Now in its second year, the Industrial Internet 4.0 Summit is billed as a must-attend event for Australian manufacturers. Matthew McDonald spoke to two of the participants at the gathering, which kicks off in Sydney tomorrow.
While Industry 4.0 has been around for some time now, it is still a relatively new concept to most manufacturers. As such, many of these businesses have either not yet introduced this new paradigm to their businesses or have not yet discovered the best way to harness the power that it promises.
With this in mind, the second Industrial Internet 4.0 Summit, which takes place in February at Sydney’s SMC Conference and Function Centre, is a great opportunity for food and beverage makers and others to inform themselves about the latest in Industry 4.0.
We spoke to two participants in the Industrial Internet 4.0 Summit who work in the food and beverage manufacturing sector.
Tania Montesin, regional manufacturing operations manager Asahi Beverages, has more than two decades’ experience in building and managing large, high-volume end-to-end supply chain management and manufacture of fast-moving consumer goods.
Apart from management of the region, she is currently working with company leadership on planning and deployment of Industry 4.0 initiatives to improve efficiency, consistency and profitability of manufacturing across the region.
When the subject turns to Industry 4.0, conversations tend to focus on things like quality control, improved efficiency, labour market changes and food safety. However, before any of that is possible, a couple of obvious questions businesses need to answer is ‘how do I get there?’ and ‘what is the first step?’
According to Montesin, getting started involves a lot of trial and error. “This area is new for everyone in fast moving consumer goods and definitely new for Australia. There is much piloting and exploration to be done in this space in the next three years to work out for each business how to use it most effectively against corporate goals,” she said.
“Industry 4.0 is an enabler of exciting systems such as continuous improvement. Identifying areas of greatest loss in your organisation to target solutions that will provide financial benefit. And importantly, start with less complex projects to prove ideas and concepts early.”
Asked to name some Industry 4.0 success stories, Montesin mentioned larger international companies such as General Electric, Airbus, Rolls Royce. “These are largely engineering organisations where design and reliability are paramount for performance and brand integrity,” she said.
Regarding her experience at Asahi she said that the company started with understanding what is Industry 4.0 and how it can apply to our business and value chain specifically to meet corporate long term goals.
Montesin is scheduled to take part in a Case study presentation, called Collaboration across the digital supply chain at the Industrial Internet 4.0 Summit. She said that attendees will be able to learn more about Asahi’s approach to Industry 4.0 during the presentation.
Siamak Tafavough, lead data scientist Coca Cola Amatil, has a demonstrated history of working in the finance, food and beverages and health care industries. Skilled in leading advanced analytics projects, designing and structuring framework around machine learning and advanced analytics stream, he is a research professional with a Ph.D. focused in Machine Learning.
When we caught up with Tafavough he mentioned a new term – “Analytics of Things”.
“What we have currently is the Internet of Things which is devices that collect data and are connected to each other. If you can really use that data to get some insight and analyse the data to obtain some patterns, you are going one step further and getting lots of benefit out of this,” he said.
The Analytics of Things, therefore, is all about taking the data supplied by connected digital devices, analysing it, and working out the best ways to make it work for your business or organisation.
“A number of companies are using this technology and benefitting out of it. There is a big growth in using this technology, however the bit we are missing at the moment is not many companies are actually investing in analysing the data. That’s the bit where most organisations are behind,” said Tafavough.
He said that, to date, food and beverage makers have successfully used Industry 4.0 in areas such as transport. “For example, in tracking the movements of trucks, the amount time they spend on the road, in distribution centres and so on.”
At the Industrial Internet 4.0 Summit, Tafavough is scheduled to take part in a panel discussion called, The Analytics of Things – creating new value from IoT data.
The Industrial Internet Summit is being held in Sydney on Feb 21-22.