The long and slow journey until Industry 4.0 is commonplace can be a tedious and expensive one but there are signs that things are changing. German companies are some of the first to spearhead efforts to implement these new technologies and test them out.
BMW is a leader when it comes to incorporating the latest technology in its automobiles but it’s not resting on those laurels. BMW wants to make sure those technological beauties are made to the highest possible standards and to do this they are using Google Glass on their production line. Google Glass allows an individual on the assembly line to spot an issue, make a video call to a superior and view a schematic or plan on the display. Both parties could then solve the development issue at hand and sign off on the solutions right at that moment.
German tech company, Phoenix Contact is another company already making strides in implementing Industry 4.0 into their assembly line structure. Phoenix Contact manufactures many different types of isolation amplifiers and plans make sure their products are second to none. Phoenix Contact has now started to use a system that allows assembly line workers to snap an isolation amplifier into a machine that analyzes it and tells them via computer display if the unit is working properly. IT powered automation allows for fewer faulty products shipped and better products for the end consumer.
These are two examples of many small but important changes being made to how we manufacture things more efficiently while man and machine start to communicate without hierarchy. Other bearers of the 4.0 flame include, BASF and Bayer and the list continues to grow at an impressive pace. At this rate the revolution won’t take the expected 20 years to come to fruition.