Industry 4.0 and GNSS Technology
Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry and also contributing to developing GNSS technology. There are various industries connected to the GNSS technology development including but not limited to satellite manufacturing facilities, antenna manufacturing facilities, electronic equipment development facilities, testing and measurement facilities.
However, these are primarily at the development stage of the technology where specific automation servers continuously analyze the manufacturing process and data analytics provides an insight to find the gap where productivity and efficiency can be improved while taking the leverage of modern communication and its interface with the physical world. Yet it would be interesting to see if GNSS is serving as a sensor providing big data and incorporating cyber-physical systems to do the same job.
According to the European Space Agency (ESA) GNSS Market Report 2019, GNSS is contributing to Big Data by providing Position, Navigation and Timing Information in combination with other technologies. GNSS is also providing remote sensing data to analyze the atmosphere and environment at a deeper level. The biggest contributing sector of GNSS is Consumer Solutions and Road, comprising of 93.3% of total 2,784 Bln USD market.
This position data is being used by logistics services, ride-hailing services, Google live traffic services, ubiquitous positioning for autonomous cars, and personal navigation services. In these applications, GNSS technology is serving as a sensor and might have not been appreciated for Industry 4.0.
For example, localization data being used by driverless cars relies on GNSS technology providing instantaneous position information to guide and navigate these automobiles autonomously similar to robots that depend upon manufacturing process data to optimize their working through various communication means. This example clearly depicts how GNSS is connecting the cyber realm to the physical division and improving the current technological advancements.
However, such improvement in processes does not count for Industry 4.0, typically. But the essence of improving the development process to increase the efficiency and productivity based on data-driven facts and providing interconnectivity between the physical and cyber realms is Industry 4.0 and that is what GNSS is offering too to its consumers and thus can be considered as a fundamental element of Industry 4.0.