When it comes to Smart Manufacturing, or Industry 4.0, there’s always innovation happening around every corner in the manufacturing industry. Many large manufacturers have used Industry 4.0, from AR to IoT to Machine Learning, to streamline their businesses, increase productivity rates, and create brand new products. See our top 5 picks for innovations that you need to know about in December.
IBM Watson’s AI Gets Gamified
IBM Watson has been breaking barriers (and beating humans) since 2010, but now, it’s aiming to be the solution for your factory productivity issues. In their bid to get manufacturers to use Watson AI as their Industry 4.0 connectivity solution of choice, IBM has introduced an interactive demo. You can test-drive IBM Watson through a game, called the ‘Industry 4.0 Model Factory’.
It uses a shoe manufacturer as an example, and walks you through scenario after scenario of predictive maintenance issues or upcoming weather problems. It gives you options on avoiding productivity slowdown situations and shows you the effects of ignoring the issue or fixing the problem head-on. It’s quite convincing, and makes the benefits of embracing IoT and Machine Learning very clear to manufacturers.
Lamborghini And MIT Get Cars To Heal Themselves
Just when you thought that electric cars were the next big thing, Lamborghini is working on a new concept car with the help of engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The body of the new Terzo Millennio concept car would be able to continuously monitor itself, in an attempt for the car to conduct its own health checks. In case of accidents, it would start a self-repairing process ‘via micro-channels filled with healing chemistries. This could reduce to zero the risks of small cracks propagating further in the carbon fiber structure’, as per The Manufacturer.
By looking to scale new heights in the design and production of carbon fiber structures and parts, the carbon nanotube bodyshell would also become a supercapacitor, eliminating the need for batteries. Just imagine the effects on the automotive and automotive engineering industry.
Volkswagen and Google Team Up
Speaking of the automotive industry, it seems like Lamborghini isn’t the only one working to distinguish itself using Industry 4.0. Volkswagen (VW) has teamed up with Google on R&D, using the latter’s quantum computers to research cutting-edge digital features for their cars, from ‘traffic-management systems, simulating the structure of electric-car batteries and other materials as well as artificial intelligence for autonomous driving’, as per Bloomberg.
VW has already started on one quantum computing project last year in China, and with Google’s Quantum Computing technology working to interpret large swaths of data, is bound to achieve more breakthroughs in the automotive industry.
Apple Looks At AR Again
All Apple users and suppliers, listen up. Apple has reportedly acquired augmented reality (AR) headset startup Vrvana for US$30m, fuelling industry whispers that an Apple-branded AR headset is in the cards to ship in 2020. Vrvana’s main product is the Totem, ‘an “extended reality” device utilizing key technologies from both AR and virtual reality to allow for both experiences on a single headset’, as per TechCrunch. This would allow for AR and VR to be usable on a single device, with minimal lag. Display quality would not be a problem, with Totem able to display fully opaque images on the OLED display.
This is particularly interesting considering Apple’s enterprise verticals focus. Vrvana’s Totem has ‘hand tracking and inside-out positional tracking’, which is meant to allow for workforce use in virtualisation.
The Smart Industry Readiness Index Is Released
If you're interested in Industry 4.0 but don't know where to start, the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) has your back. In partnership with German manufacturing firm TUV SUD, the EDB has launched the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index, as per The Straits Times.
The Index identifies 3 fundamental building blocks:
- Process and
- plus 8 key pillars that manufacturers must consider and focus on to become future-ready.
Want to learn about another type of automation tool that can help your manufacturing business? Watch our CPQ explainer video!