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Simulation Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0: Simulation
Llumiquinga José, Cortez Ronny
Course: Networks and Distributed Systems
Yachay Tech University
March 29, 2020
Industrial revolutions are the responsible of advances in the manufacturing process and
the changes in our economy and society. The First Industrial Revolution set the stage for
industrial production. The first invention that allowed this new form of production was the
steam engine. Then, world trade, capital accumulation and urban developments, led to a
Second Industrial Revolution. The technologies of this second revolution were associated
with oil and the use of electrical energy. At this stage, industrial, market and cross-country
competitiveness developed, generating new economic and market models that are part of the
initial globalization process (1). Subsequently, the third industrial revolution was a digital
revolution, characterized by the rise of computers and the automation of processes, based
on the use of technologies such as electronics and computing (2).
With the search for digitization of the industrial sector using technological innovations, a
new concept emerged in Germany in 2011, called Industry 4.0. This concept is considered the
Fourth Industrial Revolution, and is expected that it is able to drive fundamental changes
on the same level as previous industrial revolutions. Industry 4.0 is based on the Internet of
Things and consists in the digitization and interconnecting of industrial processes (6).
Internet of Things is a system of devices permanently connected in a digital scenario that
aspires to make everything smart by managing large amounts of information. This tool
is one of the innovations that offers the most versatility since it has a high capacity to
adapt to the industrial processes of companies allowing the connection between them (9).
Through the development of this field, Industry 4.0 connects the physical with the digital
and allows better collaboration and access for all departments, partners, suppliers, products
and people. Industry 4.0 empowers business owners to better control and understand every
aspect of their operation and enables them to leverage instant data to increase productivity,
improve processes, and drive growth (6).
One of the ways to generate knowledge, to learn about a phenomenon, to understand it, to
replicate it or try to solve a problem is by creating a model, which will serve to simplify or
represent something that can be extremely complex, just as a graph can represent highways
and its connections. By obtaining a model and manipulating it, you can know what will
happen to this model when you experiment with it. This is basically what the concept simulation means, however everything it implies goes much further (8). The word ”simulation”
as it is used today was first used in 1940 when working on the atomic bomb during World
War II (3). The simulation was used in these investigations since experimenting with neutron diffusion was very expensive and impractical. These are some of the main reasons why
simulation is used, when experimenting in reality is impossible or inappropriate, this added
to the advancement of computers today makes simulation increasingly used to solve problems in a wide applications variety (8). A definition of simulation is as follows: ”Simulation
is a numerical technique for conducting experiments on a digital computer. These experiments comprise certain types of mathematical and logical relationships, which are necessary
to describe the behavior and structure of complex real-world systems over long periods of
time”. (3) Another accepted definition below: ”Simulation is the process of designing and
developing a computerized model of a system or process and conducting experiments with
this model in order to understand the behavior of the system or to evaluate various strategies
with which the system can be operated”. (3) Simulation is used for the analysis and design
of complex and dynamic systems of reality, with simulation you can create different types
of scenarios for systems, where you can experiment and analyze various situations without
having to affect the reality on which it is studied. (8)
Initially, simulations were performed on analog computers that used electronic devices to
solve mathematical operations such as addition, multiplication, generation of functions, etc.
With these devices, continuous simulation models were created, but a disadvantage of these
computers is that they are only manufactured for specific purposes. In the 1960s, discrete
event systems simulation programs began to be created that solved problems in the civil
sphere, for example IBM GPSS (General Purpose System Simulator) and SIMSCRIPT (4).
Thus began what is called digital simulation. Initially binary language was used, but then
high-level programming languages such as FORTRAN and ALGOL were used. Digital computers, when working with electronic circuits, can carry out arithmetic and logical operations
in a discrete way, therefore it is said that they can be programmed for discrete digital simulation. The programs that stood out in this area were SIMSRIPT, GASP and GPSS (General
Purpose Simulation System). With the advancement of electronics and computing, digital
computers have improved their storage and processing capabilities so discrete simulation can
approximate continuous simulation (8).
As computing power became more accessible to the masses, this digital revolution mentioned
previously gave rise to many simulation applications. Currently, we find that simulation has
a very important function at an industrial level, since it can facilitate decision-making in
a factory. A smart factory is not just about optimizing manufacturing processes, but it
involves other aspects such as rationalizing energy use, automating processes, minimizing
the environmental impact, etc. It would take years to measure the effects of this events.
However, with the use of simulation software we can facilitate this issue. In this process of
implementing Industry 4.0 and the enabling technologies that accompany it, simulation is
presented as an ideal tool for testing, knowing the operation of certain systems or anticipating
problems. These simulation systems make it easier to know what kind of responses can be
offered in certain situations, without any physical risk to humans or machines (7).
Currently the use of flight simulators in the aeronautical industry is increasingly more common due to the need for aircraft operators to train of new or recurring teams to their crews.
We also found that these systems are used in medicine to simulate interventions before executing them successfully. The military sector is another sector that has benefited from these
simulation programs to trace, for example, the trajectory of missiles or the orbit and position
of artificial satellites. Also for transport, the simulation can be used to observe how vehicle
flows can work in certain situations. There are also simulators applied to driving training
to place students in complex situations before hitting the road to avoid having any type of
risk (5).
Industrial 4.0 favors the practice of automation and enables faster, more flexible, and more
efficient processes to reduce costs, and produce higher-quality goods. This will have a important impact on the competitiveness of companies globally. People can expect to benefit
from increased manufacturing productivity and fast industrial growth.
[1] Augustyn, A. Industrial Revolution. Encyclopædia Britannica. (2019) https://www.
[2] Ben-Ami, D. Technology: The Third Industrial Revolution. IPE. (2015) https://www.
[3] Coss, Bu. (2012). Simulacion. Limusa, México
[4] Facultad Informática Barcelona,
[5] Jie Xu, Edward Huang, Liam Hsieh, Loo Hay Lee, Qing-Shan Jia Chun-Hung Chen.
(2016). Simulation optimization in the era of Industrial 4.0 and the Industrial Internet.
Journal of Simulation.
[6] Marr,
[7] Rodič, Blaž. (2017). Industry 4.0 and the New Simulation Modelling Paradigm. Organizacija. 50. 10.1515/orga-2017-0017. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/
[8] Ruiz, H., Martinez, F., Monroy, G.: Simulación: Conceptos y evolución. Universidad
Autónoma Metropolitana, 79–90 (n.d.)
[9] Tapia, V. (2014). Industria 4.0 – Internet de las Cosas.http://investigacion.utc.