Advances in communication technologies, devices connected to the internet and data analytics are occurring at a rapid pace, as such it’s been said we are living through the fourth industrial revolution — Industry 4.0.
Unlike previous industrial revolutions, technology is no longer something we use but rather, something embedded into every aspect of our lives.
Outside the infrastructure industry, mobile apps are common place, functioning almost at the level of necessity. Within the industry though, the uptake of applications has been slightly slower. VEGA’s Tools App is set to change that — setting the bar for industry mobile applications.
At last year’s SPS IPC Drives, an exhibition and conference held in Germany, VEGA’s Tools app was awarded the Automation App Award by local trade magazine eletrotechnik. According to VEGA Australia Managing Director, John Leadbetter, the jury highlighted the user-friendly, intuitive usability of the app and its facilitation of flexible pressure readings.
As production processes become more complex and industrial equipment spreads out over wide areas, challenges are posed to the implementation of digitisation and Industry 4.0. The successful implementation of which is particularly important when dealing with high pressure tanks and potentially explosive material — like those dealt with by VEGA’s customers.
VEGA’s line of products work to deliver pressure measurements from a safe distance for difficult-to-access and dangerous points.
To better equip customers in managing these spaces, VEGA offers the option of parameterising sensors, with readings of measured values available via Bluetooth on a smartphone or tablet with the VEGA Tools app.
Mr. Leadbetter says the advantages to these remote capabilities are obvious.
“VEGA Tools App is especially easy to operate,” he said. “All data is permanently available in real time, and there are numerous possibilities for upgrading in the future.”
Mr. Leadbetter says in keeping with the spirit and purpose of Industry 4.0, the tool simplifies communication with sensors.
“In addition to convenient visualisation of current level and pressure data, the app supports fast setup and easy maintenance. A wide range of display and diagnostic functions are also available.”
The VEGA Tools App facilitates a direct, wireless live connection, which takes the place of a direct wire – a useful addition wherever physical wiring is difficult to implement.
“In wireless operation, all important instrument parameters can be individually configured, or, even more conveniently, transmitted as predefined parameter sets,” Mr. Leadbetter said.
“Operating data and parameter changes stored in the instrument can be quickly viewed on the app and then transferred to a computer for more extensive visualisation.”
According to Mr. Leadbetter, security plays an important role in every wireless connection, and should therefore be a key consideration in every Industry 4.0 aligned product.
“It starts with secure communication through the app architecture and password protection on the smartphone and extends through to sensor setup by the user.
“The Tools App includes encrypted, password-protected IT networks, rights assignments for employees, and clear rules on who can do what in the system and with which device,” Mr. Leadbetter said.