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Industry 4.0 is primarily about data

Nov 01, 2021
Industry 4.0 is primarily about data

The history of industrial production has been shaped by on-going evolutionary changes. Following the discovery of steam engines in the 1800s, mass production began 100 years later, and the invention of the computer in the 1970s ushered in the Industry 3.0 era. In the intervening years, computers have become established in all areas of daily life. With the subsequent development of the Internet and cloud technology, the current Industry 4.0 era has come into being. What changes does the latest stage of human development bring for warp knitting? Ulrike Schlenker from KARL MAYER’s Corporate Communication department asked Christof Naier, President of the KARL MAYER Group's Warp Knitting Business Unit, about this.

What is the main difference between Industry 3.0 and 4.0?

Essentially, the two eras differ in their focus. While the most important themes for Industry 3.0 were hardware performance and networking, Industry 4.0 is primarily about data. The collection and collation of big data allows for complete transparency. In turn, transparency allows us to predict events in areas such as maintenance. For example, continuous monitoring can detect a rise in a motor’s operating temperature, and appropriately obtained data can then be used to localise the reason for the temperature increase and remedy it before the motor fails.

Event predictions also give us the opportunity to automate certain actions. Staying with the example of the overheating issue, for instance, the speed of the machine could be reduced automatically until the motor problem has been resolved.

How important are cloud solutions in unlocking opportunities such as these 

Thanks to WeChat, WhatsApp, PayPal & Alipay, Amazon and similar offerings, we already use a variety of cloud computing solutions in our everyday lives without even thinking about it. This technology is now finding its way into industrial use opening up new possibilities for us in areas such as after-sales support and maintenance for our customers’ machines. In this instance, we are building on three different cornerstones

One key area is Care Solutions: Until now, customers have communicated with our team via smartphone, app or email when they needed support services. As a consequence, communication was often quite unstructured. We now have a newly developed platform that allows us to guide communication in the simplest and most targeted way. Thanks to networking solutions, we then already have all the necessary information about the machine, have access to the current log file, and can provide support in the form of initial measures.