How smart data is fuelling Industry 4.0

Posted on: April 12, 2017 by Thomas Bierhoff

Industry 4.0 is upon us – a vision for how smart manufacturing is transforming how we create and service machines. These could be parts of planes, trains, vehicles or even wind turbines; and through smart management and innovative use of data, fleet managers and field service workers are able to uncover new insights into the performance of these powerful machines.

Take an aircraft jet engine, for instance. In a 30-minute flight from Frankfurt to Berlin, a single jet engine will produce approximately 1.5Tb of data – enough information to fill 94 iPhones! While the sheer volume of data brings complexities in its own right, it is also incredibly difficult to transfer data to the ground from an airborne aircraft in real-time. But if an engineer in the terminal could be alerted about an error in the engine before it touched down, a replacement part could be sourced and delivered as quickly as possible, reducing the amount of time the aircraft had to spend on the ground. “Aircraft on Ground” (AOG) time is critical for the aerospace industry. The plane is only making the airline any money when it’s in the air, and therefore any time spent stranded on the ground due to technical problems costs them dearly. According to Airbus China, the daily cost of a grounded A380 runs to $1,250,000 and this becomes a more grave issue when you consider the implications across an entire fleet.

Through advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, cloud computing, High Performance Computing (HPC), additive manufacturing and Unified Communications (UC), the industry can start to take advantage of new solutions to help them reduce maintenance time and return their aircraft back to the skies.

Together with our industry partners, Siemens, Worldline, Bull Sequana and SAP Hana. we have developed an end-to-end IoT solution based on Predictive- Maintenance-as-a-Service. Using the Communication Platform developed by Worldline, jet engine data could be transferred from the air to the ground in real-time. This could then be processed by Atos Codex, Atos’ suite of cognitive analytics solutions, and stored on Bull Sequana, the Exascale class HPC by Atos. Once Bull Sequana has performed complex analysis on the extensive data sets, only the most important data would be transferred to the SAP Hana Cloud platform and passed on to the fleet manager, giving them the necessary insight to assess what needs doing next. A spare part could be ordered and 3D printed, a much faster process than conventional methods. Alternatively, an onsite engineer could be supported by a mixed reality solution, such as Microsoft HoloLens, so that they could be instructed to make the repair by a remote expert.

For more information visit us at SAP Leonardo Live on 11th & 12th July 2017!

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About Thomas Bierhoff
Head of Technology, Atos in Germany and member of the Scientific Community
Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bierhoff holds a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering and information technologies and has over 18 years of working experience in R&D ranging from academic and applied research up to industrial product and solution development. Since 1998 he has hold different roles in various companies and entered Atos in 2011 as a head of an R&D Team at Atos research lab C-LAB. In 2015 he took over the head of technology for the Atos business unit Civil and National Security being responsible for innovative technology and solution portfolio development. Since 2016 he leads in parallel a global Atos investment program for strategic technology portfolio and offering development in the domain of digital transformation of industrial field services and operations. Dr. Thomas Bierhoff has published more than 40 journal- and conference papers and holds six patents. He is member of the Atos Scientific community since 2012 and leading corporate research and technology activities for Augmented and Mixed Reality.

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