On October 19, a seminar on Industry 4.0, HPC and Big Data was held in Luxembourg followed by a workshop on Industry 4.0 and analytics in manufacturing on October 24. Another upcoming event will focus on a systematic approach for SMEs to start with Industry 4.0. Gaston Trauffler, Head of Strategic Projects for Luxinnovation explains why the focus on Industry 4.0 is important
“The first Industry 4.0 event was organised in the form of a seminar on Industry 4.0, HPC and Big Data held at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce hosted by the Ministry of the Economy, Fedil and Luxinnovation on October 19, 2017. A number of speakers offered valuable insight to Luxembourg companies on the European strategy on Digitising Industry and the funding and support opportunities that are available for Luxembourg’s manufacturing industry.
This event’s main purpose was to explain the funding opportunities available from the European Commission and to make the attendees from the manufacturing industry aware in particular about relevant international calls with deadlines in March 2018. The main message from this meeting was for interested companies to make direct contact with Luxinnovation and find out more.
Next was a workshop on industry 4.0 and analytics in manufacturing; the aim being to analyse data to optimise production and other operational processes.
To put this in context, LIST’s Business Analytics Research Unit, led by Prof Dr Jorge Sanz, are conducting applied research work with local and international industry partners and four of these – three local and one international company – were showcased during the workshop.
This workshop was aimed specifically at a more informed audience as it was more technical. The speakers explained what they implemented with the support of Prof. Sanz’s team. The conversation was very interesting and lively thanks to the participants’ sophisticated level of knowledge. Analytics is one aspect of industry 4.0. In tech terms, the objective is to create a “smart factory” following the current trend of intelligent automation, based on data analysis and data exchange. It encompasses cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing but really it is more “the Internet of industrial things” and this is all based on solid data analytics.
At the workshop, we were able to demonstrate through the case studies how value can be generated out of data. For example by using data models that are able to predict events before they happen. Such models are typically used in predictive maintenance. Applied to the life cycle of a tire, the data collected over many millions of kilometres and many sets of tyres complied in the right model will be able to predict how it will wear out when it will most probably break down. With this information, the management of a logistics company’s truck fleet for example, can be run much more cost effectively. The replacement of the tyres can be done after optimal use, tyre replacements can be planned and scheduled according to workload, and above all, costly roadside breakdowns can be avoided.
The upcoming event will be on November 24. This is to show SMEs in Luxembourg how they can start with Industry 4.0. We have put together a very comprehensive agenda that includes Prof. Dr Plapper from the University of Luxembourg who will talk about the contribution of industry to economic competitiveness. In addition, Prof. Dr Thomas Korne, Institute for Production and Logistics Systems, Saarbrücken, will present a Practical Roadmap for Industry 4.0 introduction in SME. Throughout the day, industry case studies will be presented.
Industry 4.0 is considered one of the key technologies necessary to secure the future competitiveness of industrial companies in the western world. If you were to ask what the ultimate vision of Industry 4.0 is, I would say that it would be to produce high-added value products at the cost of the mass production. For a country like Luxembourg with relatively high salaries and production costs, Industry 4.0 is really seen as critical and that is exactly why we are investing so much time and energy into supporting companies in their next stage of development.”