Seminar on technologies for Industry 4.0 was successfully held in Santiago

With more than a hundred attendees, the international seminar Industry 4.0: Revolutionize your business and productivity, organized by Fraunhofer Chile and Fraunhofer IIS in Santiago, was held in Santiago on October 23th.

The event, organised by Fraunhofer Chile Research and the Fraunhofer Institute of Integrated Circuits IIS, in collaboration with INNSPIRAL and the Chilean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CAMCHAL), addressed the potential of intelligent sensors, process automation, wireless technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) to move towards Industry 4.0.

After the opening by Pilar Parada, general manager of Fraunhofer Chile, and words of Fernando Hentzschel, manager of Technological Capabilities of Corfo, the three speakers of Fraunhofer IIS began their presentations.

Martina Spengler, Computer and Communications Engineer, in charge of International Business Development at the German institute gave an overview of the research and development areas where more than one thousand collaborators work. She also explained the capabilities they can offer to companies in the country..

Ferdinand Kemeth, head of Fraunhofer IIS's Efficient Communication Group, presented the MIOTY technology, a new wireless communication standard for the Internet of Things, which stands out for its robustness, wide range (up to 20 km), low cost and energy consumption (batteries with a life of up to 20 years).

With a wide range of applications in industry, smart cities, logistics, agriculture, mobility, health, energy and mining, among others, Kemeth highlighted four problem-solving cases using MIOTY.

The first one was a communication system inside a mine. Then the use of sensors to monitor livestock’s health and nutrition and to adequate the correct amount of fertilizer in the agricultural field and thirdly, the automatic notification of operational problems in an electrical distribution network. Finally, he showed the creation of a private communication network in an industrial plant without access to cell phone coverage.

Subsequently the researcher made a live demonstration of MIOTY connecting to Hamburg.

Jorge Luis Juárez, who works in business development at the Fraunhofer IIS Broadband and Broadcast Technology Department, delivered a vision of UWIN (Ultra Low Latency Wireless Industrial Network), technology created by this institute, ideal for industrial wireless communication

The system uses radio waves to communicate in real time components from mobile and remote machinery to critical time control systems in intelligent industries.

Innovate to win

Then a panel of questions and answers was made with the presence of the exhibitors and Pilar Parada. It was moderated by Iván Vera, member of the board of Fraunhofer Chile and founding partner and president of the consulting and innovation accelerator INNSPIRAL.

Vera called the attendees to reflect on the importance of educating Chile to innovate and thus create value and new markets, creating a win-win scenario.

“Generally, what a company measures is ‘how much spends on innovation' —which is the input and does not imply success— but it does not measure 'how much I generate thanks to innovation', the output, which is what is obtained and indicates success of innovation management. You have to think and execute innovation based on the output, not the input”, he said.

Along the same lines, Pilar Parada rescued the model that 70 years ago led to the creation of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, an institution that today is the largest applied research organization in Europe

“What was then decided to lift the German postwar economy was to inject technology into small and medium enterprises. And this involves a fundamental decision: when the CEO of a company decides that incorporating innovation is the core of the business, it creates a reality that permeates from management downwards, which is substantially different from simply buy a machine”, said the Fraunhofer’s Chile general manager.

The event concluded with a round of one-to-one meetings between the Fraunhofer IIS speakers and representatives of companies from different industries.

Due to the complex situation in the country, the seminar “5G, loT and other technologies for industry 4.0”, to be held on Thursday October 24th in the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, had to be cancelled.