How the pandemic is altering arrival of Industry 4.0 | Drillers increasingly pivot to remote operations | Asset monitoring can prevent spoilage in food plants
August 4, 2020
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Industry News
The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the arrival of Industry 4.0, but the different technologies that figure in are likely to be adopted at different rates. In this article, authors from McKinsey examine the reasons for this, including cost, and how tech solutions can be applied beyond factory walls.
Full Story: McKinsey (7/29) 
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The coronavirus pandemic is driving an increase in the use of remote drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies among oil industry players such as Baker Hughes, Schlumberger and Halliburton as companies seek new ways of stopping the spread of the virus and keeping costs low. The shift to remote operations will reshape the oil and natural gas workforce to include more people with tech skills and fewer on-site workers.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/2) 
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Asset monitoring sensors can be especially beneficial for food processors, as food particles can cause mechanical issues and an equipment failure can result in spoilage, writes Derek Lammel, reliability engineer for Dynapar. For example, vibration monitoring can detect impending failures in ventilation fans and other temperature maintenance systems, Lammel writes.
Full Story: Food Industry Executive (7/29) 
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An index of manufacturing activity increased last month to the highest level since March 2019, despite a resurgence of coronavirus infections, according to a survey by the Institute for Supply Management.
Full Story: Reuters (8/3) 
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Technology & Trends
Smart factories can be resilient factories, and the first step to making the plant floor smart is digitizing its operating framework, writes Lisa Caldwell. Afterward, develop digital applications for daily processes and use emerging technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve performance.
Full Story: Forbes (7/30) 
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Artificial intelligence, cloud-connected cameras, mobile phones and wearable devices are all forms of technology that factories and other businesses can use to keep their workforces safe from the coronavirus, writes Bharat Light & Power CEO Tejpreet Singh Chopra. AI in particular can be applied to monitor worker health and compliance with safety measures, according to Everguard.ai Chief Strategy Officer Mark Bula.
Full Story: World Economic Forum (7/29),  IndustryWeek (7/28) 
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Leadership & Management
It makes sense to have equipment operators perform routine maintenance, which frees dedicated maintenance staff for other tasks and improves equipment reliability. The key to success is appropriate training, writes Peter Philips.
Full Story: Machinery and Equipment MRO (7/27) 
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Lear has been dealing with the coronavirus since January because of its four facilities in Wuhan, China, and it's been sharing its response playbook with suppliers to help them cope. Similarly, Steelcase has created an internal handbook for pandemic management and is conducting shop-floor walkthroughs virtually.
Full Story: Forbes (7/27) 
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SMRP News
OSHA's Dr. Jonathan Bearr joins SMRP experts Doc Palmer, PE, MBA, CMRP and Kevin Clark, CMRP for a live presentation on how the pandemic will affect future best practices in the workplace. They will also touch on manufacturing guidance produced by OSHA and the CDC. Visit here to register for the August 10 webinar.
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One of the most valuable features of the SMRP Annual Conference is the educational sessions, led by top professionals and industry experts in maintenance, reliability and physical asset management. The track sessions available at this year's conference are focused on the five pillars of the Body of Knowledge, plus Advanced Learning and Emerging Technology. Register by September 10 for early bird pricing.
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