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Smarter Manufacturing Industry with IoT

What do you usually do with your smartphone, a necessity of modern life?

Some use their smartphones to lose weight by connecting them to their scales, and some even use smart watches to get messages or listen to music while keeping their smartphones in their bags.

These are called ‘IoT products’, and they’re now evolving to provide new services by connecting various objects instead of using just one product. Today let me introduce you to IoT services in the manufacturing industry, in which IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.

Industry 4.0, Manufacturing Innovation 3.0, and Smart Factory

When technologies advance and the industry environments change drastically, we use the term ‘industrial revolution’. Germany, which has the most advanced manufacturing industry, has announced the start of Industry 4.0 in order to revive their industry.

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History of Industrial Revolution (Source: Industry 4.0 and Strategies for Creative Economy, National Information Society Agency, May 30, 2014.)

Industry 4.0 is followed by the first three industrial revolutions: the first industrial revolution at the end of the 18th century which introduced mechanical production facilities, the second in the early 20th century with conveyer belts, and the third in the 1970s which introduced automation. Industry 4.0 shows a new manufacturing paradigm that connects machines and humans over the internet by adopting IoT.

Germany is not the only country that came up with this concept. The U.S. suggested its own concept called Advanced Manufacturing 2.0 in order to lead innovation. Korea also created the Manufacturing Innovation 3.0 strategy to upgrade competitiveness in the manufacturing industry and boost the general economy by raising new industries and increasing innovative investment and export.

LG CNS provides Smart Factory 2.0 as a solution for Manufacturing Innovation 3.0 in the age of Industry 4.0. The existing Smart Factory 1.0 was a solution which focused on automated production based on MES (Manufacturing Enterprise System). The new Smart Factory 2.0 utilizes big data based prediction technology to provide services in areas that directly and indirectly affect the production system such as energy, safety, environment, and security.

Although there are diverse service models in the manufacturing industry using IoT, today we’ll take a look at the industrial safety and energy management services in LG CNS system’s construction cases.

Service Models Using IoT

1) Industrial safety service model

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Source: Ministry of Employment and Labor

Let’s first look at the industrial safety service model.

Industrial safety is a critical matter directly connected to casualties and cannot be emphasized enough. According to statistics from the Ministry of Employment and Labor, industrial accidents continue to occur and 1,929 people died due to industrial accidents in 2013. Even though some factories have safety alarms that go off when there’s an issue with machines, it’s easy to miss the golden time because it takes so long to figure out where and what has gone wrong.

The results of preventive checks on machines are usually recorded and managed on paper instead of being accumulated as data to be traced back to later. In order to prevent industrial accidents, it’s crucial to come up with administrative measures such as safety training and emergency control centers as well as creating an effective ‘control-response-prevention’ system using IoT technologies.

This is the system which has IoT sensors on safety and protection gear so access can be denied to workers not using them. It also prevents accidents by sending data regarding the status of machines and environments with hazardous substances or dangerous equipment to be monitored at the control center in real time. If an accident happens, the system notifies it immediately through CCTV and workers respond effectively by sharing the information at the site.

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Industrial safety service model using IoT

LG CNS built a system for the factories of LG subsidiaries to combine the systems of each subsidiary that used to work separately for fire/safety, gas/chemical supply, and other sensible matters. Now, each subsidiary can monitor its systems simultaneously. Monitoring all the systems in a factory simultaneously means the response time for system errors that used to be a day or two went down to between five and thirty minutes. The remote control function also made it possible to have experts cooperate with workers at the site.

2) Energy management service models

Next we’ll look at the energy management service model.

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Energy expenditure of each sector (Source: Korea Energy Management Corporation, Energy Statistics Handbook 2014)

The manufacturing industry is basically at the center of the energy issue. In Korea, over half of all energy is used by the manufacturing industry, and we can also hear the voices claiming that investments in energy conservation are dwindling while energy is being squandered. As regulations on carbon emissions intensify, conserving energy has become a matter of survival as well as a moral responsibility.

Of course, there have been some minor measures such as the monitoring of energy consumption or managing maximum demand through demand controllers. These tactics, however, are destined to have limits as they don’t tackle energy consumption directly. The problem is that controlling the demand isn’t easy since real-time optimization hasn’t been fully developed, and this can be dangerous as the central control system cannot be trusted 100%.

For this reason, I’d like to share some information about ESS (Energy Storage System) as an alternative way to save energy in a more active manner.

The effort to use renewable energy like solar and wind power instead of fossil fuel like coals and gas is crucial to reduce carbon emission. Renewable energy, though, isn’t considered stable enough to become the major source of power generation because its yields change according to climatic conditions. This is why it’s important to use storage equipment in order to provide stable power.

ESS is equipment that stores energy to use it for later as needed. As it can be charged and discharged immediately, it controls the peak without shutting down facilities like data centers do by providing power when peaks are expected to be reached.

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Energy management service model using IoT

For facilities with electricity rates that differ between maximum and light loads, it’s possible to store power on ESS during light loads and use it later during maximum loads. This function helps you reduce expenses even when you consume the same amount of energy. There’s also the function that monitors the power usage and analyzes/predicts the pattern to disconnect the power from unnecessary equipment for more efficient energy use.

The LG Chem factory has lithium battery-based ESS and sets the schedule for its charge/discharge according to its power consumption using LG CNS EMS (Energy Management System), in order to consume energy more effectively and cut electricity costs.

IoT Service Platform Servicizes IoT

As you see from the services mentioned above, a system that collects data from connected equipment for supply and production, saves it to organize/analyze it, and utilizes it by sharing it is required in the manufacturing industry.

For this system, it is required the ability to support diverse protocols and connect various multiple devices, save massive data, and analyze. Such a ‘platform which connects devices to servicize IoT’ is the definition of ‘IoT service platform.’

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Structure of Smart Green Platform (SGP)

LG CNS has developed SGP (Smart Green Platform) as an easy way to connect various devices and systems as well as combining various services and attaching additional developments according to the client’s demands after five years of research which began in 2010. This includes ten solutions that can be used for a variety of fields including safety, energy management, building management, digital signage, and water leak detection. It’s currently being used at over fifty sites.

Today, we looked at some of the IoT services in the manufacturing industry. LG CNS is putting effort to implement various other services besides energy management, based on their platform. I look forward to seeing more products at smarter factories that will enrich our lives with IoT.

Written by LG CNS Smart Green Solution R&D Center

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