and control centers. These assets will then be able to communicate with each other to provide production personnel with an in-depth understanding of production line operations. It is then sent to the cloud platform and used for predictive maintenance.

• Pillar 9: Simulation - 3D simulations of products, materials, and processes can utilize real-time data and then convert it into a virtual model of the entire production operation.

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Source: Xianji.com

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