Port digitalisation open for innovation

Ruben Boom Ruben Boom: "If we talk about digitalisation there are still some opportunities"
Industry Database

Automation provides the industry with lots of great products but there is tough competition for innovation opportunities compared to digitalisation, a technology specialist has said.

Speaking exclusively to Port Strategy at TOC Europe, Ruben Boom, project manager for smart industry at ifm electronic, said there is still lots of scope to get involved in digitalisation because technology development could go in many directions.

He said: “If we talk about digitalisation there are still some opportunities. It’s possible for sensors to communicate in a new way for example — to give us some more information that can help our companies to grow and to do things in a smarter way. So, I believe that there are some steps that can be made in that field.”

Smart sensors

One of the most notable pieces of digital technology in the industry is IO-Link, which is currently supported by over 200 companies, said Mr Boom.

Its development was based on the idea that sensors tell us just one thing but can provide way more, he explained.

“It makes it possible for companies to think about predictive maintenance for example. That’s something I haven’t really heard yet in this industry.

“Yes, we can do things autonomous, we can do smart things but still if equipment fails we have a problem. We want to move in the direction that equipment will tell us when it’s going to fail so that we can plan things in.”

He pointed out that the automotive industry already works with smart sensors and it is “always smart to work with an international standard”.

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