Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the next wave of industrial revolution. Imtiaz Ahmed elaborates on how automation and its context in a digitally connected world is used to measure oil health analysis.
Industrialisation has been an ever-evolving phenomena and can be defined as a gradual progression where manufacturing and industrial capacity was created or augmented and which became a driver to economic growth.
The first industrial revolution began in Britain in the late 18th entury, with the mechanisation of the textile industry. This gave birth to the factory system, where hundreds of weavers came together under a single roof in a mill. The second revolution followed with the age of mass production, pioneered by Henry Ford, where the assembly line was conceptualised and technological developments made way for economic development. This gave birth to a modern era and led to large scale urbanisation and a tectonic shift in living standards, owing to advancements in transportation, banking and communication, as well as large scale manufactured goods.
Then came in the third revolution, where technology played a key role with mechanics being converged with computers to build a digital world of robots and processes. Therefore, the intervention of information technology- a disruption which everyone had to take cognizance of as well as adopt. This was characterised by high-end technology, intuitive systems and monitoring, which brought about more precision and better performance in production.
The fourth revolution 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 greater levels of integration among information, communication, and manufacturing processes that we've never seen before.
As industries have evolved, so have the need for re-imagining and redesigning the working processes. Herein, to accelerate efficiency and productivity, manufacturers will need to invest in efficient technologies and automation solutions. With the world becoming more linked than ever before, a connected industry environment is the new rule of the day, which has brought about the emergence of cyber-physical systems coming into play, giving way to the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing. This is the next industrial revolution, namely, Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
What is IIoT? How can it help?
The IIoT, also known as Industry 4.0, is the latest buzzword in the industrial revolution. It encompasses all processes, such as product design, manufacturing, services and refurbishment, which are completely integrated and exchange information in real time. 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.
IIoT offers a chance to redefine many sectors and accelerate economic and employment 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 IIoT to enable industrial transformation. A connected enterprise significantly enhances decision-making, increases security and productivity, as well as improves overall collaboration across the enterprise by providing the right information at the right time, to help optimise operations.
Digitising oil analysis data in manufacturing
It is reported that 82 per cent of the companies in Asia Pacific expect data analytics to have a significant influence on their decision-making in five year's time. (PwC, 2016).
This includes digitising oil analysis data to simplify and improve the paper-reliant process. The traditional oil analysis process is laborious and costly, and may cause unscheduled downtime and reduced operational efficiency. Companies unfamiliar with the testing process could encounter delays in production. Furthermore, the diagnosis from the analysis could also impact their productivity, safety and environmental goals.
Industrial lubricant and grease makers have come to realise that their customers are shifting towards the Industry 4.0 model and are looking to help improve processes and increase efficiencies too. This is why companies such as ExxonMobilTM, who have a long history of working with equipment manufacturers, worked to develop a modern platform for an integral part of manufacturing: oil health and analysis.
Introducing Mobil ServSM Lubricant Analysis
The Mobil ServSM Lubricant Analysis (MSLA) is a new mobile-enabled used oil analysis platform that was launched in Asia Pacific in July 2016. The new service is designed to enhance efficiency and simplify the oil health analysis process by replacing a paperwork-heavy approach with a simple, intuitive mobile-enabled service platform that reduces the number of steps involved in the used oil analysis process. MSLA is a solution manufacturer's need to take to move towards Industry 4.0 and digitisation.
MSLA replaces ExxonMobil's previous used oil analysis platform, Signum Oil Analysis and is testament to the brand's commitment to develop cutting-edge services that push the boundaries of efficiency and technology for customers.
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 allows 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 improve 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, all of which have been brought together under the Mobil ServSM brand to help deliver these services to customers more efficiently.
This in line with Industry 4.0, where companies need to understand its technological implications on their businesses and be prepared to adapt and leverage on these technologies to their advantage. The industrial revolution might take a few decades to be fully realised but with key technological advances like MSLA being rolled out and adopted in the next few years, companies can look forward to making significant progress towards building and operating smart factories.
With Industry 4.0 being all about a connected world, one cannot rule out the intervention of social media. ExxonMobil continues to strive towards product and service excellence, keeping abreast the best and the next practices. It leverages LinkedIn to connect with industry and customers at large through digital engagement campaigns to share content relevant to industry in the form of articles. It is also used for product and service communication as well as content placement via partner messages and other properties to the sector-specific customers.
ExxonMobil has also created interactive platforms such as the MobilTM SHC Club, which is an online community to connect with lubrication experts from around the world. Registered users can ask questions on lubrication industry and seek responses from experts, participate in quiz, listen to industry talks and attend webinars. Opinion leaders from the industry share lubrication insights and tips, which are shared with the registered users on a weekly basis. It has a connection to a network of 2,000 industry professionals.
If customers want to know how lubricants can enhance safety at an Italian steel mill or why mines should continue to invest in equipment maintenance or even what are the impacts of natural refrigerants on lubricants, all these and more can be availed of through the MobilTM SHC Club.
Lastly, with mobile interface as a key interactive platform today, ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants has also rolled out the Mobil Performance app. It is an insightful app that has been developed to highlight ExxonMobil's work from around the world, developing some of the world's most recognised synthetic oil brands. Invited users can view additional materials based on their preferences.
Imtiaz Ahmed is General Manager-Marketing Deployment (Commercial) - ExxonMobil Lubricants Private Limited.