You’ve probably heard the phrases ‘Water 4.0’, ‘Industry 4.0’, ‘Internet of Things’ and ‘SMART and DIGITAL’ but did you know that…
…Pi’s CRIUS® controller is already set up for all of these things?
…Pi already has SMART and DIGITAL installations all over the world?
…Pi works as partners to many multinational organisations to provide their remote access, remote comms and SMART technology?
So what is Industry 4.0 (and Water 4.0 and the Internet of Things and SMART and DIGITAL technology)?
Simply put the concept is that we are currently living through the 4th Industrial Revolution.
The first was mechanisation, (what we currently think of as the Industrial Revolution), so steam engines, Spinning Jennies, railways, canals and factories in the 1800’s.
The second was the age of mass production so; electricity, the production line, etc., largely in the first half of the 20th century.
The third was computers and automation, in the latter part of the 20th century, and the fourth?
The fourth (Industry 4.0) is about ‘SMART’ factories. (The original use of the expression Industry 4.0 was by a group of advisors to the German government who presented their advice in 2012). Industry 4.0 is about making factories as SMART as they can be. That is having assets (machines, people, robots, AI, cyber technology etc.) all communicating with each other.
The main principles put forward were based on;
- Interoperability – everything should be able to talk to everything else.
- Information Transparency – the physical world should be able to be recreated virtually to allow for testing and modelling.
- Technical Assistance – information should be presented in a way that supports people to make good and fast decisions.
- Decentralisation – after decades of centralisation to things like DCS systems and SCADA systems, the future is to enable as many decisions as possible to be made locally by whatever intelligence (human or machine) is available.
So what is Water 4.0 and SMART and DIGITAL?
Water 4.0 is simply how this technology and philosophy will be implemented/will affect the water industry. There are some clear outcomes from the above… more sensors… more modelling… ‘SMARTER’ instruments, controllers, pumps etc..
SMART and DIGITAL.
These terms aren’t quite as well defined as others. Generally it is accepted that SMART is the increasing sophistication of equipment to make decentralised decisions. For example, in 1990 a chlorine analyser measured chlorine in water, gave out a 4-20mA output proportional to the chlorine and a couple of relays.
Now the CRIUS® HaloSense (fully Water 4.0 developed) can provide the 4-20mA output and the relays, but also has multiple digital comms options (INTEROPERABILITY), has space for up to 16 sensors (INFORMATION TRANSPARENCY), has wireless and wired internet access (TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE) and full PID capability with remote setpoint, i.e. another device can set the setpoint (DECENTRALISATION). So SMART technology is the technology that allows for the implementation of Industry 4.0 or Water 4.0. DIGITAL tends to refer to the comms capability.
So what is the Internet of Things or IoT?
When the previous Industrial Revolutions happened, the technology and concepts spilled over into the consumer world from the business/manufacturing world. With Industry 4.0 it is beginning to be the other way around with consumer demand for the internet, and mobile phone technology, driving the technology. If we assume that in this Industrial Revolution the same thing will happen, then the Internet of Things refers to all devices we use all the time talking to each other and making their own decisions.
Imagine your mobile phone waking you at 6am and telling your kettle that turns itself on at 6.20am, which tells your car that starts itself and defrosts the windscreen at 6.30am etc., etc..
Not convinced that we are in a new Industrial Revolution?
Consider this…… perhaps Industrial Revolutions are only identifiable in hindsight?
And what does it matter? Well from Process Instruments’ point of view, it doesn’t. As long as our products are leading the way in providing our customers with what they need to enable their own Industry 4.0.
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