With advances in technology, industrial manufacturing is moving ahead at breakneck speed. Machines are becoming more efficient due to cutting edge developments in automation that bring improved performance and versatility. This, combined with the development of intelligent robots, means that smart machines are no longer a distant vision in the future.
Today, these advances have been grouped together and are now commonly referred to as Industry 4.0 – which some people consider as being the next industrial revolution. According to Bob Hitner, Marketing Manager for SMC Pneumatics (UK) Ltd, this focus on Industry 4.0 is often confusing for many customers. “Most people can recognise the benefits of adopting an Industry 4.0 approach but “where do I start” is often their first question”.
Some people are also getting increasingly frustrated with all the jargon and Industry 4.0 terminology – which seems to be growing at an alarming rate. For example, are the “Internet of Things” (IoT) and “Connected Enterprise” the same as Industry 4.0? What’s considered big data and what’s not? What’s “Digital Production” and the “Individualisation of Products”?
This is where SMC can help you. He said: “We see Industry 4.0 as being a natural progression towards smarter manufacturing, with smart machines incorporating smart components operating in smart factories. By taking this approach we help our customers in practical ways, to take a few small steps, to start them on their Industry 4.0 journey”.
He added: “In many cases the starting point is by adopting advanced sensors to measure and monitor pressure or flow. By logging this performance data you can quickly detect any irregularities in your production process. This data can help you introduce preventative maintenance to minimise unplanned stoppages.”
SMC is committed to meeting the needs of its customers. With a standard product range exceeding 12,000 items, SMC launches around 40 new products each year. As the world leaders in pneumatic technology and experts in automation SMC products can be purchased in 83 countries with product support from 51 subsidiaries located at key sites around the globe.
For more information, visit their website: www.smc.uk