Industrial maintenance in the cognitive era. Interview with Diego Galar (part 3)

"To the human being we have to give back the values that with the pure and hard Taylorism of repetitive tasks was the antithesis of what Modern Industry is." Diego Galar

Smart Manufacturing

In this third and final instalment of the interview with Diego Galar, expert in Maintenance, Professor of Condition Monitoring at Luleå Tekniska University in Sweden, and senior researcher at Tecnalia, we talk about the impact of Industry 5.0 or Cognitive Industry in which we will move from prescriptive maintenance to pure and simple cognitive maintenance.

If you have not read the previous interviews, we encourage you to do so in the following links on: the evolution ofindustrial maintenanceand maintenance business models in the digital era.

- What will be the impact of Industry 5.0 on maintenance?

We are now faced with the desire for the "dark factory", where there is no light because there are no operators. We do not need operators to produce, this is proven, we can replace the human in production 100% but it was not at all clear that the human could be replaced in maintenance tasks until now.

We now have equipment and robots that are self-maintaining. Machines can now have reset conditions, self-repair conditions, they can use other machines to repair themselves and even upgrade their features.

And in that sense M2M communication between machines is one of the things that is advancing the most. Machines can now share events, share knowledge, share models, all these technologies are moving very fast and it is not an operator who is going to say "this model that I have here in the robot is good and I am going to copy it in all the robots".

If the robot says that the model is good, it will publish it among all its peers, which means that nothing will be needed, and in this sense it is not necessary to go very far back in time.

It's not new, we see it in wind farms and solar farms. We have robots that are maintaining underwater equipment and in oil extraction plants we have robots that clean and weld pipes automatically. If we have robots that clean and grease, why not robots that are a bit more advanced?

In this sense, at the level of traditional robots and nanorobots, we will see machines that are resilient, because machines not only have to be robust but also resilient. It doesn't make sense for a machine that has a problem to stop or shut down and lock up, that machine has to be able to reset itself and return to operation without the need for operator intervention.

In this sense, we have gained a lot in robustness, we are also gaining a lot in resilience and the concept of the dark factory is going to be a concept that, with Industry 5.0, we are already making the leap from prescription to pure and simple cognition.

We will find ourselves with machines that are intelligent in the sense that they will be self-aware, that understand the context in which they are working and act automatically according to the context and that are also resilient, so that they do not need human intervention to rearm themselves in case of unfortunate events. I certainly see Industry 5.0 in that sense coupled with the advent of 5G and quantum computing.

Diego Galar

- When will we see this reality?

For certain assets I see this reality in 5 years and for industry in 10 years.

If we look at the levels of autonomy of driverless vehicles today, we can say that it is a relatively close reality. We have subways, cars, high-speed trains that are driverless and even on aeroplanes.

Companies such as Scania, for example, are already working with trucks that talk to each other, share data with workshops, and can replace certain spare parts without any driver intervention.

And in industry, I think it will take 10 years before we have these kinds of smart assets, i.e. when the assembly line configures itself and is resilient and robust.

If you are interested in this topic, you can now access the webinar on "Disruptive Technologies in Critical Infrastructure Maintenance".