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 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.