Advances in technological changes in Industry 4.0. Much faster than gaining competencies in the field. The market is concerned about the unavailability of experts. However, before he educates the new employees, it will be a long time, and the local business cannot delay even for a moment to keep up the pace of development. How to deal with this?
According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the Industry 4.0 solutions market is expected to grow to $156.6 billion in 2024 (for comparison, its global value in 2019 was estimated at $71.7 billion). In order to keep up with expectations, there is a need for specialists in this field, and it is not so simple, considering the recruitment plans of enterprises. Data published at the end of 2021 showed that industrial production remained at the forefront of those industries that reported the greatest need for hands to work. According to data collected as part of the “Manpower Group Perspektywy Employment” measure, in the first quarter of 2022, more than half of employers planned to expand their teams.
In many industrial processes, the availability of specialists is critical, and it will become increasingly difficult to obtain – Comments on the situation Krzysztof Wojciechowski, Director of Industrial Services Development at Impel Group. Today’s companies need specialized talent, and the supply of them is very low. All high-performance areas, such as cleaning crude oil storage tanks, performing technical audits or advanced certifications, require a specific specialty and years of experience. Even if we shift our energies to training professionals now, it will take the sector many years to replenish human resources. Thus, we should start thinking about support with technologies, in terms of business development, and not just in the aspect of “waiting” for the wrong time – Director Wojciechowski adds.
Will technology replace professionals?
Due to the pandemic and the accompanying shutdown, it has become imperative to support the daily work of the industry using remote technologies. In order to respond to the needs of digital business on the one hand, and the shortage of personnel on the other hand, Impel Group’s Climbex has implemented a solution that, while maintaining social distance, will allow the complete maintenance of business operations. Closures and limited availability have changed the way companies realize they can operate plant facilities or perform maintenance. For entrepreneurs, it was a catalyst that made them notice the value in this type of investment. One example of such solutions is Remote Expert.
Technology cannot replace humans, but it can make their work much easier. This is how we should look at the solutions offered by the market – Krzysztof Wojciechowski of the Impel Group confirms. When designing Remote Expert, we were looking for a set of such functions that, on the one hand, would allow the remote specialist, to communicate freely, and on the other hand, provide access to expert knowledge. Remote Expert also works well with limited personal resources or the need to protect those professionals whose knowledge is invaluable to the company. For example, technicians working in installations can count on expert help from an engineer working remotely from a secure location, outside of an industrial environment.– Wojciechowski adds.
Remote Expert – What is the solution?
The solution implemented in Climbex – Remote Expert – is both software and hardware. The hardware layer is American RealWear HMT-1. It has a wearable lens for remote document sharing, a camera and a microphone. The device is attached to a helmet and is resistant to industrial working conditions. On the other hand, the program is a modern cloud platform for communication and task recording, working over the Internet, and the device is designed in such a way as to ensure effective and accurate communication between the technician and the specialist. In this model, the work is carried out with the knowledge of an expert and with the hands of a technician – ensuring comfort and safety for both.
Most of the world’s applications are aimed at improving work organization and using key competencies more broadly in the organisation. This translates greatly into a competitive advantage – we gain people’s safety, and thus – business continuity and security – Krzysztof Wojciechowski explains. Thanks to Remote Expert, firstly, we use the competencies of a specialized expert, and secondly – we can see what is happening to the employee all the time, especially when he is working in dangerous conditions. The main administrator of the device is the one who sits “away” – turns on the camera, views documents and runs the process. Thus, an expert can support many complex operations/activities at remote sites in a single day – He adds.
With the help of a remote expert, it is possible to provide many services, from various areas that require broad competencies – from advanced operations to conducting personnel training. Due to the fact that the equipment enables the recorded activities during their implementation, the organization acquires training materials and resources “from the field” – which are very important from the perspective of educating new employees.
Obtaining training materials from real applications on formulations is of undeniable value to the organization. It is possible to transfer good practices and knowledge to new employees “live”, and maintain continuity of competencies – adds Wojciechowski.
The Generation Gap – The Second Bottom
In January-May 2020, the development of the digital economy accelerated sharply and was 2.5 times higher than the average growth of the past two years, reaching 18.4%, according to a report published by McKinsey & Company. Ongoing digitization processes improve the flow of knowledge in organizations, speed up production or automate repetitive activities. Thus, they translate into business competitiveness. To be able to successfully implement it, a number of activities are required that will organize, first of all, knowledge and technical documentation in organizations, including those in the industrial sector. This is the second bottom of the generation gap.
The current job market is generationally diverse – there are specialists with 40 years of experience and engineers with several years of experience. – Says Krzysztof Wojciechowski from Impel. Both are key to successful operations in the industrial sector. We face the challenge of building a bridge between knowledge and experience of both. The technology that allows in this field to standardize and digitize documents, will make them adapt to the needs of a multi-generational environment. This is a fundamental issue that will determine the success of further cooperation – He adds.
Accounting or HR documents have predefined templates and digitizing them is not an issue. It’s different with technical documentation, because you need industry knowledge to read it properly. Transferring technical data from paper documents to digital format in such a way that they are as useful as possible in further work requires analysis and giving these documents the appropriate technical and descriptive features. For more advanced projects, you can use 3D laser scanning of devices and installations, thanks to which we get their digital format in 3D. We obtain additional data from the digital image, which can be supplemented with existing corporate documents. This is useful, for example, when expanding a factory or expanding production capacity.
Regardless of whether the company is implementing a large inventory project, relatively simple document scanning, or introducing a new system to implement a business process, you need to ensure continuity in maintaining efficiencies and constantly updating information as more changes or investments are made.