Evolution and change affect the daily routine in any area of the industrial sector. Today the challenge is the development of smart factories that make use of tools such as big data, machine learning, virtualisation, collaborative automation or process digitalisation. Common factors in the so-called “smart factories” that explore discerning self-control systems and recovery capacity for managing the highest possible number of connected devices.

 

Process automation and information exchange with the outside are the goals that are to be achieved in the new era. Many of the operations that do not add value to the end product, and which were performed by humans a few years ago, are performed today by autonomous vehicles. And if, at the same time, they allow us to add intelligence to their trips, the advantage is optimal. This new industry, thanks to the use of the latest technological advances, allows and facilitates full adaptation to the tastes of the end customer, providing an immediate response. A major advance toward customisation. Thanks to data analysis (big data), it is even possible to anticipate needs, facilitating the appropriate solution.

 

But, what is automation? It is the use of machinery to carry out autonomous processes, without the direct intervention of humans. Repetitive tasks, where human intervention does not add value to the end product. This Industry 4.0 enabling tool makes the reduction of necessary resources possible -among them, and the most important, is labour, which is usually the most expensive-; the cost reduction translates into greater productivity and leads to the optimization of productive resources; it can only be applied to the performance of standardized tasks, where the actions to be developed are very well parameterised; this improves ergonomics for employees who go on to perform tasks in which they provide added value; and, at the same time, quality and safety are increased. In short, an AGV – automated guided vehicle – is used to transport materials from different loading points throughout a plant’s facilities.

 

In the next blog entry, we will continue talking about automation, robots and mobile robotics.