I would definitely not recommend walking around the shop floor or the mill in high heels. Safety should always come first when you work in manufacturing. Does that mean that you should stay away from manufacturing industries if you love wearing high heels? No - thanks to automation and Industry 4.0 - you don’t have to.
Industry 4.0 has been on the management agenda for quite some time now, but what we see in the real world is quite far away from what is being discussed. Today, around 50% of our vacuum conveying business is generated from helping our customers to convert processes based on the manual handling of materials (seeds, powders or granules being carried by operating staff in buckets or containers) into automated processes based on vacuum conveying technology. Dry materials in the form of powders or granules – anything from dried egg to atomized metal to headache pills – can be transported by vacuum conveyors. On the Industry 4.0 journey, this first stage has resulted in significant improvements to the productivity and safety of our customers. Our most recent launch – piFLOW®p SMART - represents the next stage of this industrial transformation. With this latest product we evolve automation further.
Thanks to the introduction of machine learning, after just a few cycles, piFLOW®p SMART will have figured out what type of material it is dealing with and will automatically adjust itself to optimize how the material is being conveyed. There is no longer a need for operators to re-adjust settings between different batches of materials. piFLOW®p SMART will do it for you, and with higher accuracy than even the most experienced operator can deliver.
Our first step saw us move the operator away from the task of manually carrying material from A to B. Now, we are moving the operator away from manually adjusting the conveyor by making the conveyor adjust itself. Finally, it is safe and operationally possible to transport dry materials in high heels, at a secure distance from the production line, where you can follow the material flow performance on a touchscreen.