Interview with Agmon Porat – Part 2

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How does industry 4.0 impact manufacturing in Israel?

Thanks for the question. So as shown maybe in some of the statistics, there’s high adoption of robotics automation. Factories are looking specifically here in Israel, they are looking to implement a vision with quality control is being used. They want to visualize the factory itself if it’s discrete manufacturing or if process manufacturing. So visualization of the factory itself in measuring the ROI. This is very, very common and we see it’s being used in factories.

The second part is the robotic and automation, like I showed you in the statistics, people want to reduce the number of hands per product that are being used. That is also very common. So it’s information systems and some of the robots and cobots. 

Another thing that I see that is increasing is system integration. In the past, you buy a machine that is doing something and it would take a long time to design, build, and would be expensive. So even, subsystems and automated machines from washing system, baking system, drying system, doesn’t matter. Something, you have much more sophisticated machines that you can buy all the requests with new capabilities, built-in A.I., built-in communication visualization, and so on. 

Those are the implications we see here. To summarize, it’s A.I. being used for predictive maintenance and for evaluating and predicting failures, quality, awareness and so on, automation via robotics and machinery and vision systems. And a lot of factories are trying to see how to make their products smarter. So if we are used to the regular valves, now the valves are smart.

Industry 4.0 is a trend name for up raising technologies. Can you share some light on what is hype and what is actually being used?

Sure. So Industry 4.0 is a heightening stocking about the emergence of many technologies that are suddenly now implemented in the factory to increase automation. When you think about Industry 4.0, the first lines that you would see in the video are robotics, сobots, and people with goggles for the wind & driving. 

A.I. & augmented reality is being used, and I saw very few companies that started to implement it for remote presence, for tutorials, and how to do an assembly and for remote support. But I still believe it is more of a hype. I didn’t see many factories and many companies using it successfully with a high ROI. 

I did see use cases and I see more and more adoptions in augmented reality. But it feels like a very cool technology that people want to use but not in an efficient way yet. But the more the technology, the more the glasses are becoming better, without a doubt, this is going to be used widely because it saves a lot of money and it preserves knowledge of augmented reality. But now it’s still much more of a hype. 

The companies are much more using robotics and companies that did not evaluate robot or cobot in the factory itself compared to augmented reality. 

Blockchain is important and I imagine that in the future, as a producer and manufacturer, we also want to have traceability along the trace line for the metal, all the way to the end-user, which machine was used, the digital print of it, etc. We believe this is a great idea as a concept, but it’s not being used. I hardly know any traditional manufacturing company that is using the blockchain for either cybersecurity or for mapping the logistic steps. 

5G is also part of the Industry 4.0 landscape where we will have the ability to move mass amounts of data and function of time and with better bandwidth and supporting much more devices. So some factories are implementing a private network of 5G. Some countries are much more advanced than other countries, but it’s still completely in the beginning. We would see the 5G movement, the consumer probably based before we see them in many the majority of the factories. But it’s definitely something that helps in most of the factories produce many, you know, hundreds of wires into the machines because they won’t work with Bluetooth. And Wi-Fi is also problematic. It makes sense that your entire factory would be wireless. So this is why we believe in the 5G, but it’s still in the very very early stage of the growth system.

What’s really happening is definitely automation, definitely the IoT. If you are doing a product, suddenly you can put communication sensors and compute power inside and move into becoming a service company and not only for the company. And we saw some great examples of factories that reinvented themselves using that. That’s something new. And of course, the visualisations in A.I.. Factories are visualising all the factory that a great thing and extracting knowledge out of it and doing deep

learning to predict failures, school quality and different processes is also being used but with a slower adoption.

How does the government of Israel help factories to implement Industry 4.0?

The government has a lot of interest to make sure both, the factories and citizens, have the positions of the future.

Israeli’s most advanced factory, I think, is Intel and Fab had gotten easier with the manufacturing chips. Fabs is one of the most automated factories in the world and it hires about ten thousand employees. So the government wants more and more factories to become smarter. 

And the way they’re doing it, they built the Advanced Manufacturing Institute, where they are helping factories by giving them advice or getting advisors that can come inside and think about what are the low

hanging fruit, what are the project with the highest ROI and why it can make the highest impact internally. What does the company have and what does it need the government to subsidize that advisory for that factory? And then it would subsidize the results of that advisory letter. They would say, “hey, you have to kill one person for every machine. You can reduce it to one person to every 10 using cobots”. And you should implement a vision or let’s make a whole line automated and reinvent alignments so the government would pay a significant amount of the money it costs to modify that factory, which is good. 

The government also helped with telling factories, “hey, open an innovation lab”. We are not a traditional manufacturing company and we want a deal that basically encourages us to invest in startups where the government takes the money. So these are startups that are tackling our biggest problems and problems that we have in our factory or problems that our customers have with Apple. And we are investing in those startups where the government is taking 85 percent of the risk. So that’s part of the ways that they are helping factories to implement innovation in their projects. If a factory has a new line of work that he wants to a new manufacturing line, if he wants to upgrade, he can request the government to upgrade it and he may get funds. Or if he wants to develop a new border, it can become an industry standard to reinvent the socket, to reinvent a new industry. So the innovation authority or the economic department would fund him as well.

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