Data in the Blink of an Eye

Data in the Blink of an Eye

Amazon Alexa is all about quick access to information. By simply asking it a question, you can receive weather, news, and sports scores within seconds. In an age where we crave information as rapidly as possible, gadgets like these really improve our lives. 

Rapid access to information is not exclusive to our gadgets at home. It can be achieved on the manufacturing floor as well. Cyber physical systems are what enable this. 

Like Amazon Alexa, cyber physical systems are simply physical objects that connect to the internet and can run computations. In a manufacturing setting, these are devices like your IoT sensors, RFID systems, or augmented reality devices. They all work to quickly get you data, often in real-time, so you can make better decisions about your production process. 

Cyber physical systems are benefitting manufacturers of all kinds. Rolls-Royce, Airbus, and Cat all have excellent systems in place to collect real-time data and make decisions. 


Rolls-Royce installs thousands of IoT sensors into each of its jet engines. Everything from fuel flow to the aircraft’s altitude is tracked and instantly sent back to a Rolls-Royce operation center. The company’s main aircraft center constantly monitors the real-time data of thousands of aircraft engines. Initially, trillions of data points were generated to give Rolls-Royce an accurate assessment of each engine’s health. As things have progressed, the company has now expanded its data usage to rapidly schedule repairs for engines. Not only can they monitor for health issues while a plane is in flight, but now they can notify ground teams when a repair will be needed. 


Airbus uses RFID technology to visualize its production process in real-time. RFID tags are attached to aircraft components and tools. RFID readers are installed around the entire facility and can detect a tag from up to 100 metres away. All of the data is tracked into a software which gives a real-time look into the production process. The data is then used by Airbus workers to make better, quicker decisions into improving the efficiency of the production process. 


Cat uses augmented reality to aid technicians as they service equipment. When an on-site technician is unsure how to service something, they can pull up their phone and livestream a video showcasing the equipment to an off-site expert. The expert on the other end can then see the equipment, draw like a whiteboard over the equipment, and provide 3D animations, all visible on the technician’s phone. By doing this in real-time, Cat technicians receive quicker feedback and can make better informed decisions on how to repair the equipment. 


A4 Systems has a team of world class cyber physical systems developers. Each cyber physical system we develop aims to get manufacturers data when they need it and provide insights for quick decision making.