[Tribune] From industrial data to economic sovereignty in the face of crises

Even before the global economy had time to breathe in the wake of the five waves of coronavirus that brought down thousands of businesses in France and Europe, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia increased uncertainty and risks for most of the economic players, industrial ones ahead, especially the vulnerable. to the inflation shock due to its exposure to raw materials and the accelerating rise in energy prices.

In this context where the effects of various crises are exacerbating, it is about the industries really entering the 21st century. This is characterized by the fourth industrial revolution whose tool is the IIoT (Internet of Things for Industry). This technology provides ideal keys for companies to recover and exploit the industrial data that makes and will reap more and more wealth and competitiveness of economic actors. Those who know how to read weak signals, and measure and anticipate new and future impacts, will have an advantage and will be the industry champions of tomorrow. The issue of sovereignty for France and Europe.

Energy Impact: From Black Gold to Industrial Data Evaluation

Integrating volatility and cost control at the heart of more flexible and resilient industrial models is imperative to dealing with crises and uncertainty. As raw materials see their cost exploding at the rate of the various crises we are going through, affecting electronic components, wood, metals and then hydrocarbons or fertilizers, it becomes imperative to control everything we can control.

If the industry goes through these increases, it can always more precisely control its production costs, the level of non-quality, and its material losses. This is one of the promises of the transition to Industry 4.0 that has become an emergency for manufacturers. This transformation is characterized by the improvement of the production chain through the proper use of the data it generates or can generate. The most expensive raw material, the most expensive energy, is what is wasted… The promise of Industry 4.0 is to reduce this greatly underrated reality, thus bringing together economic and environmental challenges. Your industrial data, hitherto untapped, may be more valuable than the cost of increasing raw materials.

In the face of rising commodity prices, take stock so you can anticipate

In this period of shortage of raw materials or components to be assembled, it is a matter of finding the right rhythm of production. Useless and dangerous to force machines to be brought in for maintenance ASAP. We need to rethink their use, to reduce their wear. Rethink maintenance to perform at the best time and manage the industrial tool so that these maintenance costs are adapted to the production situation. This analysis of industrial data enables adaptation between use, wear and maintenance for a balanced management of these three pillars according to the economic context.

Moreover, the risk of shortages of raw materials, such as ingredients, is forcing industries to make rapid changes in sourcing. These modifications are not neutral in the manufacturing process, on the contrary, they must quickly adapt to this new situation. This ability to be flexible becomes one of the keys to maintaining the strategic path and preserving its business value and knowledge. New components that will have to integrate manufacturing processes have a different physical and chemical signature, with a known effect: lower quality, defects, machine downtime… If these risks were natural in the past, the risk has increased and will increase and will continue as long as industries will not control them. In addition, the human experience, at the heart of solutions, will need a habit because their ability to adapt is generally slow. This is why analysis of high-frequency data should make it possible to capture weak signals instantly in order to quickly guide teams towards the best settings and adaptations. Henceforth, in the face of a regularly changing supply context, the use of data analysis methods integrated into the manufacturing process is a major industrial asset.

The end of the globalization of industrial production and French remanufacturing

For the industry as elsewhere, we are observing a one-way flight with these historic shocks. Successive crises ended the era of globalization at any cost to launch the long era of re-industrialization in the European continent in particular. But it will no longer be a matter of constructing gigantic industrial sites that move a large number of people and goods produced over long distances. This new era of re-industrialization will pass through the creation of small sites inviting locals who will play on the effects of competition between local industries to ensure a career that is richer in experience and more profitable in the long run, and also without doubt more diverse with industrial lanes interspersed with third-class periods.

In this context, productivity and quality will be achieved over time through rapid learning at workstations and through a range of experiences that are no longer individual but computerized. Gone are the days when a 20-year-trained, binaural operator tuned the machine to optimal position. Industrial expertise is based on the accumulation of production data by IT solutions that will provide more mobile workers with the additional information necessary to be efficient in their operations and decision-making. To make up for a certain delay, we must trust that the French industry is able to expedite this key issue.

The highly volatile situation reveals a new world where the relationship to uncertainty governs economic and industrial decisions: situational intelligence will be the main lever for survival. French and European players must seize it by increasing investment in the industrial Internet of things and data, because without Industry 4.0, it is impossible to implement our industrial supremacy in the long term.

Paul Pinault, IIoT Vice President, Market and Product Strategies at Braincube

Expert opinions are published under the full responsibility of their authors and in no way involve the editorial team of L’Usine Nouvelle.

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