Humans remain a key link in Industry 4.0
4 trends for the future
Dirk Torfs - CEO Flanders Make
Industry 4.0 is transversal
“A first trend is smart products and production systems. Smart means that you use sensors to generate data and software to turn the data into reliable and actionable knowledge.
Industry 4.0 is highly transversal. The 163 members of Flanders Make belong to very different sectors, from manufacturing industry to logistics, from pharma to food. Solutions developed in one sector can also be used in other sectors. Hence, we talk about a solution pull system instead of a research push system. We don’t develop new business models ourselves, but we do develop technologies that enable the implementation of new business models, for example “as-a-service” models.
The pandemic threw up a good example. We created COVID solutions from applications that had been developed for entirely different purposes. For instance, we measure distances for Automated Guided Vehicles: logistics vehicles that drive around factories. This measuring methods proved useful in small devices that we developed for social distancing during corona. This way, we could make people aware that they were standing too close to their colleagues.”
Getting more done thanks to digital instructions
10 years older in 60 days
“Humans are the third trend: operator 4.0. They remain a key link in production, because they ensure agility and flexibility. Flanders is taking the lead, internationally, in the interaction between human and machine. We’re combining technologies around data processing with physical knowledge of machines. Additionally, we use AI technologies to make machines even more efficient. We also excel at converting knowledge into a model, which we can then simulate in order to produce a top product. This is how we create connected, smart products that provide data, on the basis of which, well-founded, reliable, and reproducible decisions are taken.
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