I n manufacturing technology, there is a current trend in data exchange and automation which is called Industry 4.0 (pronounced four point zero). It is mainly composed of the internet of things, cognitive computing, cyber-physical systems, and cloud computing. Industry 4.0 is also being called the fourth industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 is about digitisation that brings the physical and virtual worlds closer together, ensuring that each learn from one another. Although Industry 4.0 has set out to transform the manner by which companies approach business, the UK is lagging behind in this and has a hurdle to climb to keep up with not only other European countries, but other international countries too.
N ow the question is, is there any way back for the diesel engine in the UK market? To get the right answer to this question we need to consider a lot of things, according to a European commissioner that said, ‘Diesel cars are finished’. Not everybody will accept his claim, but let’s review a few things and then consider if there is any future hope for the diesel engine in the UK market.
Aerospace & defence manufacturing usually commands a lot of expertise, as both industries deal with production of systems with both complex designs and functionality. Therefore, their entire manufacturing processes are carried out with an extra level of precision, since any small defect will inevitably lead to the loss of multiple lives.
For instance, whenever aircraft are in the air, the lives of those in it are solely dependent on how well the systems of the aircraft were designed, developed and manufactured. Any minor errors that are made during the design, development or manufacture of any one of the thousands of components in the aircraft, will potentially lead to a significant number of fatalities. The same applies to any of the defence vehicles which are used by our military personnel, where the lives of the men and women in uniform using them, are dependent on how well these machines were designed, assembled and tested.
Building cars can be an expensive industry and while we know that buying a new car can be quite expensive on its own, the automaker is also responsible for a fair amount of the upfront costs as well. Whilst steel prices fluctuate, in general they go up and OEM’s continue to squeeze their supply chain.
Biomimetics is on everyone’s lips and it is now difficult to imagine a future where it does not play a key role in the development of our society. The development of new materials is not unconcerned with this new discipline, though we must be aware of what we can obtain (and what we cannot) from imitating nature.
Hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles are offering a fair argument that they could be the future of travel. As well as the ability to reduce carbon emissions by running on zero emissions, imagine how convenient it would be to fill up just once a month or plug in your vehicle at night to recharge and go.