Are you ready for manufacturing industries next act-Industry 4.0
Industry 1.0 gave us steam and the first machines that mechanized some of the work. 2.0 brought us electricity, the assembly line and the birth of mass production. Industry 3.0 came in with the advent of computers and the beginnings of automation, when robots and machines began to replace human workers on those assembly lines.
We are entering Industry 4.0, in which computers and automation will come together in an entirely new way, with robotics connected remotely to computer systems equipped with machine learning algorithms that can learn and control the robotics with very little input from human operators.
Mention “Industry 4.0” to most manufacturing executives and you will raise eyebrows. If they’ve heard of it, they are likely confused about what it is. If they haven’t heard of it, they’re likely to be skeptical of what they see as yet another piece of marketing hype, an empty catchphrase. And yet a closer look at what’s behind Industry 4.0 reveals some powerful emerging currents with strong potential to change the way factories work. It may be too much to say that it is another industrial revolution. But call it whatever you like; the fact is, Industry 4.0 is gathering force, and executives should carefully monitor the coming changes and develop strategies to take advantage of the new opportunities.
Industry 4.0 is more than just a flashy catchphrase. A confluence of trends and technologies promises to reshape the way things are made.
Industry 4.0 Definition
The term industry 4.0 refers to a further developmental stage in the organization and management of the entire value chain process involved in the manufacturing industry. It is also referred to as “fourth industrial revolution”.
Comprehensive, integrated communications technology are increasingly blurring the boundaries between the real and virtual world in what are known as “Cyber-physical production systems” (CPPSs).
CPPSs not only network machines with each other, they also create a mart network of machines, properties, information & communication technology systems, smart products, and individuals across the entire value chain and full product life cycle.
Industry 4.0 Overview
Smart networks are the foundation for smart factories.
The new networks and interfaces offered by Industry 4.0 within an “internet of things, services, data and people” mean that manufacturing industry is set to undergo enormous changes in the future.
This trend is still in its infancy when compared to the entire manufacturing industry foot print however is already well underway for early adopters.
1 Vertical networking on production systems
Vertical networking uses CPPSs to enable manufacturing facilities to react rapidly to changes in demand or stock levels and to issues. Smart factories allow plants to achieve production that is customer-specific and individualized.
CPPSs enables autonomous production and maintenance management. Since all processing stages and processes are monitored, waste is reduced and efficiency is improved as a result.
2 Horizontal integration via a new generation of global value chain network
Value creation networks are optimized in real time and enables improved transparency, flexibility and optimization of the entire value chain.
These networks also offer a unique opportunity to improved customization that is not only limited to the production but also in the development, ordering, planning, distribution, enabling dynamic handling of factors such as quality, lead time, risks, price, etc..
3 Through engineering across the value chain
Thorough engineering by utilizing integrated smart networks allows for leveraging synergies during the design, development and manufacturing of a new product with key focus on delivering the highest value to the customer.
4 Technology expansion
Industry 4.0 already requires automation solutions to be highly cognitive and that are intelligent, advanced robotics and sensors have the potential to speed up individualization and flexibility.
Additive manufacturing (3D printing) is sited by all industry experts as a prime example of technology expansion that has delivered in the essence of industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 Levers to drive value
Industry 4.0 is rapidly changing the traditional manufacturing business model, and new models are emerging; incumbents must be quick to recognize and react to these new competitive challenges. More specifically, executives must consider the following options—and watch for others that may be deploying them.
To get the most out of Industry 4.0 technologies, companies will have to prepare for a digital transformation. Manufacturers should begin today to join the hunt for the best digital talent, and think about how to structure their digital organization. Data management and cybersecurity will be critical problems to solve. Many companies will find that a “two speed” data architecture can help them deploy new technologies at the speed required, while also preserving mission-critical applications
The author, KetanDeshpande, lives in Minnesota and writes about a variety of topics in his blog such as global economy, market and industry trends, successful strategies for businesses, and others. Leveraging his global strategic leadership experience from the manufacturing industry to offer insights in to how businesses can meet the sustainable growth and profitability goals.
Ketan Deshpande is also passionate about sustainability and renewable energy; he curates and shares latest updates in his blog posts. Recently the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency(SMMPA) of Litchfield, Minnesota, endorsed Ketan Deshpande for an energy conservation project.
This blog also features memorable events, travel experiences and his favorite places to visit in the great state of Minnesota.