Connected Machines and Smart Sensors

Smart factories are gaining ground in practically all food industries, with autonomous-operating equipment. The task at hand is to solve machine-networking challenges, and the answer lies in smart sensors. 

Today, machines are connected with each other to ensure the seamless traceability of the entire process chain. The next evolution step is the direct communication between the individual system modules in real-time – M2M communication. Static solutions quickly reach their limits, because the intelligent factory comprises of decentralized production environments with different components, each of which have their own data sources. 

Without Cloud computing, the growing amount of data can no longer be processed and evaluated ad-hoc. The central challenge in this case is to synchronize the virtual representation of the production and the actual production it represents. Machines also have to independently report back information on their operational state to the maintenance personnel, for instance for predictive maintenance. 

Intelligent sensor systems take on a key role. In addition to values such as pressure, volumes and temperature, these artificial “sensory organs” also measure oscillations and vibrations. Based on this status data, the production monitors itself to a large extent. Yet this alone does not suffice. Industry 4.0-compatible sensors have an enhanced interface, in addition to outputs for the system control, which allows them to be linked to Cloud services.

You can read the rest of this article in the Winter Issue of Asia Pacific Baker & Biscuit magazine, which you can access by clicking here

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