The Significance of Industry 4.0 for the Process Industry- Part Two

The Significance of Industry 4.0 for the Process Industry- Part Two

April 29, 2019

In the first part of the series, I explored the meaning and advantages of Industry 4.0. Yokogawa is active in a very special industry, the process industry.

Safety, along with all other considerations, is one of the most important aspects of the process industry. Who doesn’t have images of oil platform disasters in mind? The consequences of inadequate safety precautions in the oil and gas industry are usually devastating and endanger both the environment and people. It is not unusual for mistakes in the process industry to end up directly on the front page of regional and international newspapers.

Where people work, mistakes can occur.

process industry

If it is possible to make decisions and forecasts using algorithms, machines have a clear advantage. They analyze faster than human beings and can make quicker decisions, possibly even foresee risks before an accident actually happens. In dangerous situations, they are neither traumatized nor in shock.

Smart process automation solutions can help the process industry to make factories safer, so there are no serious incidents. Modular automation is one of the buzzwords in this context. Modularization can reduce investment costs, executes new products to market faster and makes production more flexible. In the case of large-scale plants, it can be observed that more and more package units are being purchased in the form of modules. But even in pilot projects and small-scale productions, more and more people are relying on modules.

Predictive maintenance in the process industry

Another trend that has been going on for some years now is predictive maintenance. For large and critical plants, especially in the chemical industry, preventive maintenance has been standard since the 1980s. I am glad to be able to benefit here from the expertise of our experienced colleagues in the company. Many helpful articles concerning this topic are on the Yokogawa Industry Blog Chemical & Pharma, such as The unbearable lightness of maintenance.

Safe and sustainable implementation of Industry 4.0

Like no other industry, the process industry is subject to one of the highest safety standards. Mistakes can lead to drastic consequences and often cost human lives. For this reason, security and safety must always be taken into account in all digitization processes. In addition to all economic considerations, it should be the linchpin of all considerations regarding automation and Industry 4.0.

To what extent can Industry 4.0 be at the forefront of sustainability? If we streamline processes, make them more efficient and modularize them – can’t we also create a circular economy?





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