Industry 4.0

What do you know about Industry 4.0? The term is being used more frequently, and while you might have seen it in an article, or heard someone use the phrase, you weren’t quite sure what it meant.

The term started with a project by the German government which aimed to blend computerization and manufacturing. Computers have been used in manufacturing for a long time, but they’ve been nothing more than separate controls. Industry 4.0 looks to combine the two, to spur precision, efficiency, and innovation.

Industry 4.0 is essentially made up of three components. By implementing technologies from the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and cyber-physical systems (computer-controlled physical devices) industrial machinery can be in constant communication with other machines and human operators. Think Smart Factories, or Industrial Internet.

One of the biggest advantages of computerized machinery is the incredible amount of data that becomes available. But it’s more than just the amount of available data. It’s the fact that the information can be gathered instantly, in real-time. By tracking the performance of a machine, operators can detect malfunctions and issues do to wear before they occur. This is key in avoiding downtime, and while this type of data tracking is important in any plant, it can prove to be invaluable for plants with high downtime costs.

Rexroth is getting behind Indsutry 4.0, and making huge advancements in hydraulic capability by integrating hydraulics and welding controls. With Rexroth’s new ABPAC power unit product line, hydraulic power units can be configured online, and hydraulic circuits can be continuously monitored. The operating data can be accessed with a a range of wireless devices using any type of operating system.

This is just one example of how smart manufacturing can make a huge impact on the industry. Automation is getting more encompassing and more sophisticated every day. While Bosch Rexroth is a key player in manufacturing today, they’ve been key players for over 50 years with Indramat. The company’s presence today is a reflection of their influence for more than half a century.

Indramat components are notoriously burly. You might have components that have been running since the 80’s. But even the best-made parts need a little TLC every now and then. If it looks like it’s time for maintenance, give us a call.