Industry 4.0 is no longer an option for companies and industries. It is an obligatory bet to survive and compete in an increasingly technological and digital world. “It’s a long road, but Industry 4.0 is a bet that must be made,” said Roger Uceda, director of Valorization and Transfer of the CIM-UPC technology center.
He was one of the protagonists of a new meeting of the Cycle of Conferences Innovation 4.0 for industry challenges of the Fundació per la Indústria, which focused on innovative solutions for the improvement of the control and optimization of industrial processes.
Josep Roca: “The control and optimization of processes is intrinsic to our daily activity and adds value”
“Those of us in industry know that process control and optimization is intrinsic to our daily activity and brings value to the entire company chain,” stressed Josep Roca, of the business entity.
Even so, there is still a lot of work to be done. Sandra Pérez, from ACCIÓ, pointed out that only 25% of Catalan companies have implemented advanced technologies: “The European Commission recommends reaching 75% by 2030 if we want our industry to remain competitive. We are still far from these goals. For this reason, they have promoted the Digital Innovation Hub, with the aim of bringing digital transformation to some 3,000 companies.
Uceda recalled that Industry 4.0 comprises many different technologies, some of which have been invented years ago. Internet de les coses, impressió en 3D, robots col·laboratius o big data són només alguns exemples. A range that can paralyze and distract many small and medium-sized companies.
“Do not want to do all the technologies at once. You have to know and establish a medium-term plan,” advised Uceda, who acknowledged that it is a “long road” but essential.
Industry 4.0 is a leap forward in control, allowing predictive and preventive maintenance that improves the quality of processes and the final product. The ultimate goal is to have a digital model of a factory, with all the processes and chains, that can predict errors, stoppages…
All this generates a large volume of data, which, when analyzed and through algorithms, allows decisions to be made. “The system, with an algorithmic basis, can analyze data and make decisions without waiting for Monday morning meetings,” Uceda pointed out.
In this sense, Jordi Portella, founder and CEO of Bestplant, which helps companies transform, warns that “detecting a problem late” generates many inconveniences. With Industry 4.0, the process is much more controlled and monitoring is in real time.
Sandra Lozano: “The leap of our company, being very small and family-owned, has opened the world to us”
Deima is a company dedicated to engineering that has made a strong commitment to collaborative robots. “We are a family company that competed in the front line, being very small. We generated prototypes of a very important technology, but it was difficult to continue competing at the level where we were,” said Sandra Lozano, deputy director.
And they decided to go for Industry 4.0: “All the same processes we used to do have been automated through collaborative robot lines, one of the successes we have had. It has opened international doors for us, now exports are more than 80%”. They have even opened a market in Germany, a great challenge for engineering companies.
“The leap of our company, being very small and family-owned, has opened the world to us,” concluded Lozano. And beyond the tools, the human component is fundamental, as Portella pointed out: “Buying digital solutions is necessary, but it is not enough. There must be support for cultural change and transformation of workers”.
Source: La indústria 4.0 per competir al món: “Ens ha obert les portes internacionals”, ViaEmpresa