Retrofitting older machinery with the latest technology is an effective way to stay competitive in today's market. Retrofits can result in substantial cost savings and enable an incremental approach to Industry 4.0 initiatives. Retrofitting has become increasingly common in recent years, and there are a few reasons why. The first is that Industry 4 .0 investments often aren't made due to their high upfront costs involved - especially when they're replacements for entire pieces of equipment rather than just upgrading certain aspects like software functionality.
The process of retrofitting may lead to a more significant transformation.
All of this said, many factors determine when appropriate and what type should be pursued.
In addition, you can conduct a cost-benefit analysis and decide if retrofitting is the best way forward.
One example of a situation where retrofitting might not be the best idea.
Imagine a glass manufacturer looking to measure the number of materials they're processing to improve their bottom line.
Investing the time and money to retrofit equipment with sensors to track this metric might seem like the right thing to do.
However, if it is simpler and more economical to improve performance by monitoring environmental conditions, such a retrofit is not the most appropriate.
A retrofit is often unwieldy and challenging when technological barriers are overcome.
If you have an older machine running on proprietary software and want to pull data from it, building a custom connector may be more complex than it's worth. You can change this by eliminating the old displays that are only accessible through onboard HMI screens, allowing for more effortless connectivity in Chinook's case since they use cloud-based storage instead!
It's essential to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before taking any action or making big decisions.