i.co interims consulting UG (Germany) - While the accuracy has been increased and some facelifting appeared, the core of industrial weighing components have hardly changed. According to i.co interims consulting, weighing 4.0 will change the game within the next five years. Key aspects will be supportive commissioning, condition and application monitoring as other general features for easier usage. This will create new opportunities for service businesses, enable a stronger differentiation for machine builders and generate new level of end customer value.
Take the example of a simple weighing application, a silo with four load cells. The workflow with weighing 4.0 is, that the commissioner will place the load cells, connect it to the weighing electronic, access it with his tablet, checks the condition of each load cells (in regards to applied weight, torque, inclination, temperature, vibration, …) and optimize the positioning. He can not only identify the improper placed sensor, but change the position or fixing and immediately sees the impact. By this the vessel or a machine can be ramped up faster and will achieve a higher accuracy / productivity.
Another highlight will be condition and application monitoring. Weighing has the tremendous advantage of having more than one sensor. Imagine that those distributed sensors provide information as vibration, torque, weight, … By comparing those information to themselves and even better - in regards to their changes in time - enables a monitoring of the applications conditions. This is a value far beyond just weighing and for some it can be even more valuable than the weighing itself.
Weighing 4.0 will have a tremendous impact on the business of the market players. End customers as of today buy the electronics from supplier A and often load cells from supplier B. Weighing 4.0 will change this behavior. First of all they will request the weighing 4.0 features and as they want to ensure the compatibility they will tend to buy all components from one supplier / brand. To avoid losing business and participate in the weighing 4.0 opportunity, market players will adopt their strategies and portfolio.
To support companies in implementing weighing 4.0, i.co interims consulting has created two documents which are available since end of December 2014. „Weighing 4.0 - weighing electronics and smart load cells“ concentrates on the key components of weighing, their features and options. „Weighing 4.0 - strategy and portfolio“ focuses on the potential changes within a companies portfolio and offering, the derived strategy and ideas for implementation.