How do industrial metrology equipment need to evolve to adapt to Industry 4.0? How do you equip yourself and how much will you need to invest? Questions that policy makers are in charge of transforming a proven production system into a "smart" plant, and who will have to invest to do so, must answer.
Accretech, one of the world's leading designers and manufacturer of industrial metrology products, has released a new white paper entitled "Sensors: The Smart Factory Doors." A work of several months, carried out by specialists, which allows to see clearly the requirements that industry 4.0 now imposes on metrology and what this means for production and for the planning of tests.
In less than fifteen pages, this work, presented as a guide, addresses key issues. For example: "What are the decisive factors in ensuring the choice of the appropriate measurement system?", "what are the changes to Industry 4.0 that will have an impact on metrology?" or "what are the pros and cons of tactile and optical measurement methods?"
Decision-makers are guided by a list of questions, to clearly consider the development of their production: what about the capacity of measurement instruments? What about return on investment? Is it possible to operate, maintain and repair remotely? What about cybersecurity?
The primary motivation to enter the 4.0 industry is the dream of the optimal use of production resources. "A dream that can be achieved under certain conditions, as explained in this white paper, by minimizing the time it will take to implement flexible and modular measurement systems, and by largely automating quality control and maintenance through self-control systems."
In the ideal smart plant, sensors must reassemble measurement data with the lowest possible uncertainty and in real time. Most importantly, this data must be provided in a format that facilitates processing, communication and measurement preparation throughout the process chain - from the sensor to its digital twin. And this new constraint, linked to digitization, impacts not only a lot of processes but also the consideration of the work environment.
The white paper "Sensors - Smart Factory Doors" states that "maintenance, energy requirements, and of course the costs associated with sensor technology, must be kept to a minimum; considerable electrical stability and resistance to external factors (CEM, climate, shocks and vibrations, even protection from explosions) are also needed. Because in the smart factory, measurements are not made at the end of the process or in a dedicated metrology room, but more often online, during the manufacturing process, where possible. There is also a trend towards quality assurance to move away from random measures to 100% measures. »
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