Industry 4.0: sensing the way to the smart factory

Industrial production is in the midst of a digital transformation. In the future, the technological opportunities being afforded by Industry 4.0 will drive success in manufacturing. By harnessing the potential of IoT solutions, companies will be able to retain their competitive edge in years to come as well.

Lufthansa Industry Solutions was recognized as a relevant player in the digital factory in the three use case clusters “Predictive Analytics & Maintenance”, “Traceability” and “Asset & Plant Performance Monitoring” by teknowlogy. According to teknowlogy, the leading independent European market analysis and consulting company for the IT industry, LHIND has proven to be able to address all related use cases in these categories.

More about awarded relevant Digital Factory Player

No matter the sector – whether it’s engineering, automotive manufacturing, the chemicals industry or electronics – Industry 4.0 is increasingly becoming the standard for the production industry. According to the results of a Bitkom study, by 2025, it will have increased the efficiency of production in the aforementioned industries and in other industries in Germany by up to EUR 78.5 billion.

This is because Industry 4.0 is digitally driving success in production – and is also getting suppliers and partners involved thanks to sweeping interconnectedness. Autonomous logistics vehicles and production machines and their digital twins – the virtual depictions of real machines and devices that can be used to play out scenarios and test solutions during repairs, for example – will become the standard in smart factories.

Using sensor technology to create an intelligent container or tool

There is a diverse range of potential uses for Industry 4.0. For example, companies can harness the opportunities being presented by the Internet of Things (IoT) to automate inventory management. Specifically: They are equipping containers with the appropriate sensors which they then use to monitor the containers worldwide, improving planning and reducing logistics costs.

Companies can equip vehicles like forklifts with sensors in order to identify empty runs, laden runs and shunting activities from movement patterns and load conditions using data analytics. Organizations can utilize this data to optimize their device inventory and save resources. The use of IoT technologies is also improving maintenance efficiency. For example, sensors can be used to monitor machines and tools during manufacturing and prompt any necessary repairs or maintenance work to be carried out well before production is brought to a halt by a damaged device. This prevents idling during production and any resulting damage to tools and machines.

Sensor technology and data processing as the basis of IoT

But how are companies from the manufacturing industry managing their transformation into smart factories using intelligent machines, tools and vehicle fleets? The most important components of an industry 4.0 solution are sensor technology and interfaces, and transferring and analyzing data. Processing data in real time and transferring data securely under extreme conditions such as the factory floor are a deciding factor in the success of networked production. The basis for this is an IT infrastructure that measures up to the new requirements of IoT technology.

Setting up IoT architecture based on customized needs

Lufthansa Industry Solutions covers the whole range of services for setting up IoT architecture. Alongside consulting, this includes software development, selecting and integrating sensor technology and setting up data communication in line with a company’s specific needs. In doing so, we keep a continuous eye on security requirements. Moreover, our experts will take charge of your cloud architecture and backend design, as well as the integration of the new solution into an existing system landscape. Our portfolio also includes visualizing the user interface in apps, web platforms and dashboards. This means that companies only receive the data that they are interested in.

IDG Multi Client Study Real Analytics

Please download the study Real Analytics here (in German).