The first three industrial revolutions — steam, electric and digital – have come and gone, paving the way for the fourth, commonly known as Industry 4.0 — the cyber revolution.
Bridgman-based Eagle Technologies is helping manufacturers embrace Industry 4.0 in the state with advanced technologies such as Robot Process Automation (RPA), big data, systems integration and more. The company specializes in developing and delivering all-in-one solutions for automated manufacturing production and testing.
“We provide industrial automation solutions for producers,” says Jay Bauer, Eagle’s Manufacturing Manager. “We design and build automation solutions for the producers of parts.”
There are a few common barriers for manufacturing companies looking at Industry 4.0. Cost would be one and another would be the willingness to evolve their processes. Eagle helps companies overcome those barriers by simplifying the process. In other words, they’re advancing Industry 4.0 one customer at a time.
Ultimately, the goal behind these new solutions is to increase productivity and efficiency which will have an impact on the company’s bottom line. Being able to educate customers and evangelize the benefits of Industry 4.0 is a big part of the job, according to Bauer. After that comes the training.
“It’s important that the companies can support themselves on these technologies,” says Bauer. “They need to know how to run, maintain and repair everything. We want them to fully understand what they're getting and how to keep it running for years to come.”
Being able to shape the solutions around the ever-changing market conditions is also an important step for more companies to start investing in Industry 4.0. Bauer says that sometimes it’s necessary to design and build a duplicate machine to make way for increased capacity.
“Other times, we might change a customer’s process a bit to accommodate a new part,” says Bauer. “We're kind of on the front end of technology with our customer.”
Being able to test a new piece of equipment before it’s installed on the production floor is also an important part of the process, according to Bauer. Eagle uses an arsenal of advanced technology to make sure the equipment is running effectively, including Dynamometers (a device for simultaneously measuring the torque and rotational speed of an engine), simulation, augmented reality, prototype engineering and 3D additive manufacturing.
Advancing the cause of Industry 4.0 has been and will continue to be an ongoing process. It’s definitely a revolution that’s being driven by cheerleaders and advocates like Eagle Technologies.
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