Manufacturing 4.0 defines an industrial automation trend that integrates new production technologies geared towards improving work conditions, increasing productivity, and enhancing the production quality of plants.
Manufacturing 4.0 incorporates the smart factory concept consisting of three parts:
- Smart production: new technologies that promote collaboration among all aspects of the production chain, operators, machines, and instruments.
- Smart services: all the “information technology infrastructures” and techniques that allow for integrating systems; but also all structures that — in a collaborative context — enable companies to integrate (supplier — customer) with each other and with external facilities (roads, hubs, waste management, etc.).
- Smart energy: all the above aims are pursued with an eye to energy consumption, by creating more efficient systems and reducing energy waste.
Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems play a decisive and strategic role to ensure power continuity and maximum digital interconnectivity. In fact, the UPSs ready for the 4th Industrial Revolution are characterized by smart platforms. There platforms allow for integrating, managing and analyzing the energy flows of production processes so that they can be optimally used by all value chain components. Below we present the characteristics of UPSs ready for the 4th Industrial Revolution:
An UPS must be able to interact with surrounding systems, provide information, receive commands remotely, manage its services in a flexible and intelligent manner based on timely requirements, and perform self-diagnosis.
Some UPS manufacturers guarantee data concentration and its periodic transmission to clouds. They do so thanks to a remote cloud-based management solution that enables assistance centers to remotely monitor and control UPS systems and enables users to interface with all company management and control systems to provide information.
This is an essential trait: energy systems or networks must be capable of reacting to any abnormal operating condition or critical event. You should look for manufacturers that ensure that all the main components of UPS solutions are redundant, and their operational status is constantly monitored. Also, make sure the power modules are controlled by separate and independent multi-microprocessors, as well as by multiple communication buses, guaranteeing top-class robustness.
It is paramount that the UPS interfaces with a predictive system to monitor general operating conditions. By analyzing this data, it is possible to predict the premature deterioration of the batteries and electrolytic capacitors due to excessively high operating temperature or any other types of power problems that may occur and affect the lifetime of the components.
The monitoring system should also verify the presence of dust in heat sinks or abnormal operation of the ventilation system, besides detecting other alerts to perform maintenance in advance or to modify the operating conditions of devices before a failure occurs.
Reducing consumption is a challenge that all companies and industries must face daily. The adoption of technologically advanced solutions allows for pursuing this goal with a 15% to 20% annual reduction of the energy bill, ensuring a return on investment (ROI) within a short time and considerable savings over the years.
Moreover, appropriate operating modes — such as energy saving — enable UPS devices to optimize efficiency. Through this specific function, the UPS decides whether to adopt the online or eco modes, resulting in a 99% performance based on a statistic analysis of the quality of the power grid. In parallel systems, the efficiency control system (ECS) function optimizes the operating efficiency of the entire system according to the power absorbed by the load. This ensures higher overall efficiency during all load conditions.
To guarantee the advantages expected from the fourth industrial revolution (flexibility, speed, productivity, quality, product competitiveness) and maximum efficiency of the production lines, it is crucial for the entire system — consisting of electromechanical, electronic, and IT components — to be protected to ensure a power supply free of interruptions and disturbances. The solution lies in adopting UPS devices capable of ensuring a continuous, clean, and continuous power supply.