Solution Scalability in times of Industry 4.0

The article highlights the importance of a scalable solution in Industry 4.0, as the combination of AI and IoT is becoming the next phase of the internet that can collect, analyze and spread data that can be turned into information and knowledge...


An industrial revolution is an event that changed the way the world thinks about manufacturing. It gave rise to factory production and assembly lines that manufactured everything from clothes to cars. Nevertheless, the traditional manufacturing methods are fast becoming outdated as Industry 4.0 is the next technological revolution fueling the future of manufacturing. The 4th Industrial Revolution started back in 2011 in Germany, and it has brought rapid changes in the Industrial Space. Every day new technologies are launched in this space. IoT & AI are some of the rapidly emerging fields in today’s scenario. IoT is making lives simpler for plant workers by swiftly connecting a network of objects to the internet, enabling transfer and data modification with the sensors’ help. On the other hand, AI gives, is giving manufacturers an unprecedented ability to scale, optimize their supply chain to ensure smooth last-mile delivery, analyze heavy chunks of data, and suggest ways to improve overall efficiency. A combination of AI and IoT is becoming the next phase of the internet which can collect, analyze and spread data that can be turned into information and knowledge & to do so selection of the right scalable solution matters.

Why Scalability Matters? 

The advent of Industry 4.0 only heightens the need for better manufacturing processes, fewer losses, better last-mile delivery, customized products, etc. To achieve this, manufacturers are adopting new technologies which will help them solve major issues and thus allow them to be on the path of excellence. Industry 4.0 alone comprises multiple technologies addressing different issues in the manufacturing sector. With the enhancement in technology in this fast-advancing world, the number of devices that will connect to the internet will drastically increase. With multiple such technologies working in one plant covering one pain point at a time, scalability and accuracy of that technology play an important role in this entire “technology adoption process”. As more and more devices are up and running, getting data out of the plant here vertical & horizontal scalability matters. If all technologies do not talk to each other, it will be a serious nightmare handling different sets of data on different platforms.

In Industrial, IoT customer is looking for end-to-end solution providers and not spot solution providers. Components involved are – “Devices for data collection across plants – Network components to transfer the data – Analysis of that data – Cloud to store the data and have access to it – Platform for the end-user to view the data – Timely Alerts to take action”. This entire flow should be secure and should be encrypted. Selection of the right solution provider is of utmost importance as “Poor data in = Poor data out”. The end goal of any plant manufacturer is full plant visibility and to gain that all components of IIoT should be scalable and accurate. If even one component is not scalable, it is going to affect the entire digital transformation dream. Let’s consider the sensors involved in it: If you have to deploy 10,000 sensors and wire them – the wire management itself is a nightmare for the end-user or say the installation of the sensor device is complex then it may harm your ongoing processes or equipment again a barrier to the scalability. Customers need to look at the bigger picture, think ahead of time to adopt a solution provider who is also thinking ahead of time and is ready to scale irrespective of any advancements in the dependent components.

Biggest bottleneck of Scalability: Power & Connectivity 

In Industrial IoT, every component used in it should be scalable to reap the actual benefits of the entire solution and solve the pain point. Let’s try to enlist each component again and try to put scalability possibilities in front of them. As shown in the above diagram – Sensors can be made scalable by making them wireless and battery-operated, that way the device deployment becomes completely plug and play. For connectivity having the flexibility to be 5G ready and have wifi options as per customer requirement gives an upper edge. With this half of the battle of scalability is won as the rest components can be made scalable with various options like having Open APIs so data can talk to other platforms very easily.

The software can be made scalable by n number of means, but when it comes to hardware, the main data collector of this end-to-end solution from plants on which any software you name is dependent on – How can we make it more scalable and go above & beyond? Just by making the device wireless, the next set of challenges is how will you power the devices efficiently while maintaining the data quality? Plus here network also plays a big role: How will it connect to the internet seamlessly without having many dependencies on Wifi? Wireless device selection becomes important here as it’s battery-operated. To have a good amount of power the battery consumption in the first place should be very low, ensuring the battery is intact for a long time even with good thick data samples upload. The upcoming 5G wave will transform the networking part here, helping all devices transfer the data quickly. Quicker transfer or multiple transfers means more battery consumption. To ace this scalability game, can we go beyond just battery capacity increase? LORA plus cellular network or using an energy harvester to charge the battery on its own will be a complete game-changer. We at Nanoprecise constantly lookout for innovation and try to break such scalability bottlenecks one at a time. We have gone above and beyond to solve the Power and Networking issue in Devices that might affect scalability.

How is Nanoprecise Breaking the Scalability Barrier?

We believe in developing solutions around the customer pain points, and we tend to innovate on the go. A fail-fast approach in technology deployment is very important as every technology is bound to fail or hit some barrier because every industry, sector and plant is different. Altering and innovating on the go, at the same time staying flexible, is the key to make technology deployment successful. At Nanoprecise, we are breaking the scalability barrier by going above and beyond leading, with technology innovations that “Scales”.

Out Flagship solution “Machine Doctor”, an AI-based Predictive & Prescriptive maintenance solution, helps manufacturers avoid the age-old problem of “Unplanned Downtime”. We have eliminated all bottlenecks of scalability by bringing in a completely wireless sensor that can charge itself from the machine’s vibration, thus providing infinite battery life. On the network side, the hardware has the Esim option and is 5G ready today, so it can connect to the internet right away and start sending the data. The Esim today is supported in 90+ countries with over 340 operators – it enables Machine Doctor to connect to the internet on the go and upload data frequently without compromising the data quality. Our AI-based platform is completely scalable “Its Sensor Agnostic” and can take data from any source and dump it at any source. Our Platform is capable of telling manufacturers “WHEN” and “WHY” an equipment is going to fail. We aim to empower the end-user with the right set of data available on the end whenever he wants, wherever he wants to access it through a simple mobile application. We also have one Do it Yourself app where end-user can configure the sensor on their own for different equipment, which reduces the dependencies on the solution provider itself. On the data security part, we are using the most ADVANCE Cybersecurity standard UL-2900-2-2, which is equivalent to bank-grade encryption with Dynamic IP Support.

What’s Next on the Scalability Cards?

We are combining the power of AI+IoT+5G to reap the benefits of all 3 technologies to solve the problems of our customers while scaling across their plants. As different plants have different equipment end-users might not always have all equipment details, which is a prerequisite for all solution providers to know the data. We are currently working on this scalability barrier by making the “Machine Doctor” smarter by understanding the equipment with help of its signals without any configuration data to be fed into the system. A combination of AI & IoT is going to help us do that, and 5G certainly will help us scale faster on the network part. Soon you will see our new avatar where the solution will be “Quick Plug, Play & Forget”. Zero Maintenance or troubleshooting of solution everything working automatically no user inputs required let AI do the work! So next time you are searching for a solution provider in Industry 4.0 first question to ask is – Is it scalable? Then it’s worth it.

Tanmay Mhatre,
Business & Strategy,
Nanoprecise Sci Corp

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