Manufacturing world now moving toward digital with Industry 4.0


GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (WJBF) — The manufacturing world is now moving toward digital.

“The manufacturing of today is not the manufacturing of your grandfather,” South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership Regional Vice President Melissa Steinkauhl told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.

That’s exactly what SCME and MTU America want you to know with Industry 4.0.

“We’ve come up with some pilots and trials to do to take us to that next generation for manufacturing,” Senior Manager of Manufacturing Engineering Steve Blaszeczak added.

Industry 4.0 is the next generation of manufacturing improvements that is basically in a nutshell based on digital information.

“So think about your house and how you can turn a sprinkler on using an app, that’s what we want to take to the manufacturing world,” Blaszeczak shared. “How can we get our employees the information that they need in real time and being able to take all of that information to improve quality?” he added.

The move is also referred to as the fourth industrial revolution behind water/steam power, mass production and assembly lines, and computer and automation. It includes cyber-physical systems, cloud computing, and cognitive computing.

Thursday, April 25, representatives from several CSRA companies including John Deer and Bridgestone got a look at the current trend in manufacturing technologies. With MTU America showing workers putting their trials to the test.

“We’ve been collecting data for the past six years but historically, it just sat on a data server and we haven’t done anything,” Senior Controls Engineer Kyle Hodges recalled. “We are now using our historical data to run through a machine-learning algorithm to predict engine failures,” Hodges added.

“I would inspect an engine and then afterward I would tag the engine, take pictures, and fill out a checklist and then at the end of the day, I would have to scan that checklist and the pictures and all the other paperwork into the system,” Final Quality Inspector Tim Neiberger said. Now with the new program, I don’t have to do that and that gives me a little bit of extra time to inspect another engine so it actually improves the output of my day,” he said.

After presentations, folks attending chose from five different stations to listen, hear and play with demonstrations. Each of those demos, highlighting a different concept of industry 4.0 and showing how this revolution in manufacturing can benefit the average consumer. 

“At the end of the day, it’s about making a product faster and defect-free in a very safe environment and that is what this is allowing us to do,” Steinkauhl added.

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