By Gregory Hale
There was a time not too long ago a grizzled veteran operator could walk into a plant and just by listening to the buzz of the process, he or she would know the process safety management system was running properly. A true human-centric observation.

Then a few things started to happen: Those veteran operators started to retire and technology, under the name of digitalization, started to take over. The benefits were incredible. Enriched data helped make quicker and better decisions, smart technology provided answers to issues occurring on a daily basis, which allows for greater productivity which can increase profitability. Technology was king and it created tremendous shareholder value for the organization.

With more workers retiring or getting ready to retire, digitalization augmented humans with machines because there aren’t enough people for all the work that needed to be done. That augmentation is bringing together technology and humans. Welcome to Industry 5.0.

Industry 5.0 is the human and the machine; humanizing digitalization, moving the focus from creating shareholder value to creating stakeholder value. It brings the human right back into the center of the equation, which makes it human centric and more personal. The technology is there to better serve the human and make them more effective, not just more efficient.

“Industry 4.0 was very technology driven and industry 5.0 has to be human driven because you’re never going to get the digital transformation unless you have the human transformation that comes along with it,” said Chris Stogner, Triconex Safety & Critical Control Leader at Schneider Electric. “I always go back to the safety decision makers, by and large they are going to start retiring and the people that are taking their place grew up working with a better understanding and acceptance of technology. So, it’s going to go from ‘hell no you’re not going to do this on my process safety management system’ to ‘we demand you do this on our process safety management system’ – and it’s going to happen just like that. Now is the time to start thinking about that. We need to start to plant those seeds now and get people thinking that there is no reason that innovations can’t also be applied to safety. Safety should be in scope.”

Process Safety Management Conundrum
Therein lies the conundrum. The technology is there and for the taking, and if safety being conservative by nature is looking at digitally transforming its neck of the woods, then why wouldn’t everyone else do it. But on the other hand, you can’t take too many unproven chances.

“Industry 4.0 was all about technology,” said Steve Elliott, Senior Offer Director – Safety and Critical Control at Schneider Electric. “It was about organizational, operational, and competency skills. Industry 5.0 changes the bias and says how does this technology help to serve the person, how does it help the person make smarter decisions, certainly around what they should do when they should do it, and what they don’t do. Industry 5.0 is about technology and humans and how the two complement each other not compete with each other. We’re now going to put the human back at the center of the equation. How do they do their job, their day-to-day tasks and activities differently? How does this help them?

Schneider Bold

Elliott gave an example of the difference between Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0 through using smart wearables like location tracking and man down. Those devices gained certification to go out in the plant in the hazardous areas and locations, but the device makers didn’t understand the practicalities of how operators would use them.

“One customer told me where do I put a handheld device when I have to climb the ladder to go up the furnace,” Elliott said. “Because I can’t fold it and put it in my pocket. And I can’t put it on a lanyard around my neck because it’s a choking hazard. The technology said you can do it. The practicalities and realities change that. Industry 5.0 is waking up to some of those practicalities of how and where the technology can be used. We made the data available in Industry 4.0. Now we’re making the data usable and consumable at a personalized level.”

Industry 5.0 is about giving access to global visibility for a single view so workers can collaborate and make decisions. Instead of looking at things like KPIs and the dashboards that everyone typically works with, you can instead view operational risk, understand what the level of risk is, where you’re carrying it while you’re carrying it.

Natural Evolution
What is interesting, though, without playing with labels and understanding a shift is occurring, the move from 4.0 to 5.0 is happening naturally.

“I think Industry 5.0 is a consequence of Industry 4.0,” Elliott said. “Industry 4.0 was this big step. I think Industry 5.0 is really just a further development and refinement of that because of all the lessons that were learned from Industry 4.0. You solved all these technology problems. Now, changes are occurring in their daily activities, the processes, procedures, all these variables and the practicalities of it are coming to bear, which is why I think this evolution has happened.”

After a massive infusion of digital technology, the industry is still trying to digest the digital environment and the next move is to try it on and see how it fits.

“It is kind of like Industry 4.0 introduced autonomous vehicles and now Industry 5.0 is trying to get people to take their hands off the steering wheel,” Stogner said. “Proven in use as a common safety term. We’re not going to deploy something unless it’s proven in use, but then sometimes proven and use stands in the way of continuous improvement and improvement use makes you less safe. So, I use that autonomous vehicle analogy where if everyone had an autonomous vehicle and they worked, then no one would ever die in car wreck again. But people don’t trust it because it’s not proven in use. Therefore, proven in use is actually making us less safe.

The move from Industry 4.0 to 5.0 harkens back to when automation took hold across the industry. It took some time for workers to trust it and embrace it.

“The information’s there, the technology’s there, the applications are there, it’s just the ability to convince everyone to use it,” said Neil Crowe, Commercial Offer Manager for Process Safety at Schneider Electric. “It’s not the safety people or any sort of industrial person, they can use it; in fact, they need to use it. At the moment, it’s ‘we don’t want to, it’s too difficult’ or it’s ‘we are so scared of cybersecurity issues.’ ‘We don’t want to take that risk’ or ‘we don’t know how to,’ and ‘we haven’t got time to figure it out.’ It’s time to figure out how to do it safely and I think that’s the problem what we’re facing at the moment.”

Cybersecurity Pushback
Digital transformation can really give a boost to process safety management, but that requires using big data, Stogner said. Big data is the future of the world, but to get access to that data, to use machine learning in the first place, you have to get that data out, which means you have to add connectivity to the process safety management system. The number one pushback is all about cybersecurity.

They still want to get their safety system air gapped, which in the digital world, just is not going to happen. “They always fall back on the ‘yeah, but somebody could eventually hack it,’” Stogner said

“I always try to relate that to back to what process safety is in the first place,” Stogner said. “A chemical plant as a dangerous by nature. When you have ethylene oxide, propylene oxide and all these types of things and they have the potential to have these massive explosions and killing multiple people but those chemicals that are produced are basically they go into products that make the world a better place. So, it’s a risk that we were willing to accept. And then we manage that risk. We actually think that getting all this data out there and these connections and what’s in some ways it may create a little bit of a cyber risk, but actually getting access to this data and the things we can do with it actually makes it safer. We say this is an acceptable level of risk and we have ways of managing that risk. It’s basically applying the same process.”

Industry 5.0 is not about introducing new technology and disrupting the safety apple cart. Rather, it is saying let’s take a deep breath and reset skills so the workforce to take advantage of the technological achievements of Industry 4.0.

“Industry 5.0 is about people and technology how does this technology help a person make better, more timely decisions with a better outcome or a different result,” Elliott said. “And I think that’s the shift we are seeing happen.”


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This