Industry 4.0

Palletizing wooden pellet bags
April 4, 2022
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Palletizing without pallet
June 24, 2022
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Industry 4.0:

Industry 4.0 refers to the 4th industrial revolution which, as a direct evolution of the 3rd one, (which provided for the automation of individual production processes), focuses on the digitalization and interconnection of all physical assets with digital ecosystems within the value chain.

In practice, all production systems are able to generate, analyze and communicate data with each other but also to the person involved in the process. In the 4.0 context it will therefore be possible to achieve the quality levels of an extremely customized service, maintaining the competitive advantages of an economy of scale, combining craftsmanship with mass production.

The company then becomes a "smart factory", that is an intelligent factory, composed of interconnected machines, able to dialogue and carry out self-diagnostics and preventive maintenance. The latter will enable the production system to autonomously predict the degree of production failure, to adopt the best prevention measures and to implement self-repair actions.

When can one talk about industry 4.0?

According to a definition of the European Commission, in order to talk about smart factories or I4.0, there are a series of "Enabling Technologies" that must be used:

  • 1. Advance Manufacturing:
    Use of robots in production processes, able to connect to each other and remotely controllable, which replace simple or repetitive jobs.
  • 2. Additive Manufacturing:
    Commonly replaced by the term 3D printing, it allows the creation of extremely personalized products by minimizing waste
  • 3. Augmented Reality:
    Creation of a fictitious environment, to integrate the real / physical environment with the possibility of enabling direct commands on the workspace and replacing paper documentation
  • 4. Simulation:
    Real-time analysis of the effects of parameters’ change within processes in virtual work environments. Testing and optimization of processes without physical implementation
  • 5. Horizontal/Vertical Integration:
    Management and interconnection of the data flow both vertically and horizontally throughout the value-chain
  • 6. Internet of Things (IoT):
    Integration on physical objects of smart devices capable of making them digital, enabling them to communicate and interact both among themselves and with external subjects (machine-man); in essence an internet connection to any type of object.
  • 7. Cloud:
    Extremely open and flexible IT infrastructure for designing and sharing data between subjects and entities
  • 8. Big Data Analytics:
    Collection and analysis of large data streams from different sources in order to extract information that can bring benefits on different levels (economic / productive).

What are the main advantages?

The application of these technologies brings benefits to the entire company apparatus. Although so far they are not widespread, there are several studies that prove the results they cap apport. Let's see briefly what the main advantages are:

  • Higher productivity and efficiency:
    Faster production process thanks to less human input, machinery with better monitoring systems (preventive maintenance) and intelligent productions with less downtime. Thanks to a communication between the different production units, there will be an increase in efficiency due to the real-time knowledge of the workloads of each unit. They are able to make decisions autonomously thanks to the data they collect, optimizing production processes.
  • Cost reduction:
    Thanks to smart factories, resources are used more efficiently, reducing downtime, producing faster and more easily, reducing waste and thus reducing costs.
  • Better quality and customer experience:
    Industry 4.0 is the key to implementing solutions that can track and identify any problems and respond quickly accordingly. In addition, the solutions are able to produce high-quality products regularly, reducing complaints, recalls and troubleshooting interventions.
  • Increase profit:
    In addition to the factors listed above, which allow an increase in profit, smart manufacturing enables the ability to develop new and innovative products, in a faster and more personalized way.

Industry 4.0 and Palletizing:

The world of robotics is certainly part of that group of technologies that embrace the concept of Industry 4.0. Palletizing is one of those activities which is best suited to the advantages that automation can offer.

Europack palletizing robots, in addition to increase the productivity and efficiency of the production process, can be integrated with I4.0 systems that allow the collection and sharing of data in real time. All you need is an integrated modem and an Internet connection to receive a constant flow of data in your ERP or receive remote assistance and support.

In addition, for some years there have been incentives at state and European level for the integration of Industry 4.0 systems into industrial equipment. Contact us for more information.


Would you like to verify the benefits of integrating an automated palletising system into your production cycle? Contact us and let's evaluate them together!