Last week, my associate Sylvie Rioux and I attended the “Sommet de Montréal sur l’Innovation” on the theme, “Industry 4.0.” For us, it was an opportunity to meet some key players in Quebec’s industrial innovation. This event also allowed us to strengthen our conviction that industry in Québec is about to embark on profound changes and must prepare for it now.

While writing the report of this event, Sylvie and I concluded, as players in improving Quebec’s manufacturing industry, that our mission must include a computerized portion. We have to help Quebec manufacturers to understand and prepare for the changes to come. The purpose of these blogs is to inform you about Industry 4.0 without using complex technical terms.

Let us begin by defining what “Industry 4.0″ is.

So far, Quebec has known 3 industrial revolutions (see image 1):

  1. The first industrial revolution saw machines running on energy supplied by water or vapor;
  2. The second industrial revolution saw mass production, assembly lines and the emergence of electricity;
  3. The third industrial revolution was characterized by the onset of automation;
  4. The fourth industrial revolution, known as “Industry 4.0,” is where everything is interconnected.

Yes, yes … you read right … the Industry 4.0 concept risks having, for the manufacturing industry, an impact as big as the birth of industry itself, the start of electricity or even automation. The good news is that you are in the right place to learn more!

To conclude this first blog and without getting into details, let’s   have a look at the constituent parts of this famous Industry 4.0 concept. (see image 2)

  1. Smart machines have advanced sensors. The data of these sensors allow the creation of dashboards with shared access;
  2. Internet of things (subject of the next blog);
  3. Artificial intelligence applications to detect equipment breakdowns before they occur;
  4. Automatic strategic predictive maintenance;
  5. Automatic control of parts necessary for machine maintenance;
  6. Alarms sent to administrators by e-mail and SMS when an abnormal situation occurs;
  7. Automatic adaptation of production processes based on customer orders;
  8. Collaborative synchronization of machines involved in the same production process;
  9. Advanced management of energy expenditures;
  10. Increased reality;
  11. Mobile forms;
  12. 3D printing.

Because we need to begin somewhere, in the next blog of this series, we will begin to study together this famous “Internet of Things,” which is connected to the concept of Industry 4.0.

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