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The 3 industrial innovations to follow in 2021

Industry 4.0 represents a multitude of innovations capable of improving your daily processes, but how do you know which one will be the most beneficial for your needs? Today, we offer you a focus on 3 industrial innovations that are going to explode in 2021!

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Industrial Augmented Reality

Appreciated for its versatility and its intuitive side, augmented reality is the solution that has been seducing the industry more and more in recent years. It is characterized by contextual digital elements (pdf, video, audio, 3D model...) that are superimposed on reality and help the operator to make a decision and perform a complex maintenance operation. Used both for 4.0 training modules and as avirtual assistant for the field operatoraugmented reality becomes an extremely cost-effective solution for an industrial site with complex and/or varied use cases. On identified and relevant use cases, improvements in industrial processes brought by AR and benefits that accompany them are visible from the first weeks following the implementation of the solution.


To sum augmented reality up :

  • Traditional maintenance protocols are replaced by fully digitized operating procedures: the operator's hands are free to complete tasks twice as fast!
  • Numerical indications appear at the right place and at the right time in the operator's field of vision: he knows exactly which gesture he must perform in case of doubt or lack of experience on a complex operation.


Collaborative robots

Collaboration between man and robot is no longer a myth since the appearance of cobots (or collaborative robots). A sort of fully articulated robotic arm, the cobot shares the same workspace as the operator on a sedentary workstation. Generally speaking, It simultaneously handles both time-consuming and hard tasks to allow the operator to concentrate on more detailed actions that require human precision. By carrying out simple, repetitive and overly heavy actions such as the "Pick & Place"For example, the cobot promotes the operator's working environment by avoiding the exhausting or dangerous tasks of the protocol to be followed.


The cobots in summary:

  • A lightening of the operator's burdensome tasks by taking care of the most repetitive and time-consuming part of the industrial process.
  • A robotic solution that prevents the operator from endangering himself or his health by carrying out actions that are too heavy.



The digital twins

At the crossroads of object and digital are digital twins. These are faithful and digitized 3D reproductions of a machine or a chosen component. They allow to visualize in detail a digital version of a real object in order to simulate the behaviour or ageing of the machine or any part of this machine. This automation prevents possible breakdowns or wear and tear over time. Thanks to digital twins, maintenance operations are planned in advance and save time and material.


Small bonus : digital twins are accessible and compatible with an augmented reality solution!


To summarize the digital twins :

  • A simulation on a faithful and digitized representation of a machine, in order to test various behaviour or ageing scenarios.
  • Prevention of potential breakdowns and wear and tear of machines or specific components fully digitized down to the last detail.




2021 marks the explosion of various innovative solutions in the industrial sector : among them augmented reality, collaborative robots and digital twins are the solutions to be closely followed for their intuitiveness and adaptability in the field. 

Written by Julie Jeangoudoux, augmented reality expert at Spectral TMS


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