Industry 4.0 (or the fourth industrial revolution, as some are calling it) is here to stay. And it is actually no wonder at all, since, at the industrial level, Industry 4.0 offers a multitude of advantages in terms of both productivity, and health and safety.
Industry 4.0 today, a myriad of advantages
With digitalization and the emergence of integrated industry, complex production processes can be automated, making manufacturing processes cheaper and much more efficient.
It is also possible to reduce the risk of occupational injuries as digitization and prediction help us automate and monitor processes and tasks that today are performed by human beings.
Adding into that mix the interconnection of factory elements creates a network of work and cooperation that allows data to be transmitted in real time. This generates quite a bit of digital information that is managed by a series of tools that help in decision making.
In addition to the synergies between the elements, each machine is capable of working autonomously on its own, thus making it possible to monitor and control processes so that it is easier to optimize them later on.
What is the situation in Spain?
Spain has large companies that are committed to this new type of industry, but the road has just started being traveled — according to several studies, just over 25% of companies are in an advanced state of digitization.
The government plans to implement a plan to assist companies in digitization, especially after the coronavirus, which forced many companies to greatly increase their level of digitization.
The biggest obstacle to Industry 4.0 is recruiting skilled workers
One of the main obstacles encountered by companies that want to advance in digitization is the difficulty in recruiting skilled and expert personnel in different technological areas, although it seems that gradually more and more people are opting for training and professional development in this area.
Despite the difficulties that may be encountered, Industry 4.0 offers advantages in the medium and long term, such as increased revenues and reduced costs. Also noteworthy are the improvements in safety, quality and productivity of employees and companies. And there is also impact on the end user, who is likely to be more satisfied with the product.
Applications of Industry 4.0 in forging at ULMA Forged Solutions
Industry 4.0 technologies bring a multitude of advantages and benefits to any industry, including the forging industry.
In the case of ULMA Forja, we have incorporated different applications into our lines that facilitate the daily work of our operators, guaranteeing their health and safety, while offering excellent product finishes.
Forging lines, heat treatment lines and robotic machining plants
Currently, our forging lines are extensively automated and robotized, especially the mechanical and hydraulic presses and the rolling line.
The heat treatment lines are also now automated — all kinds of movements in loading and unloading and arrangement in the gas furnace are carried out automatically.
The machining plant is fully robotized, including turning, drilling, marking, varnishing and packaging. All of this is now a key point in our level of competitiveness and service.
Automated warehouses for Forging 4.0
Among our facilities we also have an automatic, 25-meter-tall warehouse with a storage capacity of more than 8000 tons. We believe this is critical to meeting the current needs of the forging sector.
In the welding section, we have manual and automated lines – Weld overlay – cladding for the fabrication of flanges and line blanks.
At ULMA Forged Solutions, we are aware of the importance of adapting to changing times and the thorough modernization that this entails. That is why we have automated services at our plants that help improve our work processes.