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November 2015 • SMT Magazine 29 enabling robotics is the sensors which commu- nicate with other sensors through wireless sen- sor networks. All this means that for Industry 4.0 to be viable, it has to yield significant cost savings that will justify the huge investments required. beyond the Factory Floor A major criterion for success of Industry 4.0 is the availability of labor to support techno- logically advanced initiatives. In the present scenario, most Asia Pacific economies, with the exception of Japan, are not in a position to em- brace Industry 4.0 due to infrastructural and economic demands. It is the progressive adop- tion of new technologies that will lead to the development of a fully connected plant floor. Given that the infrastructure for conventional industrialization is modest in most parts of Asia Pacific, the region can choose other paths be- sides the conventional infrastructure and in- dustry path to industrialization. In conclusion, it can be said that Asia Pa- cific holds promise for such advanced technol- ogy given that it offers greenfield opportunities and the potential to use radical yet innovative production techniques; but as a technology, Industry 4.0 is still in infancy and will require collaboration between various stakeholders with automation being one of the keys to suc- cess. For this to happen, automation and net- working vendors must adopt an integrated approach, taking into account technologies, the engineers and operators and education in equal measure. SmT INDUSTry 4.0: ImPLICATIoNS For THe ASIA PACIFIC mANUFACTUrING INDUSTry FeaTure Krishnan ramanathan is a senior research analyst for automation and electronics at Frost & Sullivan, Asia pacific. A team of researchers at the Friedrich Schiller university Jena (FSu Jena), in the center for en- ergy and environmental chemistry (ceec Jena) and the Jenabatteries gmbH (a spin-off of the university Jena), has developed a redox-flow battery system based on organic polymers and a harmless saline solution. "What's new and innovative about our bat- tery is that it can be produced at much less cost, while nearly reaching the capacity of traditional metal and acid containing systems," Dr. Martin Hager says. The scientists present their battery technology in the scientific journal nature. In contrast to conventional batteries, the electrodes of a redox-flow battery are not made of solid materials, and come in a dissolved form: The electrolyte solutions are stored in two tanks, which form the positive and negative terminal of the battery. With the help of pumps, the poly- mer solutions are transferred to an electrochemi- cal cell, in which the polymers are electrochemi- cally reduced or oxidized, thereby charging or discharging the battery. To prevent the electro- lytes from intermixing, the cell is divided into two compartments by a membrane. In first tests, the redox-flow battery could withstand up to 10,000 charging cycles without losing a crucial amount of capacity. The energy density of the system presented in the study is 10Wh/l. Yet, the scientists are already working on larger, more efficient systems. Synthetic Batteries for the Energy Revolution The research team and its new battery (from left to right): prof. Dr. ulrich S. Schubert, Tobias Janoschka und Dr. Martin Hager.

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