Blog post by Karun Tyagi
There are many environmental problems that the world is currently dealing with, such as climate change, the loss of resources, and pollution. Many different types of businesses are exploring the possibility of shifting their production practises to ones that are less harmful to the environment and more sustainable. One of these processes is known as bio-based manufacturing, and it makes use of renewable biomass feedstocks in order to generate materials and chemicals.
The term “biobased chemicals” refers to substances that are produced not from fossil fuels but rather from renewable biological resources including plants, biomass, and waste products from agricultural production. The development and use of biobased chemicals can give several benefits, such as a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases, a reduction in dependence on resources that are not renewable, and enhanced economic prospects in rural regions.
On the other side, the term “Industry 4.0” refers to the fourth industrial revolution, which is defined by the incorporation of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced robots into the manufacturing processes. The goal of Industry 4.0 is to develop “smart factories” that, in comparison to conventional production facilities, are superior in terms of efficacy, flexibility, and adaptability.
Industry 4.0 has emerged as a significant tool in recent years as a means of enhancing manufacturing processes with bio-based materials. In this article, we will investigate some of the applications of Industry 4.0 that can be found in the production of bio-based products.
The requirement for a reliable supply of biomass feedstocks of a high quality is one of the most critical issues faced in the production of bio-based products. Precision agriculture is one application where the technologies of Industry 4.0 can be applied to optimise the growth of biomass crops. Real-time monitoring of soil moisture, nutrient levels, and crop health may be accomplished with the help of sensors and data analytics. This enables farmers to make decisions regarding irrigation, fertilisation, and pest control that are informed by the collected data. This leads to increased crop yields, improved crop quality, and less of an influence on the surrounding ecosystem.
The transformation of biomass feedstocks into useable materials and chemicals requires the utilisation of bioreactors in the creation of bio-based products. The production process can be improved by utilising technologies from the Industry 4.0 movement in bioreactors. The manufacturing process may be monitored and controlled in real time with the help of automation and data analytics, which leads to improvements in both productivity and quality. As a consequence, this leads to increased yields, decreased costs of production, and less of an influence on the environment.
Optimization of the supply chain
The supply chain for bio-based materials and chemicals can be improved with the help of technologies that are part of the Industry 4.0 movement. The application of data analytics makes it possible to monitor the movement of components and finished goods along a supply chain, locate areas where efficiencies may be improved, and enhance overall logistics. As a consequence, this leads to decreased expenditures for transportation, enhanced performance in inventory management, and enhanced quality of service to customers.
The circular economy can be supported by using technology from the Industry 4.0 revolution in manufacturing bio-based products. For example, sensors and data analytics can be used to monitor the quality and condition of bio-based materials throughout their lifecycle. This makes recycling and repurposing bio-based materials more efficient. This leads to less waste, increased efficiency in the use of resources, and a production process that is more environmentally friendly.
Creating digital twins of bio-based manufacturing processes is something that can be accomplished with the use of technologies that are part of the Industry 4.0 movement. Digital twins are digital representations of physical systems that enable manufacturers to model and optimise their operations prior to applying changes in the physical world. Digital twins can be created virtually using specialised software. This leads to an improvement in the design of the process, a reduction in downtime, and an increase in efficiency.
As a conclusion, it can be stated that Industry 4.0 has the potential to play a key role in the progression of bio-based manufacturing by increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, and enhancing supply chains. Using these technologies will allow us to facilitate the movement towards a more environmentally friendly and circular economy that is founded on the use of renewable biomass feedstocks. A viable strategy to address the growing demand for eco-friendly and sustainable products while at the same time minimising the impact on the environment is to combine bio-based manufacturing with technology from the fourth industrial revolution, often known as Industry 4.0.