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Julio de 2020 Página 2 de 3

Five digital technologies for the industry's new normal

Alaín Castillo, Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional (CMRP).

The new reality imposed by the pandemic has revived the need for digitization in the industry. Learn about five solutions that optimize manufacturing operations in the following article.

With all this, an augmented reality application can be designed that, for example, displays information from the transmitter or valve in the field, its wiring to the field connection boxes, the terminal to which it is connected, the routing of the cable to the control room, the terminal to the connection cabinet and, finally, the channel where it is integrated into the PLC or control system. In this way, the instrumentalist engineer can follow the path of the signal from the field to the control room, this without depending on the DTI’s on paper, it’s like playing Pokemon Go but following the field signals.

Digital twins 

Hand in hand with digital design are digital twins, this technology is focused on generating a digital replica of the plant and has two main applications: simulation and digital engineering.

Digital twins can be designed with different levels of accuracy, accuracy is called the level of complexity they have with their real counterpart. A high-fidelity model can simulate quite realistically the phenomena and problems that occur in the real world, they simulate events that integrate a large number of variables as in real life. An analogy can be made with video games, especially with flight simulators or car driving simulators. Digital twins have been used for a long time in areas such as Formula 1 and the aeronautics, power generation (especially nuclear), mining and oil industries, in all of the above simulators are used to train operators in a controlled environment .

The other application of digital twins is in the engineering area, changes can be made to them, whether in control or protection logics, batch recipes, etc. These simulations are run in a controlled environment and scenarios that are not easily presented in reality, or emergencies that may occur can be forced, without putting facilities, processes and personnel at risk.

Therefore, digital twins are tools that allow reducing, either the learning curve or engineering and testing stages in the construction or modernization of industrial processes.

Mobility: Apps to manage operations remotely

Today we are used to carrying all our information on our personal devices, from our calendar, directory, bank and email accounts, purchases, notes and reminders. Much of the information that we access from the mobile does not reside on the memory card or hard drive, it is in the cloud and is accessible from any device or PC where we can access our account or profile. For this reason, in this article I describe the concept of mobility as having information available no matter where we are, not only having data but accessing information that allows us to make decisions remotely. 

The same can happen with the information that we consult in the manufacturing plant, and I do not mean to enter the intranet or our corporate mail from home or the cafe using a VPN (from the acronym in English for virtual private network), but the to be informed of the events, alerts or notifications that appear in the field instrumentation, assets, control systems or even specialized systems such as vibration analysis or intelligent instrumentation diagnosis.

Mobility solutions can be designed to extract events or alarms (all configurable) that otherwise could only be visualized when facing the station or PC in the control or maintenance room. This type of applications are designed to have a unidirectional communication path, that is, read only, this to protect the industrial network from possible cyberattacks.

Once the information of interest is sent to the app on the mobile device, from there the user is able to make decisions remotely and even anticipate events in the field.

Palabras relacionadas:
digital transformation, the new normal in the industry, perational technology, OT, informational technology, IT, Digitize operations, plant automation, plant cobots, industry cobots, production automation, digital twins, smart factory, Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing, augmented reality

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