Figure 1 Industry 4.0 will change the manufacturing and production industries, making them smarter, faster and more powerful.
A hot topic of discussion in the manufacturing industry lately has been the introduction of Industry 4.0. What some are calling the fourth industrial revolution, others are calling an extension of the digitisation of manufacturing. Whatever you call it, it is changing the way the manufacturing industry operates, making managing everything from the supply chain, to the finished product easier and much more efficient.
Just what is Industry 4.0 and how will it affect your manufacturing company? Aside from the smart and autonomous systems fueled by data and machine learning we saw in the third industrial revolution, the new advancements will take those a step further, optimising these factors and many others.
The Optimisation Of The Computerisation Of The Industry
Industry 4.0 will take the computer advancements of Industry 3.0 and make them faster, more powerful and easier to use. By combining cyber-physical systems, cloud based ERP systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Systems, Industry 4.0 will make the smart factory a reality.
Let’s take a look at what Industry 4.0 has to offer and see how it will affect your manufacturing company:
Identify opportunities- connected machines are able to collect a large volume of data which can be used to detect maintenance, performance and other issues, while analysing that data to identify patterns and insights that humans can’t possibly do, manufacturing operations will be much quicker and more efficient.
Optimise Logistics And Supply Chains
One of the most problematic aspects of any manufacturing operation is the logistics and supply chains. A connected system, along with a cloud based ERP system, can eliminate any issues within these areas and modify them to focus on manufacturing priorities first.
Robots, Autonomous Equipment And Vehicles
This is what many industry experts are calling a game changer. Utilising robots, autonomous equipment and autonomous vehicles can help streamline operations at much larger manufacturing companies. This can save both time and money, while reducing human error.
Additive manufacturing has moved from prototyping to actual production, with many 3D Printing systems now printing with metals, instead of ABS plastics.