With software development, in addition to creating custom applications, you can achieve integration with other areas that allow you to exploit the full potential and make your solution more complete.
For example, in the area of industrial process automation, we know that it is of vital importance to be able to enhance any manufacturing process, by having access to real-time data of the production process. This data, at the same time, makes businesses more profitable, efficient, and careful with quality control.
Manufacturing processes, being excellent examples of repetitive tasks, are favorable to be automated, to have consistent results, cost reduction and process quality by being continuously monitored, product consistency, and improved productivity of the company.
How can all these advantages be achieved? Well, there are many ways in which through software solutions, it is possible to empower a company through automation:
One example of this are cobots or collaborative robots, which as the name suggests are responsible for performing activities together with operators physically interacting with the process.
Another example, more software-oriented, is machine vision applied to industry. Where the production process itself is provided with the ability to emulate human vision, thus allowing one to obtain, process, and interpret images during the process. In this way, with the data obtained give continuity to the process of a product according to certain guidelines and identify possible errors in the process.
Data acquisition through PLCs, Edge Devices, IoT, and Microservices.
One of the fundamental challenges in this new Industry 4.0 is data management since optimal data management can lead to good decision-making. For this, the first question we must ask ourselves is: How to obtain the necessary data? Since this will depend on the business line we are in, or the process we want to promote.
The most traditional or popular way to do this is to monitor, for example, a station with either a hand tool or a fixed sensor that transmits information through a cable leading to the computer for data collection.
All this to reach the point where a large amount of information and measurements are collected and stored. It should be clarified that this large data collection must be acquired in a more transparent and easy way, without hindering or increasing the time of the operation to be monitored.
So, how can we get the data we need?
This part is very important since it is the basis of the entire structure of functionalities that we are going to develop, allowing us to make better decisions by applying concepts such as Machine Learning, for example. To obtain this data, there are multiple tools at our disposal, some of which are:
- SIoT sensors
- HMI systems
- PLC integration
- SCADA systems
- Barcode and RFID Implementation
With the development of software, we will be able to create functional and automated ecosystems for companies to be able to make intelligent decisions based on results.
I invite you to read more about Industry 4.0 and let us know what you think!
Software Developer at iBtest