Industry 4.0: Automation, Machine Learning and Real-Time Data. But Make it Rugged.

Industry 4.0 collage

May 23, 2024

Industry 4.0: Automation, Machine Learning and Real-Time Data. But Make it Rugged.

Buzzword or not, Industry 4.0 demands a seamless integration of innovative software with rugged and industrial-grade hardware. To the engineers and professionals tasked with selecting the right components, does your single board computer make the cut?

Whether facilitating mesh networks or enabling point-to-point communication, connectivity options are a requirement. The backbone of a gateway is the single board computer (SBC) that can integrate with advanced technologies. Some can include up to four wireless radios using Mini-PCIe and M.2 expansion slots. Wireless flexibility allows engineers to futureproof their design. From Cellular to Bluetooth, to subGHz long-range Wi-Fi, Iridium Satellite, or GPS/GNSS there are countless options when it comes to adding modules to a single board computer.

Manufacturers can also proactively optimize operations and mitigate downtime for continuous improvement by harnessing the power of AI. The right single board computer can serve as a platform for machine learning applications by leveraging Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) to detect anomalies and patterns within production processes. With support for camera recognition, the single board computer can be used to elevate predictive maintenance and take quality control to new heights.

In a complex manufacturing environment, real-time monitoring has become mandatory. Whether via GPIO, USB, CAN, I2C, SPI or RS232/RS485 interfaces, manufacturers need to to seamlessly interface with an array of sensors, including temperature, humidity, motion, vibration, and infrared sensors to enable precise data acquisition, address operational inefficiencies and ensure optimal performance. The integration of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and RFID technology can also facilitate wireless sensor connectivity to streamline data collection and analysis for enhanced decision-making.

For true reliability and industrial dependability, each unit must undergo rigorous monitoring throughout the manufacturing process to ensure consistent performance and eliminate potential defects. There are a variety of standards and certifications that have become a requirement when selecting the right components for extreme environments. Prioritizing industrial-grade reliability starts with traceability, origin in the USA, and adherence to quality assurance certifications like ISO 9100. Similar to other industrial equipment, the selected single board computer must also be engineered to withstand harsh extreme environments such as operating between -40 degrees Celsius to +85 degrees Celsius.

To the manufacturers and engineers sourcing industrial-grade hardware to integrate with innovative software, there are many factors to consider. The components selected need to meet the rigorous demands of modern manufacturing to provide a reliable foundation for Industry 4.0 initiatives. When it comes to sourcing an industrial-grade single board computer, seek out the experts.

Explore Gateworks Single Board Computers HERE.