Industry 4.0 (aka Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT) is a trend that is completely changing production processes. The possibility of analyzing the behavior of various devices opens up really great opportunities for us in terms of information management and decision making.

In this article we will show how Nutec Bickley is implementing various Industry 4.0 concepts and the advantages they will bring to our customers.

Article content:
1. Use of assets and information
2. Optimization with digital simulation technology
3. Smart energy consumption
4. Remote monitoring and control
5. Predictive/preventive maintenance



1. Asset utilization

The use of digital management tools such as data mining allows us to collect and analyze the information continuously being generated by our furnaces, obtained through sensors, flow meters, etc.

Many manufacturers currently collect information for the sole purpose of filing it – without actually using it – but with the arrival of new Industry 4.0 tools it will now be possible to exploit these data to the maximum in order to generate significant improvements.

Here at Nutec Bickley we are working on a new Industry 4.0 platform that is focused on remote monitoring, real-time optimization and predictive maintenance of industrial furnaces.

Benefits

  • Get access to all the data generated by the furnaces via a digital platform that is accessible from anywhere in the world.
  • Configure customized dashboards based on exactly what you want to monitor.
  • Provides the ability to add sensors to measure other process data and access them on the web platform.
  • Decrease in waste.
  • Greater temperature uniformity.
  • Noticeable improvements in energy consumption.


2. Optimization with digital simulation technology


The Digital Twin concept uses a virtual representation that mimics the behavior of the equipment, allowing the user to predict how the furnace will behave when changing certain operational parameters, with the goal of subsequently optimizing its behavior in real time and being able to gauge the results.

Benefits

  • Predicts the uniformity of the temperature inside the furnace under different conditions.
  • Uses the ability to attribute any deviation from normal operation to a critical variable, in order to facilitate its correction.
  • Provides suggestions for design optimization.
  • Increases the number of possible production cycles.
  • Greater cost savings when performing tests digitally.


3. Smart energy consumption


New digital technologies facilitate real time comparison of theoretical values with real values, such as is the case with Nutec Bickley's Kiln10® software, which calculates gas consumption for all types of processes.

This tool models the behavior of batch-type furnaces using information from the furnace and its processes as input data, such as:

  • Furnace wall area
  • Insulation
  • Nature of load
  • Firing cycle

The software calculates the temperature profile across the walls and the thermal capacity of the burners used during the cycle. This information can be used later to design the type and thickness of the wall insulation or the installed capacity in the furnace’s burners.

Benefits

  • Calculate the theoretical gas curve, letting us know if the furnace is using more energy.
  • Access to information via the web and ability to integrate with a digital platform.


4. Remote monitoring and control


Cloud-based solutions for remote monitoring and control help facilitate access to, and visibility of, performance indicators.

Our Industry 4.0 platform works by connecting to the furnace PLC to provide access to data from anywhere with the relevant key codes.

Benefits

  • Create personalized dashboards featuring the most important information for each user.
  • Allows specialists to perform analyses and provide feedback without having to be on site.
  • Allows us to offer a better technical service to our customers since we have access to the operating data from their equipment, facilitating the location of possible faults.
  • Allows the collection of data for data mining and machine learning, among others things, in order to optimize processes.


5. Predictive/preventive maintenance


Novel Industry 4.0 technologies help decrease downtime during maintenance activities (thereby preventing productivity losses) and keep furnaces running for as long as possible.

Benefits

  • Remote monitoring of critical variables such as fan vibration, speed, flow, temperature of the pieces and pressure.
  • Programming alarms that send out alerts if there are out-of-normal values.
  • Greater availability of assets and fewer production stoppages.
  • Creation of a historical database with which to anticipate the maintenance servicing that will be necessary.
  • Faster maintenance services thanks to the information collected.

We know that the Fourth Industrial Revolution, like its predecessors, is a change that may initially be difficult to adopt; however, as in the previous cases, it is a natural and necessary step for the evolution of the market – so the pioneers in its adoption will be those who end up managing to place themselves in a leadership position in their respective disciplines.

At Nutec Bickley we are constantly working on the development of improvements and new technologies to optimize costs, fuel consumption and the use of data. Learn more about our exclusive systems by contacting our sales department.


Author: Andrea Cárdenas

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We are a kiln manufacturer of custom Shuttle Kilns, Tunnel Kilns, Roller hearth kilns, Top hat kilnsand more.

Experts in process for metals: annealing furnaces, aluminium aging ovens, quenching systems and more.