IoT, AI & era of cutting-edge lubrication
Manufacturing, as we know it, is transforming. The entire manufacturing processùfrom design to delivery - is consuming lesser time and lesser energy, thanks to the new generation of sophisticated and super-efficient machinery built with emerging technologies. Add to this, the advantages of environment-friendly processes and the huge savings on sustainable operations, and we have a true revolution on hand. Welcome to the world of modern manufacturing powered by the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is transforming industrial processes and ushering in a new future for factories. Even as the forward-looking technologies and innovations in manufacturing are opening up new pathways for economic, technical and logistical advantages in the manufacturing domain, the integral process of lubrication solutions and services is also witnessing a sea-change in terms of competencies, expertise and delivery. Industry leaders like ExxonMobil are at the forefront of this revolution, integrating cutting-edge lubrication technologies and services into mainstream manufacturing.
The transformation journey
Industrialisation has been a phenomenon with manufacturing and industrial capacity proving to be the mainstay of economic growth over the years. While the first industrial revolution mechanised the textile industry and gave birth to the factory system, the second industrial revolution ushered in the age of assembly lines and mass production. The third revolution saw technology playing a key role, even as mechanics converged with computers to mark the onset of a digital era.
The fourth industrial revolution as we now know it is Industry 4.0. This is the next phase of digitisation where manufacturing has seen a shift towards the development of "smart factories". This evolution requires unprecedented levels of integration between information, communication and processes. Today, the need for flexible solutions and customised products has led to rising complexities in production. At the same time, the need to maintain efficiency with zero-compromise on quality has led manufacturers to a point where being globally competitive as well as optimising on energy, materials consumption, etc. is paramount to maintain productivity and profitability.
As industries have evolved, so has the need for reimagining and redesigning the work processes. To accelerate efficiency and enhance productivity, manufacturers need to invest in smart technologies and automation solutions. The new order of a connected industry environment has brought about the emergence of cyber-physical systems, driven by IoT, AI and cloud computing. The transformational era of Industrial IoT is here and it is time to adapt to the new order.
The Industry 4.0 impact
The impact of Industry 4.0 is being witnessed across the spectrum û from product design and manufacturing, to services and refurbishment. Complete integration and exchange of information in real time are the hallmarks of Industry 4.0. This revolution will transform the manufacturing processes in sync with the speed of change in customer needs, which implies, making the production process flexible without taking excess time.
The industrial IoT offers a chance to redefine many sectors and accelerate economic growth. However, to seize these opportunities, businesses and governments must intensify their efforts and escalate investments. As India progresses in its pursuit to become a preferred manufacturing destination, current practices have to make way for adoption of IoT to enable industrial transformation. A connected enterprise significantly enhances decision making, increases security and improves productivity, as well as enables overall collaboration across the enterprise by providing the right information at the right time, to help optimise operations.
Digitising oil analysis data in manufacturing
Even as vertical system integration in Industry 4.0 digitises and integrates processes, data analytics provides valuable insights that facilitates productivity and improves equipment maintenance. An estimated 82 per cent of companies in Asia-Pacific expect data analytics to have a significant influence on their decision-making in five years. This includes digitising oil analysis data to simplify and reinvent the paper-reliant process. The traditional oil analysis process is laborious and costly, and can cause unscheduled downtime and reduced operational efficiency. Furthermore, the diagnosis from the analysis could also affect their productivity, safety and environmental goals. Makers of industrial lubricants and greases are cognizant of the fact that even as their customers are shifting towards the Industry 4.0 model, they welcome expertise to improve their processes and increase their efficiencies. Industry leaders like ExxonMobil, who have a long history of working with equipment manufacturers, are catering to precisely this need with its modern platform for an integral part of manufacturing: oil health and analysis.
ExxonMobil has always played an active role in the progress of the industrial revolutions, where industrial lubrication ensured optimum equipment performance. For 150 years, innovation has been a core focus in providing the best lubricant solutions for manufacturers. ExxonMobil continues to make breakthrough discoveries that redefine the power of lubrication solutions and services.
The Mobil ServSM advantage
The Mobil Serv Lubricant Analysis (MSLA) is a new mobile-enabled used-oil analysis platform that is designed to enhance efficiency and simplify the oil health analysis process with a simple, intuitive mobile-enabled service platform. MSLA is a solution manufacturers need to take to move towards Industry 4.0 and digitisation. MSLA replaces ExxonMobil's previous used-oil analysis platform, Signum Oil AnalysisSM. The platform streamlines the entire oil analysis process - from initial sample gathering to final reporting, with QR-coded scan-and-go sampling bottles that deliver used-oil samples to ExxonMobil's oil analysis laboratory. Customers can also leverage application-specific analysis options which allow them to access results and perform customised equipment recommendations directly on their mobiles or tablet devices, saving them from unnecessary downtime that could affect production output and delivery deadlines.
With the MSLA programme, operators can look forward to increased productivity and performance from their equipment; the analysis helps identify issues that can be mitigated with minimal downtime, reduce the amount of lubricant needed to operate machinery and extend overall machine life.
For more than 150 years, ExxonMobil has delivered an extensive range of leading technical services to help customers optimise their maintenance programmes, enhance equipment performance and ensure safety. While the industrial revolution might take its time to be fully realised, key technological advances like MSLA are helping companies to make significant progress toward building and operating smart factories.
*For more information about Mobil Serv, please visit us at mobilindustrial.com, and for more information about Mobil Serv Lubricant Analysis, please visit mobilserv.mobil.com.
Contact your nearest ExxonMobil distributor to find out more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The article is authored by Shankar Karnik, General Manager - Industrial Lubricants, ExxonMobil Lubricants Pvt. Ltd.