Industry 4.0 Helps Remote Workers Through Pandemic

In order to aid engineers in operating remotely, Eaton Vehicle Group is using Industry 4.0 technology.

Eaton Vehicle Group recently announced that they will be using AR, robotics, and 3D holo systems as part of a flurry of changes that the company says will enable operations to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Known for their varied power solutions, Eaton is known today as a world leader in automotive and electrical industries. 

Making a huge impact in global markets, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically increased the number of employees working remotely. In many work areas, the combination of a reliable internet connection and robust project management software are needed to enable workers to function remotely.

For engineers and designers, however, this may not be the case, as they often need access to in person collaboration, specialized prototyping systems, and software. To aid designers in remote work, Eaton is utilizing several Industry 4.0 technologies that allow workers to collaborate while following social distancing protocols.

3D Printing


Providing engineering companies with the ability to create prototypes of new parts in-house at a fraction of the usual cost, 3D printing tech is another Industry 4.0 technology enabling Eaton's work to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Engineers may use 3D printers to model designs from home and send the designs directly to the manufacturing site for immediate printing.This allows engineers to test designs quickly while maintaining social distancing.

Augmented Reality Systems

Eaton is deploying Microsoft HoloLens 2, an AR system that enables users to visualize their surroundings holographically, to allow engineers and designers to assist in critical activities within Eaton facilities while working remotely. This system also hold promise for future scenarios in which engineers need to work on samples of a bulky, large workpiece that cannot easily be shipped. AR technology also allows groups of engineers to work simultaneously on a single 3D model, which enables potential flaws to be noted early in the design process. Finally, AR is being used to train employees in the operation of equipment they cannot currently access in person, making sure that new workers are able to operate equipment correctly as soon as social distancing rules are relaxed.

Mass Data and Simulations

Mass data gathering offers the possibility of simulating production, allowing engineers to choose the best manufacturing methods without being present in person at a production facility. IoT devices enable engineers to see live data from any location, and in turn to make quick changes in reaction to detected errors.

Combined with AI, mass data gathering helps facilities to improve over time, as AI algorithms develop the capability to predict potential errors before they happen.

Automated Vehicles

The company is also using automated vehicles to transport goods from one facility to another, reducing the risk of viral transmission between workers by automating transport. This technology also reduces manufacturing costs by reducing the number of workers needed to transport goods as well as allowing the facility's operations to continue during the pandemic.

Alongside many other industry leaders, Eaton is utilizing innovative technologies to continue operations by enabling remote workers to maintain efficiency and productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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