Hello, Habr! My name is Alex Sidorin. For more than five years, at CROC, I have been helping to introduce robots, as well as distance learning and gamification systems, to Russian and international companies. And recently he became a community manager of the Digital Leader networking platform. DL is an international project that brings together business and IT professionals.

Last week we had an online conference on Industry 4.0. Representatives of the leaders of the industrial market and retail told what tasks they solve and what result they get through the introduction of the Internet of things, artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, as well as virtual and augmented reality.
I decided to talk about what they talked about, how real companies use these or those technologies in practice.

Artificial Intelligence

ITKarma picture

According to our jointly with PwC and IDC study it is this technology that will lead to the greatest changes in companies in this decade. We can say that this process has already begun - most of the cases of the companies were based on AI.
I'll start with the closest to all of us - retail. Everyone enrages to stand in lines and refuse products at the checkout due to the fact that you forget to weigh them. The X5 Retail Group solves these problems through the implementation of AI.

Already in 100 stores of the network, neural networks ensure that people do not have to languish in lines. As soon as 3-4 people accumulate near the cash desk, the system sends a notification to the store director to open another cash desk.

This decision allowed to reduce the number of complaints from customers by 2 times and the number of people without purchases by 10%.

Weighted goods are included in 30% of checks. Within one hour, the cashier weighs products about 47 times. One such procedure takes about 14.5 seconds. Spending half the time on this process also helps AI. The company taught the neural network to determine the types of fruits and vegetables with an accuracy of more than 98%. Cashiers no longer need to look for the name of the product in order to break through its value - for them, “smart” scales will do it. Thus, you can save 1300 hours a year on customer service at the checkout.

The problem of the lack of necessary goods on the shelves is solved with the help of video analytics. If at the location of a group of goods is empty, then the cashiers receive a message about this.

ITKarma picture

Predictive analytics

In the same retail, this solution allows you to forecast demand, revenue and consumer behavior, as well as personalize promos. With it, you can decide to open a new store.

Industrial companies today process data no less than a bank or a popular online store. They are increasingly starting to use the data-driven approach to make certain decisions.

For example, at Gazpromneft, predictive analytics is used to predict rock and drill behavior. Geologists and engineers conduct wells in real time at a depth of 4.5 km. They decide to drill a well or stop only on the basis of data.

At Sibur, predictive analytics provide recommendations on the use of facilities. This allows you to withstand the technological regime so as to avoid repair work, but at the same time use the equipment to the maximum.

Internet of things

In factories, in winter, pipes must be checked so that they do not freeze. Previously, employees used to spend time checking around constant checks. Today this problem can be solved with the help of IoT. Sibur has developed temperature sensors that automatically collect all the necessary information in a data lake. This in turn reduces the risk of unscheduled shutdowns due to frostbite on pipes, and also frees up time for other tasks for employees.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

ITKarma picture

It seems that today VR is the main technology for staff training. Virtual training is used in all sectors, but I would like to dwell on the industrial application of technology. After all, its implementation in the process of training employees helps to avoid accidents, equipment breakdowns and injuries. Most often, industrial accidents happen due to the human factor. And VR allows you to effectively work out equipment skills or emergency situations in a safe environment. Accordingly, thanks to such training, the employee enters the real object already prepared.

For these purposes, the technology is already used by both Sibur and Gazpromneft. Plans to develop a virtual simulator and Rosenergoatom. Today, the electrical personnel of the company's stations are practiced on real equipment as part of the production process. The labor protection requirements at nuclear power plants are very strict, therefore employees are trained for almost a year under the guidance of a workshop specialist and are not allowed to work independently during this time. The introduction of a virtual simulator will improve the quality of staff training, as well as reduce the time for equipment repair and staff training.
You can read more about why they use virtual reality in industry at article of my colleague, Director of CROC Immersive Technologies Ilya Simonov.

In addition, the creation of a full-fledged virtual simulator of electrical equipment is economically viable: for ten stations it will cost the concern five times cheaper than developing a physical analogue.

ITKarma picture

Sibur is actively using Augmented Reality to remotely consult professionals who work in factories. In conditions when equipment manufacturers cannot get to enterprises, plant employees will be able to receive their advice on working at facilities using augmented reality tools.

The solution is video conferencing with the ability to display information on a wearable device, for example, on augmented reality glasses. Thus, the user can be at the factory and receive advice from remote specialists from anywhere in the world. Tips can be in any format, for example, audio or in text format on the display of AR glasses.

There were many more cases and technologies at the meeting. It's hard to talk about everything in one article. It will be cool if you share in the comments your experience of using or implementing these technologies. We are looking for interesting stories and speakers for future events, no matter where. For details, you can write to me here org@digitalleader.org.

By the way, on July 3, live on the Digital Leader page in FB we will talk with representatives of generation Z about their IT vision and knowledge, consumption habits, a look at advanced companies, dreams and plans. Soon, developers and analysts who were born in the 2000s will become your colleagues, subordinates and even bosses. Generation Z got a smartphone before they learned to read. And many of them from school began to work in IT. For example, the tenth grader Petya Govorukhin has already mastered Front-end and back-end development, writes Python code, is actively learning and developing in the direction of Data Science and neural networks. Or Diana Kolpakova, who just graduated from high school, but is already involved in Android and Web-development. Subscribe to the page in order not to miss the mitaps and find out how they are changing the IT industry and our lives.