Pierre Jarrige

Digital Business Development & Innovation for Manufacturing market, Atos

Accelerating the Industry 4.0 revolution

While the manufacturing sector has led other industries in widescale digital transformation, from automation to digital twins, very few solutions have been industrialized at scale – often for connectivity reasons. As a result, the potential of huge volumes of data collected during manufacturing and logistics operations has stayed largely untapped.

5G is a game-changer, bringing hyperconnectivity with flexibility onto factory floors and warehouses. Old constraints are eliminated; 5G provides connectivity of goods and people without the need for wires or extensive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) infrastructure.

AI-driven analytics at the edge will enable more intelligent operations to optimize the safety, security, resilience, efficiency, and productivity of processes and machines in real time. 5G will enable much wider use of connected technologies such as robotics and augmented reality applications for workers. It will enable a level of automation that simply wasn’t possible on networks that introduced latency and therefore delay in reaction times.

In factories and warehouses, actionable video analytics will enable companies to guard perimeters and respond to any hazards or security threats. And with tools for visualizing the data, for instance, employers will have much more actionable intelligence to protect workers, avoid workplace incidents and ensure health and safety protocols are followed.

Smart factory

Enabled by connectivity, manufacturing companies can create a real competitive and operational edge by making much more comprehensive use of Internet of Things (IoT) data and AI in a way that simply wasn’t possible before. They’ll be able to deploy far more cameras for product safety and process monitoring. Access to and managing data will aid timely evidence-based decision-making, removing previous blockers to real time management.

Asset and machine monitoring

The ability to scan and operate on a 360˚ basis gives manufacturers actionable insight to improve the safety, productivity, efficiency of workforces and machines, for instance, for machine repairs or maintenance. The use of digital twins will have the connectivity that is so urgently needed now to evolve; this will further accelerate the digital transformation of product design, manufacture, and maintenance using real time data from product manufacture and use.

Quality control

Intelligent inspection systems using computer vision on production lines can identify quality control issues in real time and categorize incidents for analysis. In this way, manufacturers can increase the number of product passes the first time, reduce their costs, better meet compliance and safety regulations, and increase performance and customer satisfaction.

Inventory management and optimization

If manufacturers can use 5G-enabled devices and connectivity to identify and track inventory in real time, they’ll be able to better manage supply and demand for stock while freeing-up staff from repetitive work having to count and check supplies.

Smart warehouse

Operation and management of warehouse and logistics operations – both in terms of raw materials and finished goods – are essential to meet intense demand – particularly with the rise of e-commerce. What’s more, keeping warehouses safe and secure can be a considerable resource challenge.

Shop floor monitoring and management

Camera footage combined with AI is a highly efficient way of monitoring and looking after operations. Video streams can be analyzed to identify problems (such as a fridge door staying open overnight), protect from a product or stock theft, prevent high-cost incidents, trigger alerts about incidents that could be a risk to worker health and safety, and ensure the use of safety equipment and PPE.

Driverless vehicles and robotics

5G will help to scale the use of self-driving forkliftsand other connected autonomous vehicles for stock management and collection in warehouses. When automation is combined with AI, for example, on the shortest or fastest routesin realtime, this will make a considerable contribution to efficiency.

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