Throughout history, business and technology have seen numerous changes in operation. From the factory system to the assembly line and the computer revolution, disruptive technology has improved upon the work of previous advancements. They were called revolutions because they completely altered the course of manufacturing and production. Today, industries have found themselves in the midst of yet another revolution.
The fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, highlights the new trends in automation and data exchange that has lead to intelligent manufacturing technologies. This shift in practices uses new disruptive technologies such as cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing, and cognitive computing. As a result, this has given rise to smart factories, where machines are operating collaboratively with humans, navigating environments autonomously, and even make decisions in real-time. Let’s take a closer look at Industry 4.0 and why it matters.
Industry 4.0 Impacts
Industry 4.0 is spurred on by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cyber-physical systems. These are smart, autonomous systems that employ computer-based algorithms to observe and advise equipment such as machinery, robots, and vehicles. As a result of these incorporated technologies, the supply chain has received a “smart” makeover. Smart factories are the future of manufacturing and are impacting everything from production to warehousing and logistics. This is impacted how the entire production process functions. Changes to the supply chain are just the beginning, however. The impacts being felt by the Industry 4.0 movement goes much further. This technology revolution is also making connections with back-end systems, like enterprise resource planning. As a result, companies now have an unparalleled level of visibility and control. Ultimately, Industry 4.0 is facilitating a major digital transformation. If businesses are ready to embrace it, Industry 4.0 technologies can increase efficiencies, productivity, and ultimately profits.
Industry 4.0 Benefits
Industry 4.0 has become extremely relevant and increasingly important as it is reshaping product design, production, marketing, and selling. The benefits of Industry 4.0 are why this technology revolution matters so much. It aids manufacturers with current challenges by enabling them to become more flexible and reactive in real-time as changes occur in the market. As consumer-centered technology, it also increasing the speed of innovation and production and is leading to faster design processes. The benefits of incorporating Industry 4.0 technology is so great that it is shaping global production practices.
The products themselves are perhaps the biggest development to arise out of Industry 4.0. It is leading to the design and creation of logical products that are capable of intelligently communicating data. These smart products can provide information about their health, location, usage, storage, and more. The data received from these products allow companies to improve things from research and development to product quality and customer service. They can also aid with predicting and anticipating needed updates and services.
Almost every physical asset utilized today incorporates built-in sensors to allow them to be interconnected and easily monitored. Enterprise asset management is made easier because these assets use built-in sensors to connect to the Internet of Things and analytics. These intelligent assets can enable the monitoring of performance and production in real-time by technicians and IT professionals. Smart assets also permit technicians to do things like foresee and avert downtime and instigate preventative maintenance. These assets marry production and operation elements to inform better manufacturing processes.
Empowered staff is a major benefit of Industry 4.0. No matter how developed autonomous systems become, there will always be a need for people. These professionals who are running factories and monitoring production are enabled by Industry 4.0 technologies to do their jobs even bigger and better. All stakeholders are informed in real-time of what’s happening on the production floor and can be ready to handle any issue by making quick informed decisions.
Industry 4.0 is the newest revolution that is completely transforming the way businesses produce products and operate. Through intelligent manufacturing processes and smart-enabled equipment, this newest wave of disruptive technology is changing the production market today.