#Tech4.0: Photonics and SMAC as key enablers for Digital Transformation

As an advanced engineering company that is developing high tech photonics and SMAC-based solutions for advanced monitoring and control in industry, for us it was important to have a prominent presence as the Digital Enterprise Show (#DES2017) in Madrid last 23-25 May.

There is a huge amount of talk around paradigms such as Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation, and  data is being touted as the new petroleum. For many companies, it can be overwhelming to keep up and to really position themselves to stay relevant and competitive in this rapidly changing landscape. As engineers and scientists, while we are of a pioneering mind, we are nothing if we are not pragmatists. For us it is vital for there to be high tangibility that anchors down these ‘high-level’ movements and keeps them close to the real world so that they can be translated into business impact.

We are driving Industry 4.0 or Digital Transformation right down at the process level; we are helping process industries to understand in real-time what is happening on the production line with the goal of keeping the process operating within the optimal thresholds in order to obtain standardised product quality at the greatest process efficiency. To do this, we apply our expertise in a number of highly specialised fields of expertise:

  1. Photonics: predominantly we integrate spectroscopy-based analysers that can instantly measure product parameters that are critical in food, pharma, chemical and other process industries under the paradigm that of PAT (process analytical technologies): we ‘see’ what is happening in the process instead of merely monitoring process conditions as is the case with traditional automation.
  2. Chemometrics: basically mathematics-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools for treating the data coming from the analysers in order to be able to extract the most valuable information or manufacturing intelligence
  3. SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud): the exciting new inter-related technology stack for essentially bundling the connectivity, the data analytics capability, cloud computing and UX to enable our clients to obtain the greatest possible value from their process data in order to improve their production processes, and ultimately their competitiveness. Put it another way: analysers and sensors provide data; SMAC ensures that the data is accessible, usable and impactful for the business.   

So, when IRIS talks about Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation, we are essentially proposing to industry that we will unlock in real-time data about the critical parameters that govern the quality of their products during processing to ensure optimal quality is continuously maintained. Once this is guaranteed, there is then the opportunity to take advantage of the margins to optimise process efficiencies. In a nutshell: We are leveraging two Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), photonics and ICTs, to help industry to manufacture great products (Quality), at optimal levels of process efficiency (Productivity and Cost savings).

In a highly competitive global market, investments in new technology are a very valuable source of permanent increases in productivity. #StayCompetitive


IRIS is an advanced engineering company that specialised in the development of process monitoring and control solutions for industry. IRIS is an ´SME Champion´, having been awarded an SME Instrument Grant from the European Commission for the development of HYPERA (Horizon 2020 Grant Agreement 726572), a spectroscopy-based imager quality analysis system for the detection of foreign bodies and chemical composition analysis in food and pharmaceutical products.   

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