In this next phase of the industrial revolution, measurement technology plays a crucial role for quality-conscious organizations on the road to Industry 4.0. With the fusion of production technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), measurement technology requires strong connectivity and the capability to capture quality data faster, better and more flexibly and transfer it to networked devices and systems. It is truly the framework for increasing process efficiency and realizing bottom-line benefits in the smart factory. And, it not only pertains to on-line measurements but also includes the integration of at-line and off-line gauging technologies.
Connectivity, Communication and Control
To be Industry 4.0 ready means that production technology must be interoperable with other systems that speak the same industry protocols over a common Ethernet infrastructure. Smart factories require the utilization of advance-prediction tools, so that data can be systematically processed into information that allows operators to make the right decisions. Smart gauges or sensors provide industry-standard connectivity via common communication protocols, and built-in web server support provides mobile connectivity for smart diagnostics and smart service.
For example, on a typical wire and cable production line, NDC’s smart gauges can help keep your “fingers on the pulse” of the jacketing extrusion process. By integrating NDC’s gauges into the production process, you can accurately capture measurement data, product data and variables along the critical points in the process for end-to-end inspection. Using an NDC process controller, production personnel can intuitively visualize dimensional, statistical process control and trend data in real-time to maintain tighter product specifications. Closed-loop control with the extrusion line and integration with other networked systems enable manufacturers to maintain production accuracy, produce higher quality products and realize significant material savings.
At the enterprise level, the NDC process controller can provide scalable connectivity across the organizational value chain via PLC, SCADA, MES and ERP systems. The process controller acts as an edge device when connecting to cloud services. Measurement and process data becomes part of “big data” and enables organizations to use cloud analytics for data-driven decision making, increasing agility and competitiveness.
Taking the Next Step
Discover the benefits of NDC’s smart measurement technology on your journey to Industry 4.0. The race is on, and we’re happy to be part of it and help you create added value to your manufacturing process.