EHS 4.0: Connected Safety Is Smart Safety

Networks and connectivity make technology better. Imagine how unproductive an office full of PCs would be without a LAN connection, or a modern military would struggle without a command, control and communications (C3) network.

Real-time connectivity expands the capabilities of devices and the people using them. This explains why experts project that there could be over 41 billion connected devices in use by 2025, with business and industry being areas of extremely high growth.

Industrial control systems (ICS) are nothing new to the manufacturing industry. SCADA (Supervisory control and data acquisition) has enabled real-time control of switches, pumps and valves since the 1960’s. The success of SCADA, the growth of cloud computing and the evolution of the Internet of Things has given rise to next generation of industrial intelligence: Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 Needs EHS 4.0

Industry 4.0 employs cyber-physical systems that connect people, machines and data to create smart … Read more...

How Quality 4.0 is Changing the Future of Business: Part 5

Quality 4.0 holds the potential to provide innovative new business models, particularly for smaller firms. (Radziwill, 2020). While the financial investment in technology will be a constraint for some organizations, the reality for most is that the customers and end-users will increasingly expect businesses to respond to their needs for customization and enhanced customer experience. Ibarra et al (2018) suggest several different approaches for new business models. 

Service-Oriented Approach 

Organizations should move from a product-focus to a service-focus of which products are simply one component. The Product-Service System (PSS) is a framework that integrates product development and offerings to provide customizable solutions that meet specific customer needs and are co-created with the customer.  

Network-Oriented Approach 

As demonstrated by Logistics 4.0, organizations must look beyond vertical integration and embrace both horizontal and vertical integration across the value chain. This integration will blur the line between one organization and the … Read more...

How Quality 4.0 is Changing the Future of Business: Part 4

In the last few weeks, we’ve explored some of the different ways in which Quality 4.0 is changing the future of quality in areas such as logistics and maintenance. In this installment, we’ll look at the impact of Quality 4.0 on health and safety. 


Healthy Operator 4.0 


In traditional manufacturing environments, keeping workers safe is an ongoing concern. While most organizations dedicate significant resources to worker safety, variability in job roles and individual performance can make it difficult to prescribe operating procedures that prevent injury and illness from over-exertion or cognitive overload. Humans, after all, are not machines, and small differences between the way people perform a task like carrying a heavy load can mean the difference between safety and crippling musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that are both painful and expensive. 

Industry 4.0 provides the technology to collect real-time data on job performance. This can be used to design physical … Read more...

How Quality 4.0 is Changing the Future of Business: Part III

Quality 4.0

In this installment of our series dedicated to Quality 4.0, we continue our look at some of the practical applications of Quality 4.0 methods in different industries. With supply chain being a prominent concern during the COVID-19 pandemic, the tools of Quality 4.0 promise to alleviate many of the stresses that currently plague industries around the world and to improve the future of global supply networks. 


Logistics 4.0 


Supply chains, particularly those that stretch across international boundaries, are extraordinarily complex systems. They involve millions of products moving across multiple touchpoints. Every participant contributes to the goals of maximizing efficiency, productivity, and profit while minimizing damage, risk, and threats to safety.  

Logistics examines how producers, inspectors, and distributors are interconnected and can complement one another to increase overall system performance. This contrasts with the typical approach taken inside of an organization, in which individual functions pursue their own agendas and … Read more...

How Quality 4.0 is Changing the Future of Business: Part II

Industry 4.0 and Quality 4.0

In our previous blog on Quality 4.0, we introduced the ways in which the principles of Industry 4.0 have impacted the practice of quality. In today’s blog, we’ll look at the first of a series of case studies to see how this revolution plays out in today’s organizations.


Maintenance 4.0


Equipment failure in a manufacturing environment can disrupt cash flow and productivity. Not only do machine repairs cost money and time to repair, but there is also a cost to sitting idle. Time and money are lost through decreased productivity and missed deadlines, while rushed work (for example, immediately after recovery from the failures) can lead to additional product defects or safety hazards. While traditional maintenance techniques react to machine failures only after they occur, Maintenance 4.0 offers the opportunity to collect data to predict and prevent machine downtime before it occurs, potentially protecting millions of dollars of productivity … Read more...

How Quality 4.0 is Changing the Future of Business: Part 1

Quality 4.0
What is Industry 4.0?


Industry 4.0 is one of the most frequently occurring terms in contemporary business articles. Entering “Industry 4.0” into the Google search engine produces 298 million hits in English alone. Many technology companies are talking about it, promoting it, and selling it. However, defining what it means and who it impacts can be a difficult task.

The concept of Industry 4.0 was introduced in 2011 at the Hannover Fair. This project, launched by the German government, was dedicated to the accelerating digital transformation in Germany’s manufacturing industries. Also referred to as Smart Manufacturing or Smart Production, the concept derives from the “fourth industrial revolution,” which is the modern culmination of industrial macrotrends since the late 1700’s:

  • Industry 1.0: the introduction of machine production to replace manual production in the eighteenth century.
  • Industry 2.0: the introduction of electricity, railroads, and the telegraph to augment machine production in
Read more...

How Quality 4.0 Can Support Successful Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is a way of using cutting-edge technology to solve traditional problems and create new models for knowledge organization, revenue generation, and innovation. Since 2010, the topic of digital transformation has been the focus of considerable attention in every industry. It holds the promise of digital platforms that provide a single-source-of-truth for collecting, analyzing, and sharing data and information across the organization to allow immediate, data-driven decision making that can help to confront any operational challenge.

However, many organizations fall into the trap of believing that a successful digital transformation project is simply a matter of purchasing the correct technology, and that the technology itself will dictate the behaviour and processes that lead to organizational excellence. As a result, many digital transformation projects collapse and fail before creating any meaningful change in the organization.

Quality 4.0 can help prevent this. It’s a digital transformation strategy that emphasizes quality and … Read more...

A Digital Transformation for Voice of the Customer (VoC)

Fuji Xerox launched a digital transformation project to modernize voice of the customer and raised their Net Promoter Score from -4 to +35.

In the late 2000’s, Fuji Xerox changed its strategy from “Make & Sell” to “Sense & Respond.” The company wanted to be more agile and responsive to changing customer needs, instead of relying on long product development lifecycles and the hope that a market would be in place when a product was released. They decided to overhaul their Voice of the Customer (VoC) program for Industry 4.0. (Sachamanorom & Senoo, 2016) In the process, Fuji identified customer needs according to the three levels and provided labels (VoC 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0) to describe the increase in maturity as new varieties of data were added:

  • Stated needs = knowledge from customer (VoC 1.0)
  • Implied needs = knowledge about customer (VoC 2.0)
  • Hidden needs = knowledge discovered through interactions
Read more...

Processes and data-driven technology are protecting your food from contamination and adulteration

In the United States alone, food travels on average 1,300 miles from farm to fork, with 33% of produce and 80% of seafood imported from other countries. Food products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are processed by more than 300,000 different facilities in over 150 different countries. The complexity of this supply chain means that food can travel around the world in the custody of multiple agents along the way, with variations in documentation and processing resulting in loss of critical information about food authenticity and origin or even loss of the food itself. Approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost from the global supply chain annually without any understanding of where it goes. Traceability and authenticity in such a complex supply chain are therefore extremely difficult to manage, especially when consumers are increasingly concerned about those assurances, as well as about additional elements like sustainability and genetically modified … Read more...

Health & Safety is a Team Effort: Industry 4.0 and IIoT

 
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 are forcing companies to rethink their approach to health and safety. Digital transformation uses innovative IoT endpoints and their data to improve the company’s core business, but they make health and safety more complex than ever. When properly deployed and integrated, sensors, endpoints and devices improve the individual safety of workers and identify additional areas for process improvement. 

More connected workers, more devices, more data — this massive influx of information and capability requires an end-to-end solution that addresses new and evolving EHS challenges. A solution that can capture the data produced from edge devices, analyze it and organize it in meaningful ways to improve health and safety programs and processes. Intelex Technologies and Honeywell are working together to create an integrated EHS solution that solves the challenges posed by Industry 4.0 and IIoT.  

The Number of Connected “Things”  

The global IIoT market will grow to $310 billion USD by 2023, and some of that growth will be from the increase in the number of “Connected Workers.” This means that the average industrial worker is going to be wearing and carrying multiple devices to help them do their job. Deployment, management and training … Read more...