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Industry 4.0

We've been helping industrial and manufacturing organizations embrace the transformative power of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) for over two decades. Our clients are at the leading edge of the Industry 4.0 revolution.

What is Industry 4.0 and IIoT?

Whether you call it Smart Manufacturing or Industrial Automation, Industry 4.0, or the Titanium Economy, the game has changed for the industrial sector. There is an unprecedented opportunity to gather, synthesize, and act on data today. Manufacturing and industrial companies are rushing to adopt advanced tech (including cloud computing and analytics, machine learning, AI, and robotics) to improve their workflows and transform their products.

White paper

Innovating in the Titanium Economy: a roadmap for Industry 4.0

The Internet of Things (IoT) has arrived in the industrial sector and offers a great way to make your organization and customers more efficient and effective. There's a new way of working that can help you adjust to changing conditions and recognize change as an opportunity.

Learn from environmental monitoring powerhouse, Dickson, and the successful playbook for IIoT innovation. Discover the secrets to innovative IIoT products, how to satisfy customers, protect communities, and transform company culture.

Break down the biggest barriers to IIoT innovation, shift your mindset, and become leaders in IIoT innovation.

Podcast

The future of the predictive maintenance

Innovation at scale

Successful IIoT implementation starts with understanding where these solutions can have the biggest operational impact.

As with any problem we seek to solve at TXI, we start with the operation's riskiest assumptions or most vulnerable components.

The objective: move your organization from merely reacting to changes to anticipating and proactively addressing them.

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We try to identify ways to bring incremental value into the system through…

  • Greater visibility into operations

  • Greater connectivity across the supply chain and/or into partners’ operations

  • Efficiency gains in the production process

  • Product quality, safety and security enhancements

  • Employee safety and support

How we can help

  • Drafting use cases, modeling how business operations can improve, developing process maps, and forecasting where the best ROI might be found

  • Examining where data is available, where greater insight would be valuable, and how data might be transformed to produce actionable recommendations or dynamic automated responses

  • Right-sizing the scale and scope of the implementation: what levels of the organization does this solution need to work within or across, what are the geographic and time-scale boundaries for monitoring and reporting, and is there public or third-party partner data that can be integrated into the solution, etc.

Key to any IIoT implementation is determining what data you can collect from a particular environment.

The environment can be as expansive and remote as a massive overseas warehouse or as small and local as an HVAC compressor in the next room. Regardless of the environment, wireless sensors are often used to gather data.

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Rapid advancements in wireless sensor technology have created entirely new opportunities for companies seeking to modernize their industrial operations and rapidly respond to changes in their business, and the types of data that sensors can capture and relay back to intelligent systems continue to expand rapidly. From the temperature and air quality sensors that drove the early innovation in environmental monitoring, we’re now seeing IIoT implementations that are centered on image and video capture technology.

The optimal pairing of sensors and devices allows for faster, and sometimes automated, responses to changes in conditions. These devices are often referred to as smart machines.

In regulated industries, applying the right sensors and devices strategically across the manufacturing process ensures compliance with product safety and materials-handling standards, bringing automation and greater accuracy to the documentation and audit process. In machinery-intensive manufacturing, sensors can relay critical information about performance abnormalities that may signal an opportunity for preventative maintenance to avoid a costly and ill-timed breakdown.

How we can help

  • Applying TXI’s design principles to break down complex measurement challenges into executable and scalable sensor and device deployments

  • Recommending an optimal buy vs. build strategy for the sensors and devices that will enable the IIoT implementation

  • Mapping the possible human-hardware interaction points and developing a strategy for where those sensors and devices may need to display information or relay instructions to other components of the system

  • Developing a hardware lifecycle and replacement strategy that takes into account the durability and useful life of the sensors and devices themselves as well as the machinery and equipment that is being monitored

IIoT allows digital sensors to connect to software applications, collect sensory data, and transmit it through cloud technology.

This helps lower costs, improve productivity, and create opportunities for continuous improvement.

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Advances in IIoT technologies enable real-time monitoring and detection of production issues, reducing waste and preventing equipment failure. TXI is experienced in building IIoT applications and can help identify the best connectivity solution for a given context.

The right connectivity solution depends on the specific needs of the application, including required bandwidth, tolerable latency, acceptable power use, geographic distance, and whether a constant connection is necessary.

How we can help

  • Conducting scenario planning that explores the different use cases around data volume, data transmission frequency, geographic scale, and other considerations

  • Refining hardware and firmware requirements for the optimal connection protocol

  • Planning for how inconsistencies or interruptions in data connections will impact the sampling of device data

  • Evaluating device and network security requirements and setting appropriate safeguards

Data may indeed be the new oil. Like oil, it is not useful to businesses in its raw form.

This is where processing and visualization come into play, refining data into visualizations, insights, and recommendations that drive business decisions.

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In building the applications that handle those refinements, one key consideration for developers is the interoperability and fluidity of the data in question. Why? In most real-world scenarios, the greatest value comes from parsing data from multiple sources: different internal systems made by different manufacturers as well as data from external partners — often in real-time.

This makes for significant complexity that requires specialized techniques and technologies. The following are key considerations when creating data processing and visualization for IIoT solutions:

  • Speed: How fast is data generated?

  • Storage: The size and costs of your data storage can significantly impact scalability and performance.

  • Quality: The data generated from IIoT can be incomplete, inaccurate, or inconsistent.

  • Security: Data stored must be transmitted securely.

How we can help

  • Developing and implementing the optimal cloud architecture solution

  • Developing a data management and storage strategy for how to leverage real-time versus historical data

  • Implementing security and data management best practices

IIoT solutions have to work for the people who interact with them.

IIoT systems deliver value back to the organization, but if nobody uses a powerful piece of software, it can’t do the organization any good.

While some OEM (original equipment manufacturer) dashboards work well out of the box, most organizations find greater value in custom web applications with intuitive interfaces designed for usability and scalability.

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What kinds of things does the UX / UI of IIoT devices need to contemplate?

  • Onboarding new devices

  • Setting parameters in devices for what to measure and when to trigger alerts

  • Grouping sets of devices as having similar settings or tolerances

  • Setting notifications or escalation protocols for alerts

  • Automating responses to specific measurement readings or alerts

  • Setting up data views and reports

  • Administering system users and setting different access levels

How we can help

  • Applying TXI’s design principles to identify users' needs from the administrative level to the operators.

  • Journey mapping from conception to delivery, using data collected by IIoT devices, to identify areas for improvement and improve customer experience.

  • Create a set of flexible and reusable design principles to make IIoT scalable, interoperable, and easier to maintain

Case Studies

The digital transformation of a century-old manufacturer

TXI has really helped Dickson transition from a manufacturing company to a technology company. TXI just greatly expands the collective intelligence of Dickson.

Matt McNamara, SaaS and Hardware Product Manager at Dickson
Industry 4.0

User experience and user interface

IIoT solutions have to work for the people who interact with them. In this user interaction, IIoT systems deliver value back to the organization. In other words, if nobody uses a powerful piece of software, it can’t do the organization any good.

So what kinds of things does the UX / UI of IIoT devices need to contemplate?

  • Onboarding new devices

  • Setting parameters in devices for what to measure and when to trigger alerts

  • Grouping sets of devices as having similar settings or tolerances

  • Setting notifications or escalation protocols for alerts

  • Automating responses to specific measurement readings or alerts

  • Setting up data views and reports

  • Administering system users and setting different access levels

While some OEM (original equipment manufacturer) dashboards work well out of the box, most organizations find greater value in custom web applications with intuitive interfaces designed for usability and scalability.

How we can help

  • Applying TXI’s Design Principles to identify users' needs from the administrative level to the operators.

  • Journey mapping from conception to delivery, using data collected by IIoT devices, to identify areas for improvement and improve customer experience.

  • Create a set of flexible and reusable design principles to make IIoT scalable, interoperable, and easier to maintain

Industry 4.0 lessons from the technologists’ perspective

Calling all product owners, transformation leaders, and company founders/owners. In this exclusive series, Jason Hehman, Industry 4.0 expert, guides you to chart a course toward a successful IIoT future.

Topics covered in this webinar:

  • How industrial digital transformation is 80% human and 20% technical

  • The lessons, challenges, and opportunities that early adopters have overcome

  • How IIoT improves supply chain resilience and connects smart factories

  • The mindset shifts required to innovate and become an Industry 4.0 leader

Industry 4.0

FAQs

  • Why should organizations adopt IIoT?
  • What is the role of IT in Industrial IoT?
  • What are some examples of IIoT?
  • What is Industry 4.0?
  • What is Design Thinking related to the Industrial Internet of Things?
  • What is the titanium economy?
  • What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
  • How is the Industrial Internet of Things being used in the manufacturing sector?
  • What are the security considerations associated with the Industrial Internet of Things?
  • How can the Industrial Internet of Things be used for predictive maintenance?
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