VI4 Days – Operations transformation at a glance

By 26 January 2021May 15th, 2024No Comments

On January 13th and 14th, we held (virtually) a 2-day event to conclude 2020’s Vision Industry 4.0 cycle. Thanks to the 60+ participants from VI4 Community and 16 providers who joined us to exchange on Digital Operations, what we learned in 2020 and what is ahead of us for 2021.

What to keep in mind?

1/ Digital Shop Floor is still a hot topic for various reasons. Debates are not on its interest or not, but on how to implement it and balance mid-term programs (example: MES implementation) vs short term benefits (example: digitization of job instructions).


2/ When it comes to usage of data, manufacturing companies are more and more mature, which translates by the fact they push to get the control back on their data collection and management… but also by the fact they better know how to mix “kaizen use cases” with more advanced ones.


3/ Not a surprise, but IT / OT integration is one of the hot topics for 2021. Actually, IT x OT x Operations x Data Science integration. We will definitely concentrate a big part of our efforts on this topic.


4/ When it comes to smart automation, companies are mostly expecting to deliver value with such technologies by deploying them worldwide, on copy paste “simple” use cases… which in some cases means rethinking the way they design their production process. Still, focusing on low-added tasks prevails.


5/ Regarding the way to roll out Digital Operations, we have seen many interesting things in the way to prioritize topics and sites. This appears as the priority on equal terms with organization upskilling. The greatest learning for us? Participants have clearly sped up in implementing Digital Operations!

Once again, many thanks to the participants for the various questions and exchanges. It was really 2 great days!

Also, the high level of invited providers contributed to the success of the event. 16 providers from all over Europe offering impressive solutions related to four main themes:

Find more details below.

Now, it is time to look at 2021. Vision Industry 4.0 changes its name and becomes Industry Why? Because we developed a brand-new program focusing on 3 main elements:

  • Onboarding sites into the journey, by creating dedicated formats for them.
  • Broadening the audience thanks to cross-companies training.
  • Customizable approach, so each participating company can fine tune its participation according to its needs.


Additional news coming soon…

More details on the 16 selected providers

The solutions that aim to solve industry 4.0 related challenges are numerous with very different levels of maturity, especially when it comes to identifying solutions that can be deployed at the scale of a large industrial group.


For these VI4 Days we met many providers and chose to keep 16 of them that respond to the concerns raised this year by the Vision Industry 4.0 participants and to categorize them into 4 themes: Data use, Data architecture, Smart automation & Digital shopfloor.


These 16 providers took the time to answer many questions and most of them invited some of their customers to give testimonials by their side during the presentation.

On Data use side, we started the exchanges with Prophesee. They offer a disruptive technology, event-based vision, which allows the acquisition of only and all essential motion information, continuously, at the pixel level. Use cases generated thanks to this technology are impressive: movement analysis and monitoring, (fluids) dynamics monitoring, smart detection and tracking, vibration & frequency monitoring…


Second company was There moto is to bring intelligence down to sensors (microcontrollers) rather than sending data to the cloud. Thus, you can deploy AI at equipment level without issues linked to cloud latency, lack of dataset for qualification…


InUse offers an integrated solution, from data collection to end users, allowing to develop applications for factory performance: failure prediction, maintenance follow up, traceability… Using InUse allows to address performance (visualization, changeover optimization, batch performance…), maintenance (from preventive to predictive) and processes optimization (CIP, material losses…).


Last company for Data use track was DC Brain, the specialist in complex network optimization. Whether you have to design a complex distribution network, optimize a production planning, do some assets planification… They deliver a solution which allows to go beyond traditional solver approach and use real time data to boost performance.

When we were looking for providers for the data architecture pillar, an increasingly strategic topic, we decided to invite very different solutions, from connectivity to AI platform.


R3 Communications is a connectivity solution, developing low-latency and high-reliability wireless communications solutions meeting the highest industrial IoT requirements by deploying time and spatial redundancy (every device can support each other). The applications are numerous, from continuous monitoring of an AGV fleet (reliable real time communication) to tool-changing for robots (wireless communication between robot and tool holder).


The second provider invited for data architecture was Datumize, which offers responsive data collection, shorter latencies & robust security at lower costs, helping industrial innovative companies bridge the current gap between extracting data and creating value.


At the same time, Mipu offers accurate predictive models specifically tailored for industrial operations, their technology transforms the collected data into information and highlights inefficiencies and human errors. It is an end-to-end data flows & analytics solution, from hardware for data collection to software for AI deployment. This company’s mission is to bring prediction in day-to-day factories’ operations especially when it comes to energy management, assets management & process prediction.


Finally, Orisun is a property graphs database to support evolutive IoT platform deployment. It allows to save time and keep traceability of data collected on a given process. Orisun allows data collection protocols, sensors and locations to evolve without modifying the code of apps, indicators and alerts.

When it comes to Smart automation, we have invited 4 providers who cover a wide range of solutions that address different topics: AMRs for warehouse and shopfloor automation, drone-based solutions and post-printing automation.


For those who were on the verge of implementing AMRs in their warehouses, Eiratech introduced their goods-to person solutions with their end-to-end approach. For AMRs in harsh conditions and crowded shopfloors, VersaBox introduced their solutions that go from preliminary process simulation and optimization to on-site implementation.


For those whose priorities were set on inventory automation, Squadrone System introduced drone solutions. Whether it is off-the-shelf or unique tailor-made solutions with complete hardware and software development, they respond to a wide range of use cases, especially when it comes to drone inventory.


Finally, for those whose pain point was scaling additive manufacturing, PostProcess came with their comprehensive data-driven post printing solutions, with hardware, software and consumables.

For the digital shopfloor, a topic that covers a very large scope of functionalities, we have chosen 4 providers that offer very different solutions and address 4 main challenges: voice in industrial environment, training, people scheduling & document digitization.


Allowing the use of voice in the noisiest industrial environments, Simsoft enables anyone to free their hands from data entry tasks while ensuring both the high quality of the collected information and the execution of “skills”, basic functions such as a calculator, conversions or even to make calls for remote expertise.


On the other hand, Mercateam offers a straightforward solution to manage team schedules, which is often an important waste of time for team leaders, planners, etc., considering all the necessary information: absenteeism, skills, qualifications & certifications. Mercateam also provides the ability to plan training sessions on the field and ensure the teams’ versatility.


Speach helps to streamline the production, co-edition and validation of video training content. The feedback from participants is unanimously positive and the ergonomics of the solution has already convinced many, proving that the widespread use of video to transfer knowledge and skills is not over. Speach also proposes a very advanced transcription and translation engine, which is key to roll out a solution to larger groups very easily.


Finally, Ermeo addresses the most basic need of digitization, allowing to easily build (no-code) advanced applications to digitize paper documents and start collecting and exploiting data. With potential links to many other applications (ERP, CMMS, etc.), this makes it easy to provide teams with a powerful tool for data visualization and acquisition.


Many thanks to all of them for their participation, the time spent on its preparation and the resources distributed, see you soon!


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