Deploying Industry 4.0 Technologies to Improve Carbon Reduction

What’s the value of your company’s reputation?

It’s hard to quantify. But in this socially networked world, corporate reputations can be shattered overnight. Reputation is a whole lot easier to keep than to regain.

A major factor in company reputation is the notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The way you treat your employees, the amount you give back to the community, and your effort to protect the environment are all important components of CSR.  

The environmental protection component of CSR is one where you are being closely watched and even federally regulated. It should be a central part of your CSR strategy. Are you doing everything you can to reduce carbon emissions?

Industry 4.0 Technologies for Manufacturing Efficiency

Many manufacturers are improving productivity and efficiency with new types of software technologies. They are also addressing carbon emissions by adopting “smart factory” technologies, also known as “industry 4.0.” Industry 4.0 technologies include sensor networks, mobile devices, robotics, 3D printing, spatial computing, and augmented reality (AR), among others. And all of it relies on data networks. 

Industry 4.0 is also your key to carbon reduction.

How Fieldbit Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

For companies in the industrial machinery manufacturing sector, field service is an important part of the business—and a major source of carbon emissions. Consider a typical scenario:

A field service technician—let’s call him Alan—is dispatched to a customer site to repair a machine.

  • After diagnosing the issue, Alan finds that he does not have the correct parts or tools to make the repair. He returns to the office to obtain them and discovers that one of the parts is out of stock and must be ordered from the supplier. (Round-trip truck rolls = 1.)
  • The supplier overnights the part directly to the customer site, and Alan returns the next day. Halfway through the repair, he gets stuck on a step because the machine is configured differently than he expected. He calls his supervisor, Barbara, for help.
  • Barbara drives over in another vehicle. She too is stumped and has to call an engineer, Charlie, to fly in from another city. She and Alan each drive back to the office. (Round-trip truck rolls = 3)
  • The next day, Charlie rents a car at the airport and meets Alan at the customer site. Eventually, they get the equipment repaired, Charlie returns to the airport to fly home, and Alan returns to the office. (Round-trip truck rolls = 4, round-trip car rental = 1, round-trip flight = 1.)

Four truck rolls, one car rental, one flight, and three days to make one repair

Even without considering the carbon impact, it’s not good business for the company and a poor experience for the customer.

Now consider the scenario with Fieldbit’s augmented reality industrial maintenance tools:

Before loading the truck, Alan uses his mobile device to check the data provided by the sensors integrated in the machine. Using the data, he is able to determine the problem and ensure he has the right tools and parts for the job, before leaving the office.

When Alan gets stuck, he uses his AR goggles to open a session with Barbara and Charlie, who can see what Alan sees and help him work through the repair.

One truck roll. At least a 75% reduction in carbon emissions. One happy customer with reduced industrial machine downtime.

Back at the office, Barbara annotates the recorded session with Alan and combines it with a library of other sessions to train Deborah, a new field service technician being re-skilled from her previous assembly position. (Re-skilling workers, by the way, is another important CSR component.)

CSR Is Good for Business

Companies worldwide are realizing financial advantages to increasing their CSR reputation:

  • Toymaker Lego is switching to a more recycling-friendly plastic, with a goal of recycling 100% of its operational waste.
  • Food conglomerate Danone’s New Zealand operation is building a new baby-formula factory to reduce emissions by 20,000 tons per year.

With Fieldbit’s industrial AR platform for field service management of industrial equipment, you can gain efficiency, reduce expenses, make your customers happy, and protect the environment. Your resulting reputation for good customer service and CSR will enhance your bottom line. It’s win-win-win for everyone.

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