SMART PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
Industry 4.0 is the set of solutions and technologies that are driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a digital transformation of companies and organizations in which the integration between the physical and digital world is rapidly increasing. One of the main factors that is driving this digital transformation is the unstoppable increase of a personalized demand by the markets. Another key factor is the necessary transition to a Circular Economy, in which inputs and waste of resources, emissions and the use of non-renewable energies are minimized. All this is forcing companies to rethink their production and logistics systems.
The second industrial revolution takes place in the physical and analogical environment, in which great advances were made in Operations Management and in Manufacturing Technologies. It was characterized by important improvements in the field of design, with new materials, new products and new production systems in which the use of electricity and non-renewable energy sources played a fundamental role.
The third revolution occurs in the digital domain, which has given rise to the prefix “cyber”. In this third revolution, the advances in the computer science and in the automation of the processes allowed important improvements in the performance of the operational and logistic systems by means of the use of Information and Communications Technologies.
Industry 4.0 can be seen as the hybridization of the second and third revolution, and is based on two pillars, on the one hand, the so-called Cyberphysical Systems, and on the other hand, the Internet of Things. The relationship between the “cyber” and physical dimensions is explained by the virtuous circle defined by simulation and materialization.
Modeling allows moving physical objects to the digital world and through simulation techniques create “Digital Twins”, with which you can experiment at high speed to identify the solutions that generate more value, as well as having available new environments for training and for support to the operations through Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Both the physical world and the simulated world are generating large volumes of data (Big Data) that can be used as support for Artificial Intelligence.
Materialization makes it possible to transform objects from the digital world into objects of the physical world. Technologies such as 3D printing combined with embedded electronics allow the emergence of a new generation of connected Cyberphysical Systems.
All these Industry 4.0 solutions are permitting to create Smart Production Systems, integrated in Smart Factories with a modular structure in which cyberphysical systems control physical processes and create a virtual copy of the physical world that allows a decentralized management of value flows. Through the Internet of Things, cyberphysical systems communicate and cooperate with humans and with each other, in real time, both internally and with the rest of the organizations that are part of the Value Chain.
This digital transformation of industries requires “hybrid” professionals that can be integrated into the teams that will design, implement and manage the smart production and logistic systems, with competencies in the best practices in Operations Management and in Value Chain Management as well as in the Industry 4.0 Technologies. The transversality has gone from being one of the keys to success for Operational and Organizational Excellence to be an indispensable requirement to be able to lead the digitalization and the transition to the Circular Economy in the new manufacturing ecosystems. The demand for hybrid professional profiles is growing unstoppably and the non-availability of these profiles can be one of the main barriers to digital transformation in sectors such as the Food & Drink Industry.