November 13, 2017
Dubbed the fourth industrial revolution or industry 4.0, we are now entering a world where machines interact and respond intelligently to the physical environment, with the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and data science technologies playing major roles in creating "smart factories".
This future vision was recently demonstrated at LIGNA, the world's leading trade fair for woodworking and timber processing, where visitors used their smartphones or tablets to track and analyse operational performance of individual machines in real-time at the event in Germany.
The cloud-based digital platform completely covers the wood processing industry value chain and has been developed in close collaboration with major software partners such as Microsoft and Software AG, utilising the Internet of Things (IoT).
The wood processing and timber frame prefabrication industries will be able to access highly sophisticated digital products to enable smart factories, with systems monitoring physical processes to create a virtual copy and enable decentralized decisions for actions required.
The production applications will range from simple notification of servicing or maintenance required through to virtual reality communication to repair equipment, and ultimately to cyber-physical systems communicating and cooperating with each other.
This extraordinary development in technology is currently being implemented in Europe and will soon be entering the Australian market, which will be a topic for discussion at the Frame Australia 2018 conference in June.
The evolution pathway leading to industry 4.0