Through the development of digital technologies, Industry 4.0 seems to offer interesting productivity gains and cost reductions.
But are these developments sustainable and compatible with a reduction in environmental impact ? This article explores the opportunities for sustainable development introduced by Industry 4.0.
This is one of the promises of Industry 4.0: it will be environmentally responsible. According to the study “Exploring the effect of ICT solutions on GHG emissions in 2030,” some researchers estimate that Industry 4.0 technology could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 15% by 2030.
Indeed, new technologies are a real source of opportunities to limit the environmental impact of industries. They allow manufacturers to optimize their production tools and thus considerably reduce their ecological footprint.
Better connectivity to reduce your ecological footprint
Industry is a particularly energy-intensive sector of activity. However, with the advent of Industry 4.0, companies are moving towards intelligent networking, allowing them to have a better use of their production tool and a better visibility on their energy use.
Indeed, by interconnecting their needs and the availability of resources and energy, manufacturers maximize their production and optimize their energy consumption.
As a result, gas emissions, noise pollution and waste management are better controlled. This contributes to reducing environmental impact and energy costs.
A few examples of the application of Industry 4.0 technologies for the benefit of the environment.
– 3D printing is often cited as one of the most environmentally friendly innovations of Industry 4.0. Indeed, it allows to reduce waste by using only the bare minimum of materials.
For example, thanks to 3D printing, GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines have reduced the weight of their LEAP engines by 25%, thereby reducing their energy costs and CO2 emissions.
– IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are increasingly being integrated into energy optimization strategies, particularly to prevent potential outages. Using both data analysis and contextual knowledge of process conditions, AI can make accurate predictions about asset behavior, detecting outages weeks or even months in advance. Thus, the machines can easily be switched off before the failure occurs, thus significantly reducing their energy consumption
In France, we can mention the example of the startup Energiency and its industrial energy performance analysis software. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the startup promises to reduce a factory’s energy consumption by about 15%.
Thus, with digital technologies, industrial companies tend to produce goods better adapted to demand and in a more efficient way, with a fairer use of resources and with less waste.
These environmental issues of Industry 4.0 will be discussed during the Hannover messe, which is 100% digital this year. The SURFEO team will be there from April 12 to 16, 2021, to discuss in depth the various issues related to the digital transformation of the industrial sector in Europe.
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