Innovation and industry 4.0

Peak win Engineering Firm of the Year 2020.

Peak Technology Solutions and partner Hosokawa Micron Limited recently won Engineering Firm of the Year 2020 at the Chemicals Northwest Awards.

The team has been collaborating on digitalisation strategies around Powder Processing, a key process to most chemical manufacturers.

The strategy departs from existing control technologies to implement a platform that forms the foundation of Industry 4.0. By harnessing smart sensor data with machine-to-machine (M2M) communication it is possible to apply advanced analytics to better understand, monitor and control individual assets and plant operations – either onsite or remotely via mobile apps. Already the project has delivered improved productivity, quality assurance, proactive maintenance programmes, supply chain efficiency and people development.

What is Industry 4.0?

First came steam, next electricity, third computers and now we enter Industry 4.0 an era in which computers and automation come together in an entirely new way.  Industry 4.0, also known as the ‘smart factory’ or ‘smart manufacturing’, allows cyber-physical systems to monitor the physical processes of the factory and make decentralised decisions.  Key features include:

  • Interoperability – physical hardware (devices, machines etc) and people connect and communicate
  • Information transparency – systems create virtual copies and help give a better understanding of the information available
  • Technical assistance – systems that support people with tasks or problem solving that are too difficult or unsafe for humans
  • Decentralised decision-making – the ability for the systems to make simple, autonomous decisions without the need for human interaction

The benefits of a well-designed Industry 4.0 model are significant for many production facilities. Health and safety, supply chain control and productivity output improvements lead to increased revenues, market share and profits.

Links:

Industry 4.0: The promise of a new industrial revolution

Industry 4.0: Reimagining manufacturing operations after COVID-19 – McKinsey & Company

Peak Technology Solutions, part of Edwin James Group, specialises in control and automation technology.  Its services include Systems Integration (Project Services) and Consultancy and Performance Management (Industry 4.0) with expertise in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, utility, manufacturing, and power industries.  Peak has offices in Daresbury as well as expert teams across Chesterfield, Newcastle, and Reading.

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