Top 10 digital factories: Intel
After featuring in our Top 10, we look at how Intel is helping manufacturers apply IoT technology to drive smart manufacturing in their operations.
By using connected sensors and devices at the network edge Intel helps manufacturers develop smarter manufacturing solutions to improve machine and human performance in real time, as well as passing data to the cloud for deeper analysis and insights.
Intel also applies IoT in manufacturing to lower maintenance costs, enable new lines of business, and improve overall productivity. Intel strives to provide the building blocks for a secure and scalable smart factory that delivers intelligence for operating assets and valuable insights from data.
The four key areas intel can help manufacturers
By harnessing networked industrial IoT sensors on the assembly line, Intel’s technology tracks key indicators of equipment wear such as vibrations and temperature to provide real time data analysis ‘at the network edge’ to pinpoint when maintenance is required, minimising downtime and costs.
Intel’s industrial IoT solutions harness data analytics, and intelligence from the supply chain to factory floor. Allowing manufacturers to detect mechanical anomalies before they can affect a product's quality.
Machine measuring and management
With the ability to integrate with existing equipment to collect and analyse performance data along the production line, Intel’s industrial IoT improves the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) within the factory by harnessing industrial IoT sensors and intelligence devices.
By harnessing industrial IoT enabled sensors, devices and wearables, Intel’s solutions provide information to connected workers to alert workers in a smart factory to hazards and augment their performance in challenging environments to improve safety and productivity.
Intel prides itself on its ability to provide a secure platform, a broad ecosystem of partners and the technical support to effectively harness industrial IoT solutions.
For more information on manufacturing topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Manufacturing Global.
First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector
First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV.
Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’.
A Bit of Background
First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules.
The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about.
How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?
Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’.
After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’.
According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin.