The Fourth Industrial Revolution is putting a whole new face on automation, monitoring, and supply chain analysis through the use of smart technologies such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cyber-physical systems. These systems, through computer algorithms, can monitor the physical environment, as well as control it.
The use of such technologies means that every part of the supply chain can be smart and transparent, and thus bring many benefits to manufacturers. Is it also an opportunity for bioproduction?
Bioproduction in the Spirit of Revolution
Biomanufacturing is a type of manufacturing or biotechnology that uses biological systems to produce essential biomaterials and biomolecules. They are primarily used in medicines, food, and beverage processing, but also play an important role in industry.
Industry 4.0 is expected to revolutionize bioproduction and the way companies make, improve, and distribute their products. Developing, for example, pharmaceuticals or next-generation drugs is time-consuming and costly, and on top of that, the risk that work on them will end in failure is quite high. The integration of systems and the introduction of artificial intelligence can help to significantly minimize these effects, and thus lead to greater efficiency in bioproduction processes.
There are more and more Industry 4.0 solutions on the market. They help carry out the digitization of the supply chain of companies, and therefore improve their operations. If implemented in the right way, they will bring many benefits, including:
- Sustainability of production – by using better tailored solutions;
- Improving flexibility – by anticipating and developing the most effective alternatives;
- Remote monitoring in real time;
- Faster risk assessment and increased productivity – through accurate data monitoring and refined forecasts.
Technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Augmented Reality (AR), Big Data and the Digital Twin are most often cited among Industrial Revolution technologies. Although the concept of the latter was presented by Michael Grieves as early as 2002, the first practical definition of a digital twin came from NASA – it was developed to improve the simulation of a physical spacecraft model in 2010.
Digital Twin – What Is It?
A digital twin is a term for a virtual replica of existing objects, products, processes, or systems. The model is a combination of a physical object and it’s digital representation. Performing a reliable simulation is only possible by processing a wide set of IoT sensor data in real time and updating the status of selected processes on an ongoing basis.
“The digital twin is, in a sense, a simulation that can be used by the operator to identify potential problems, such as those related to parameter fluctuations. Part of the digital twin can therefore be monitoring humidity and temperature. In bioproduction, receiving current information on these parameters is essential if the manufacturer wants to obtain a high-quality product. Constant monitoring reduces the risks associated with unforeseen failures, which can lead to lamentable consequences and financial losses.” comments Daria Roszczyk-Krowicka, Sales and Marketing Director at Blulog, a company providing modern solutions for monitoring and optimizing the supply chain.
Industry 4.0 technologies seem like a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, especially those who would like to run their business in the spirit of smart manufacturing, but on the other hand they raise many concerns about whether they will work and when the investment in them will start to pay off.
However, it is worth educating oneself in this direction and looking for solutions tailored for the enterprise. An opportunity to get acquainted with the aforementioned technologies is the upcoming technology fairs SIDO Lyon (September 14-15) and IoT Tech Expo Euro Amsterdam (September 20-21).