"The use of IO-Link Wireless is particularly useful for machines that are difficult to reach or in hazardous areas where it is not safe to have a wired connection. A key reason that IO-Link Wireless is a key industry 4.0 technology, is that it enables easy access to devices in real-time – for actuation and data collection, which can be used to optimize machine performance and reduce downtime."
In recent years, the manufacturing industry has undergone a significant transformation with the introduction of Industry 4.0 manufacturing, also known as Industrial Revolution 4.0. Industry 4.0 is the integration of digital technologies into traditional manufacturing processes, resulting in the creation of smart factories. The very initial requirement for such factories is full connectivity at all levels of the factory, from the manufacturing floor, all the way up to management and cloud. Such communication needs to enable machines, devices, and systems to communicate and exchange information seamlessly, thus it requires a communication technology that is fast, reliable, flexible, and designed specifically for the industrial space. This is the core definition of IO-Link Wireless Technology. In this blog post, I will explore the impact of communication technology on Industry 4.0 and how it is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry.
What is Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 is the latest advancement leap in the industrial space, which is characterized by the integration of advanced digital technologies into existing manufacturing processes. This integration enables the creation of intelligent processes and smart manufacturing lines, where machines, devices, and systems are connected and communicate with each other to constantly optimize production processes while providing a clear and user-friendly view of the process to human operators. The goal of Industry 4.0 is to create a highly efficient, flexible, and customizable manufacturing process that can quickly adapt to changing market demands.
The History of the Industrial Revolutions
To understand the significance of Industry 4.0, it is essential to examine the history of the Industrial Revolution. The first industrial revolution occurred in the late 18th century and was characterized by the mechanization of production processes with steam power. The second industrial revolution occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and saw the introduction of mass production and assembly lines. The third industrial revolution occurred in the latter half of the 20th century and was characterized by the introduction of computer-based processes and automation.
Industry 4.0 is the latest industrial revolution, and it builds on the advancements of the previous revolutions. It aims to create a more efficient and flexible manufacturing process by leveraging digital technologies such as Edge Computing, Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Computing, Big Data Analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) which in the industrial space converts into IoT industry 4.0.
Technologies Driving Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 solutions rely on a range of digital technologies to create a connected and optimized manufacturing process, with the Internet of Things (IoT) being one of the most critical components of Industry 4.0. It involves the integration of sensors and other smart devices into machines, devices, and systems to collect data and enable real-time monitoring and control of production processes. Machine Optimization & Data Collection are of great significance in Industry 4.0, as the data collected by IoT devices is analyzed using AI and big data analytics to optimize production processes and improve efficiency.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a significant role in Industry 4.0 in general and machine optimization specifically, by enabling machines, devices, and systems to learn from data and make decisions autonomously. AI algorithms can analyze data in real-time and provide insights into production processes, enabling manufacturers to make informed decisions and optimize production.
Cloud computing is another essential technology in Industry 4.0. It allows manufacturers to store and access vast amounts of data from anywhere in the world. This data can be analyzed in real-time using AI and big data analytics to optimize production processes.
Big data analytics is critical in Industry 4.0 as it allows manufacturers to make sense of the vast amounts of data generated by IoT devices and other sensors. By analyzing this data, manufacturers can identify trends and patterns that can be used to optimize production processes and improve efficiency.
Advancements in Communication Technology
One of the most significant advancements in Industry 4.0 is communication technology. The ability of machines, devices, and systems to communicate and exchange information seamlessly is a critical component of Industry 4.0 solutions. Advanced communication technology enables real-time monitoring and control of production processes, resulting in improved efficiency and productivity.
Communication Technology in Industry 3.0 vs 4.0
In Industry 3.0, communication technology was limited to wired connections, which made it challenging to scale and adapt to changing production needs, as existing wireless communication technologies, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth were not suitable to be used for industrial purposes. However, with the advancement of wireless communication technologies, the capabilities of communication have dramatically increased, as IO-Link Wireless allows for more flexibility in production processes, enabling machines and systems to be reconfigured quickly to meet changing demands. This has made it possible to create smart factories that are more responsive, adaptive, and efficient than ever before.
Consequently, Industry 4.0 solutions rely heavily on wireless communication technology, as it enables never-before-possible applications. The use of sensors anywhere on the machine, smart devices, real-time control, and wireless networks enables machines and systems to communicate with real-time control & monitoring. This enables more sophisticated automation, improved production control, increased efficiency & productivity, and ultimately eliminates the traditional efficiency-flexibility tradeoff.
The Role of IO-Link Wireless in Smart Factories
A key technology driving Industry 4.0 is IO-Link Wireless, which is being increasingly adopted in smart factories for communication between sensors, actuators, and other devices. IO-Link Wireless is a technology that combines the IO-Link protocol with a wireless connection, offering the best of both.
It offers many advantages over traditional industrial wired connections, simplifies installation processes, and reduces the amount of cabling needed, which leads to cost savings. It also enables flexibility and scalability in a factory environment, allowing for easy reconfiguration of devices and layouts.
The use of IO-Link Wireless is particularly useful for machines that are difficult to reach or in hazardous areas where it is not safe to have a wired connection. A key reason that IO-Link Wireless is a key industry 4.0 technology, is that it enables easy access to devices in real-time – for actuation and data collection, which can be used to optimize machine performance and reduce downtime.
CoreTigo’s IO-Link is Advancing Wireless Communication
CoreTigo specializes in communication solutions for advanced industrial applications. CoreTigo’s technology enables wireless communication between sensors and actuators, providing a robust, reliable, and secure communication solution for smart factories and production lines.
CoreTigo’s solution is based on the open-code IO-Link protocol that has been extended to be used wirelessly to enable various solutions, such as solutions for Transport Tracks & Conveying Systems, Wireless Robotics, Smart Machine Tooling, Rotatory Tables and Carousels, and Condition Monitoring & Machine Retrofit.
These enable faster and more flexible manufacturing by providing high-performance machine digitalization, wireless connectivity, and edge solutions for machine builders, system integrators, and industrial equipment manufacturers.
Additional solutions and applications may be integrated and customized per specific needs. To inquire regarding this possibility, please contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
When did Industry 4.0 Start?
Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution, following the first three industrial revolutions. The first industrial revolution began in the late 18th century with the mechanization of textile production. The second industrial revolution began in the late 19th century with the introduction of mass production and assembly lines. The third industrial revolution began in the late 20th century with the introduction of automation and computerization.
The term Industry 4.0 was first introduced in 2011 at the Hanover Fair, a leading trade fair for industrial technology. However, the concept of Industry 4.0 had been discussed for several years prior.
What is the Internet of Things in Industry 4.0?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data.
In Industry 4.0, IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) plays a critical role in the digitalization of the manufacturing process. By connecting machines and devices, manufacturers can collect and analyze vast amounts of data in real-time, enabling them to optimize production processes and reduce downtime.
What is Industry 4.0 communication?
Industry 4.0 communication refers to the use of advanced communication technologies to enable machines, devices, and other objects to communicate with each other. This communication is made possible by the use of sensors, wireless networks, and other technologies, which allow for real-time data exchange and coordination between different systems. This kind of communication is essential for the effective operation of smart factories, which rely on automation and coordination between different systems to optimize their performance, and can only be fully achieved with wireless communication as presented by IO-Link Wireless.
Jason is a highly experienced executive with 19 years of experience with a strong focus around Machine Builders (OEMs). He has a strong background in many disciplines such as Management, Marketing, R&D, Strategy & Business Development, and most importantly Sales. Prior to joining CoreTigo, Jason worked for 15 years at Schneider Electric and more recently 4 years at Rockwell Automation. Within his previous position, he has been responsible as the OEM Sales Director & managing director of Rockwell Automation GmbH for Germany and responsible for developing the EMEA OEM business strategy. Jason is an expert in building new organizations and partnering with customers to drive success “Our customers are what makes us, and thus the most important aspect of our work”. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree (BENG) 2003 in Electrical Engineering from Kings College, University of London.