IT Enabling Industry 4.0 for Government Entities

IT Enabling Industry 4.0 for Government Entities

The combination of “cyber physical systems, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and scientific computing” promises unparalleled industrial and manufacturing productivity. 

It takes many years for digital technology to mature in order to be more efficient than analog technologies. 3D printing becomes cheaper and does not require manufacturing subcontractors. Artificial intelligence chat bots replace call centered workers. Hotel and taxi revenue slides because people use more convenient “sharing economy” apps. Unskilled labor is replaced – at the same time as firms seek advanced skills.

Let’s have a brief look at the technologies that are converting traditional government practices to the ‘Government 4.0’

IoT for Government Entities 

81% of cities are actively considering the potential of the Internet of Things. Imagine if a small sensor connected to your city’s infrastructure, roads, traffic lights, buildings is capturing data. Connecting and learning with this new information will help governments respond more quickly to challenges such as reducing energy use or helping first responders safely assess hazardous situations, traffic management and reduction of automobile pollution in roads with sensor data, weather information, public transport and car GPS devices, flood and earthquake detection, early warning to citizens, first detect respondents’ location, movement, and exposure to heat and hazardous materials.

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), for example, began deploying sensors along the Colorado River in Texas decades ago to track stream levels that could cause flooding.

The LCRA was built to help Texas better manage floodplains in the lower reaches of the Colorado River, as well as generate and distribute hydropower to cities in the region.

Informing residents of the danger is also the goal of a new project in Los Angeles. The city has many facilities that are digitally interconnected and include 145,000 streetlights and 4,500 intersections.

The city and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) developed a project called “Quick Alert”, which uses sensors to detect frequent earthquakes in the area. Today, this data is used to visualize earthquakes. To take it to the next level, the city is developing a system to send alerts to citizens’ smartphones so that they can be informed within 15 to 30 seconds. Not only can this application save lives but it can also save millions of dollars.

Big Data for Government Entities

The great strength of big data is that it has flexibility and universal application for many different industries. As with many other sectors, big data can have a huge impact on government. With so many complex issues on the table today, governments have to end their work in an effort to understand all of their information and make important decisions that affect millions. Not only that it is difficult to filter out all the information, but sometimes it is difficult to verify the veracity of the information. Any case of misinformation can have dire consequences.

By implementing big data platforms, governments can access a wide range of information critical to their day-to-day operations. Its positive effect is almost never ending. This is important because it not only allows the government to identify areas that need attention, but also provides them with real-time information.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) continuously collect data from the sea and land and space-based sensors. When you hear the weather forecast for an upcoming hurricane or tornado, the data starts connection with NOAA. The organization uses the Big Data Approach to collect and analyze large amounts of data to come up with accurate information.

The NSA derives its data processing capability from big data. It uses Accumulo, an open source project designed by the NSA and gives users the ability to store data across large tables to enhance easy access to information and increase security. When an agency collects data sets, it can use Accumulo to investigate various details while blocking access to information that may reveal personal information.

AI for Government Entities

AI has the potential for organizations to operate efficiently, manage costs, and make great strides in research.

Private companies are making incredible advances in AI. Everyone benefits from the AI ​​offer, using what they have learnt to challenge the public sphere. Similarly, government is often the driver of some of the most important technological advances. 

For example, Taxation offices in Australia are using chatbots and virtual assistants to respond to over 3 million conversations. These chatbots resolved around 88% of queries in the first try without any human support. 

Another example is of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department (AFRD) of USA. The department used predictive analysis technology which accurately predicted 73% of fire incidents in building.

Cloud Computing for Government Entities

In today’s world, every business is trying to save money by adopting technological innovations, and the government is no different. Government agencies need to keep costs down while updating and protecting data. That’s why cloud computing is one of the best options available. Here are some other benefits that government agencies can reap by moving to the cloud.

Cloud computing gives government agencies more flexibility than traditional IT infrastructure. The issues related to the limitation of resources, managing hardware and servers, managing software updates and data vulnerability etc. have been vanished due to the use of cloud services. It has become more convenient to add new or change existing services without worrying about shifting hardware etc, thanks to the cloud! 

For example, The State IT chiefs in California, Indiana and Arkansas said that the use of cloud and SaaS technologies helped than more than expected during times of covid-19. 

In Indiana, CIO Tracy Barnes and her team supported 120 state agencies working from home, and the last investment in cloud-powered services helped make the transition possible. His department was piloting Office 365, setting the governance for the use of such tools before the pandemic attack.

Many countries have already implemented industry 4.0 models to redesign their operational and management policies and many other are joining the race one by one. With the passage of time, these advanced technologies are becoming more affordable and accessible giving birth to the chances for developing countries to evolve digitally. Let’s see what technology brings next!

On a lighter note, The only thing that comes to my mind when I think about the Government are those bohemian buildings occupied by these people when close to 25% of the population is homeless.

IT Enabling Industry 4.0 in Mining, Oil, And Gas Sectors

IT Enabling Industry 4.0 in Mining, Oil, And Gas Sectors

When it comes to the mining, oil and gas industries, the last decade has seen massive upgrades in terms of technological advancement. The fall in oil prices in 2014, along with rising regulations, forced major oil and gas companies to cut their IT costs. However, with the proliferation of oil and gas, and due to volatile and hazardous world conditions after covid-19, companies have started to adapt technological advancements to reap the benefits of Industry 4.0. Companies are increasingly adopting technologies such as IoT, AI, advanced analytics, and cloud computing to increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, and improve manual operation.

Technologies such as seismic imaging are helping companies experiment with 4D models in the research process, and sensor data is being used to determine the correct methods of mining, drilling and optimize production. In midstream operations, the key areas of change have been data management so that inventory levels can be tracked and logistics operations run smoothly. Digital purchasing, forecasting maintenance, labor training and real-time operations monitoring have been some of the key areas of change at the downstream. There have been cases of use in the Automating Oil rig and the Smart Exploration stream domain and much more. 

Let’s have a look at the technologies that are enabling Industry 4.0 in mining, oil and gas sector and their use cases.

AI and Machine Learning

Machine learning enables computer systems to learn and interpret data without human input, improving the process through repetition to develop programs for specific purposes. It helps companies to have an eye on complex internal affairs and respond quickly to issues that human workers may not know instantly.

Machine learning can also be used to run simulations, using predictive data models to discover patterns based on different inputs. The mining oil and gas industry can use AI before assessing the potential impact of new changes or assessing the environmental issues related to a new project.

Data Science uses AI to extract information and insights from data, interconnect relevant pieces of data using neural networks, and create more comprehensive images from existing information. The offshore oil and gas industry use AI to make the complex data used for oil and gas exploration and production more accessible, allowing companies to explore new opportunities for discovery or improve the existing infrastructure. 

In January 2019, BP invested in Houston-based technology startup Belmont Technology to enhance the company’s AI capabilities, developing a cloud-based geoscience platform called “Sandy”.

Sandy helps BP to translate information collected from geology, geophysics, history and reservoir projects, and develop a unique “knowledge graph”.

AI intuitively integrates information, identifies new contacts and workflows, and uses them to create a stronger image of BP’s underground assets. The oil company can then consult the data in the science graph; AI simulates and interprets the results using artificial networks.

Big Data

Petroleum engineers and bio scientists spend more than 50 percent of their time collecting data, Brule reports. Several companies are in a hurry to implement big data systems for oil and gas to enhance the efficiency of process and save time.

Big data analysis helps companies in exploration, drilling, production and delivery.

The US based companies are already enjoying the fruits of big data analytics. The market is driven by high demand for solutions in the Gulf of Mexico and US shale fields, which will help make better decisions and improve efficiency. ConocoPhillips said the sensors deployed in the  Eagle Ford Shale Basin in South Texas, helped reduce drilling time by about 50 percent. The North Sea is expected to be the second largest market. The digitization of oil fields in the region during the low oil prices led to a 40% reduction in operating costs in the North Sea.

As reported by Mehta, based on the results of the General Electric and Accenture survey in 2018, 81% of executives ranked big data as one of the top three priorities for oil and gas companies. And this is mainly driven by their need to improve oil and gas exploration efficiency.

IoT 

The use of IoT helps companies avoid breakdowns and accidents, makes the entire production process more predictable, increases revenue while reducing costs, defeats competitors and increases market share.

Sensor-based technology can be used to monitor pressure in pipes, monitor drilling processes, and detect machinery conditions and leakage. In this industry, the speed of problem solving can be considered as billions of dollars in savings.

Smart algorithms analyze data and events registered and detected through cross-reference and various sensors. They create unique insights that help management make important decisions, for example, when to start drilling and when to stop to avoid problems.

Smart algorithms can predict when the terms of expensive goods change and require regular or immediate maintenance. Needless to say, timely on-demand maintenance is more effective than routine checks and acts as a guarantee of worker safety.

 A company named Annova integrates Telit technologies to expand its products and provide more value to its customers. By equipping fuel and gas tanks with sensor-based telemetry systems, consumers receive a full range of tools and services to measure and monitor the exploitation of tanks.

HPE worked with partners to make Texmark an efficient, flexible, secure and reliable plant of the future. Today, it is a complex ecosystem that integrates a range of solutions in automation and data-driven operations in IIoT, predictive modeling, edge analytics and AI technologies.

Many enterprise level companies, market leaders such as IBM, Cisco, Schneider Electric and Microsoft provide customized IoT solutions for the oil and gas industry.

Cloud Computing 

The mining, oil and gas companies can measure their data management and storage and build a greater flexibility in infrastructure expenses using cloud computing system. The cloud computing systems provide high computing power and support the implementation of other technologies such as intelligent management of physical assets, which facilitates operational efficiency as well.

Cloud provides agility, which allows oil companies to reduce their resources on the basis of operational integrity and profitability, while also giving them the ability to scale up. It improves their adaptation to any disruptive trends that arise as energy transfers, while also ensuring that mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activities are facilitated as soon as possible. Standardization can be achieved through the cloud, where oil and gas best practices are automated and provided with real-time insights, allowing information to be shared across departments through cross-departmental collaboration and visibility.

Major oil and gas companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Total and Shell are the key players in the cloud computing systems implementation in the oil and gas industry. Some known cloud solution providers to these companies are Pivvot, AVEVA, Halliburton, Microsoft Azure and Cegal.

Extensive use of existing digital technologies in the mining, oil and gas sector could reduce production costs by 10% to 20%, according to the International Energy Agency. Companies are increasingly investing in applications such as logistics and inventory management that can be expanded with the help of digital technologies. With the passage of time, new improvements are being done in these technologies to facilitate different sectors. Let’s see, what these technologies bring further in our lives.

IT Enabling Industry 4.0 in Agriculture Sector

IT Enabling Industry 4.0 in Agriculture Sector

The traditional modes of farming and agriculture are getting faint after the introduction of IT based technologies such as AI, big data, IoT etc. in the agriculture sector. 

These technologies have provided farms an opportunity to optimize their yield by using smart sensor and high-tech systems to store and transfer data, to do smart contracts, to manage the crop production, and to optimize the financial aspects. These technologies are providing the real-time analysis and prediction based data to optimize the growth and lower the associated risks. 

Let’s have a look at these technologies being used in agriculture sector so far. 

Blockchain technology in Agriculture

Blockchain refers to the system used to create timeless, permanent and clear records of exchange and processing. The system uses digital technology in which data and information are recorded and exchanged quickly and securely in a decentralized manner.

Blockchain technology in agriculture, which includes smart contracts, makes it possible to store data from the beginning of process to the end consumer, ensuring the legitimacy and authenticity of every transaction which eliminates the risk of any dishonesty in the supply chain. Blockchain technology avoids potential fraud on product quality in order to control treatment across the chain to the point of sale. In blockchain technology, data is stored in the following ways.

Unencrypted data – This data is transparent and is read through every node in the network.

Encrypted Data – This data is available to participants. The decryption token provides access to data in the blockchain and also verifies the data contained in the system.

Hashed data – This data introduced the function. Hashed data consists of a small unit called soil base unit (SBU) in which historical records is continuously recorded using blockchain technology. The fourth revolution in agriculture, 4.0, created a blockchain that is used to store old records, and the decision made by analysts is being made on these SBUs. This SBU stores data such as data related to different types of crops, diseases, solids, nutrients required by the crop at the present stage.

 IoT technology in Agriculture

The potential growth of the IoT industry is in the agricultural sector. Internet of Things (IoT) technology opens up the possibility of deploying IoT devices in agriculture around the world, enabling data to be sensed remotely. Farming data collected through sensor-linked devices help in monitoring the crop growth and supply of essential nutrients such as fertilizer and water and hence optimizes the production. 

The use of IoT logic and cloud computing, by verifying every parameter in the supply chain network, improves the depth of the system in terms of marketing environment, processing and production in agriculture based on precision sensing.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution revolutionized the field of agriculture through the Internet of Things (IoT). Agricultural data is collected through the smart sensors under the supervision of IoT and this data is transferred to the big data analysis software which then is translated to the actionable form. IoT is a sensor-based technology that is used to improve the performance of existing systems so that the information collected from IoT is monitored by devices and action is taken to improve it. It is run by a high-tech system that use various sensors to measure data related to environment, soil structure, fertilizer intensity and its effects on plants. Once these parameters are monitored, the data is transferred to the decision-making system where it is necessary to follow the atomization of the process according to different agricultural applications. Farming techniques are analyzed by sensors through IoT and the farmer is being recommended to improve the traditional process.

IoT draws the line between virtual and real world. IoT has allowed the physical objects in the world to become intelligent through online communication. The system transitioned from machine to communication, machine to infrastructure and from machine to environmental communication.

Drone analytics

The agriculture sector is developed with Agriculture 4.0 technologies that use drone analytics to perform crop analysis through images and videos attached to big data analytics software to show how crops are growing and where potential improvements or repairs are needed. 

Using drones, farmers identify which parts of crop field needs more water or fertilizer, and which areas need anti-​weeding spray. Today these drones are used in agriculture as remote fertilizer vehicles to easily cover a specific area or individual plant.

Under the Fourth Industrial Revolution, drone technology is used to monitor various activities in the fields of agriculture through various sensors developed by high-tech systems. The data collected by the drone is forwarded through IoT systems for analysis.

Big Data Analytics

The use of various data collection techniques improves the development of the agricultural sector.

“Big data” refers to the large-scale processing of data collected from information and communications technologies (ICT) to obtain faster decision-making data to improve productivity. Since all data on crop production and rotation issues over the past decade are available in storage, it makes it possible for farmers to take precautions in advance using the predictive approach provided by Big Data and IoT. 

Artificial Intelligence

Recently, under Industry 4.0, the demand of a new machine learning technique called artificial intelligence (AI) increases in various activities. This artificial intelligence (AI) used pre-stored data for decision making and need of agricultural sectors while preparing the schedule for these activities in advance. This predictive approach has revolutionized the agricultural sector and has helped farmer in predicting a potential risk and take advance steps to avoid that risk.

IT is improving day by day and industries are implementing advanced IT based systems for optimization purposes. Yet there is a lot to be done in agriculture sector. Most parts of the word are still using the traditional modes of agriculture. There are very less examples of farms where IT based techniques have enabled agriculture 4.0. This needs to be improved in order to head towards the agriculture 5.0. 

Let’s see, what happens next!

IT Innovations Enabling the Industry 4.0 In Manufacturing Sector

IT Innovations Enabling the Industry 4.0 In Manufacturing Sector

IT based technologies are changing the ways the world used to see the manufacturing processes. The advanced technologies are making the connectivity among machinery possible which in turn makes the factories smart enhancing their production capacity and also providing them with cost-effective and time saving alternatives. 

We have already discussed about the different technologies that are enabling industry 4.0 in manufacturing industries. Now is the time to have a look at the real life applications of these technologies and how these technologies have been proven successful so far.  

Industrial Internet of Things

As we have studied in previous articles that IoT is a network of digitally interconnected devices and equipment’s that allows the communication and exchange of data within the devices. It comprises of various sensing devices, RFID tags, and electronics attached with manufacturing equipment. 

For example, IIoT can be used is to prevent the overstocking or under stocking of inventory.

Let’s have a look at the real-life application of IoT enabling industry 4.0.

A company BJC Healthcare operates 15 hospitals located in Missouri and Illinois as a service provider company. 

The company is using RFID tags to track and manage their medical supplies. Before application of RFID tags, the company needed a lot of labor to manage the inventory. 

This was a challenging task as the company had a lot of supplies to store and manage physically. It also caused a considerable loss of stock as it is difficult to keep a strict check on inventory, hence the expiry dates of stock could not be noted. 

But then the company applied RFID technology in 2015. 

Now, the company has been able to decrease the onsite stock at different facilities by 23%. It is predicted that company will save $5 million every year due to the RFID tagging technology. 

Big Data and Analytics

Using advanced computer technologies on major data sets to uncover important patterns, trends and correlations for companies in decision making process is termed as big data or big data analytics. 

The main use of big data in industry is as a translator. But it is not an ordinary translator; it translates what no one else can do. The information that is produced by IoT and AI systems needs to be translated into an actionable format and here the big data comes in. 

Bosch is a Chinese automotive company currently using a combination of IIoT and Big Data to connect the machinery and monitor the whole production process. 

The system that company uses is comprised of sensors attached with the factory’s machinery that collect data about a certain machine’s performance and any issues related to the working of the machinery. 

This collected data is then translated by Big data analytics to tell the workers if there is any breakdown in any machinery identified at some place. 

This helps in predicting the machine’s failure allowing the workers to take steps to resolve the future issue before it happens. 

Reports show that due to the use of big data systems, the company is enjoying 10% increase in output along with improved delivery management. 

Cloud computing

Cloud computing allows businesses to access up to date data and applications provided by the emerging technologies. And the good thing is, you don’t need to build a huge physical infrastructure to acquire this all. Cloud based computing can be easily installed and changed depending on the needs of industry.

Volkswagen is a company that developed a cloud network known as “Volkswagen Automotive Cloud” in collaboration with Microsoft. The technology offers features like smart home connectivity, digital assistance, predictive maintenance, media streaming and uptdates. 

With the help of this cloud network, the company plans to add around 5 million brand offerings annually to its IoT.

Advanced Robotics

Industries have been using robotics in one way or other for decades but the fourth industrial revolution has given a rise to this technology.  

Today, we have robots that can perform difficult and complex tasks autonomously. These robots are aided by advanced software and sensors which make them able to recognize, analyze, and act upon the data that they gather from the ecosystem. They are also capable to learn autonomously from humans.

Fetch Robotics is a Californian based company that has a developed system of robots used for tracking, locating, and moving inventory in warehouse. 

In Netherlands, a DHL service Provider Company is using the AMRs (Autonomous Mobile Robots) for pick and drop operations within the warehouse. These AMRs autonomously move with the workers and also learn from their activities and hence remember their routes of work. The company says that use of these AMRs has reduced the order cycle time by 50%. 

Augmented reality

Industry 4.0 is encouraging the use of AR technologies in the manufacturing industry. This technology can help companies from assembly processes to maintaining manufacturing machinery. 

AR efficiently fills the gap between the physical and digital labor by offering virtual images and data on to a physical object. The technology mostly comprises of smartphones, tablets and smart glasses. 

A company named “General Electric” has applied an AR system in their facility to offer a glimpse at how AR technology can work to increase the efficiency of manufacturing unit and labor. The company is using the AR technology on experimental bases in their jet engine manufacturing cell. Before introducing the AR technology, the workers had to stop now-and-then to check the working manuals in order to assure that the work goes in the right direction. With the use of smart AR based glasses, they can now have visual instructions while working. These smart glasses are even connected with the support team and the worker can immediately contact experts in case of any complex issue. 

Company says that it is enjoying 11% increased productivity of workers after introducing the smart AR glasses.