The future of manufacturing revolves around automation, real-time data, artificial intelligence, IoT, etc. Manufacturers are leveraging these advanced technologies to build an ecosystem that accommodates customer needs holistically and seamlessly.
Connecting processes, products, and people in real-time will drive the next stage in the Industrial Revolution - Industry 4.0!
Manufacturing facilities are changing the way they operate, and we are on our way to an age where Smart Factories will be commonplace.
Digitalize the factories today to foster the connected future work industry, which contributes to industrial performance on many levels.
Journey of Industrial Revolution
Manufacturing plant culture arose in this age worldwide, as mechanized factories began to spring up all over. Between the late 1700s and the early 1800s, manufacturing chores were performed manually or by using animals. Motors fueled by water or steam were more complicated to use for the same tasks. When water and steam became the main power source, mass commodity manufacturing became a reality.
The introduction of steel and electricity brought about a second industrial revolution in the early 20th century. Increased production and efficiency were the results of the revolution caused by electricity-powered equipment. A growing number of factory machines have become mobile. In addition, the items were mass manufactured more efficiently. With the advent of powered engines, a turning point was reached in the manufacturing industry.
Electricity spawned advances in the electronics industry, which led to the electronics industry revolution. With the introduction of programmable logic controllers, transistors, and integrated circuits, electronic machinery could be automated, and goods produced were improved in accuracy and speed. It became increasingly necessary to control manufacturing devices with software as hardware increased in manufacturing plants, which created the IT boom. As a result of the revolution created by electronics and IT, the way goods are manufactured has once again changed.
By transforming the way goods are produced and redefining the customer experience, the fourth industrial revolution was triggered. Introducing the internet and telecommunications changed the way information was exchanged.
By combining the physical and virtual worlds, factories were able to put into place cyber-physical systems connecting the physical and virtual sides of their operations. Systems combining computing, networking, and physical components constitute Cyber-Physical Systems.
The boundaries between the virtual and physical worlds began to blur further with the growing discussion of seamless connectivity. The number of devices connected to the Internet is no longer one or two, but potentially dozens. IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) was born when machines connected to the internet started generating data.
The insights gained from applying artificial intelligence and deep neural networks to these data sets are used to guide businesses to make better decisions. To meet the ever-increasing needs of customers, manufacturers must connect systems and make information available in real-time. This is leading to a new age of smart manufacturing.
Technologies that are part of Industry 4.0
A digital transformation driven by Industry 4.0 will be powered by connectivity, automation, and optimization. Utilizing several technologies simultaneously allows Industry 4.0 to realize its full impact.
Technology highlights -
Industrial Internet of things
Using the Industrial IoT concept, manufacturing devices are connected to the internet to generate real-time factory data when they are, in effect, connected to the internet. Insights collected through a data-driven business approach can be used by the relevant parties.
AI plays a vital role in achieving the goal of eliminating repetitive manual labor, which is the key to the new industrial revolution. Businesses can make accurate decisions when deep neural networks are used to analyze real-time factory data. Conversely, a predictive or conditional insight allows managers to be proactive in obtaining data in the face of major interruptions.
For factories to be more connected so they can achieve maximum profits, industrial automation must use enhanced customer experiences. Artificial intelligence or robotics can be used to accomplish this. Automating repetitive tasks traditionally done by hand has become common in many industries leading to the adoption of RPA.
Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality
It combines information, like text, images, and sound, onto the real world by superimposing them into the world as we see it. These technologies are also called augmented reality or virtual reality. This method makes it possible to enhance the existing real-world environment with computer-generated images while enhancing the quality of the experience.
VR and AR solutions are beneficial across manufacturing, repair, and operations. A digital manufacturing strategy cannot be complete without AR solutions. Maintaining, servicing, and ensuring quality is made easier with AR and VR solutions. They also increase self-learning opportunities and training.
A series of technologies called machine vision allows machines to gain a better understanding of their surrounding, allowing them to recognize and react to that information, which is provided by the image they see.
In an industrial setting, devices use high-fidelity cameras to take digital images of workpieces or the environment. This is done using automated guided vehicles (AGV) or robotic inspection stations.
Quality assurance (QA) is a critical step at each stage of manufacturing, from material preparation to assembly, and can lead to higher and more consistent quality levels.
The autonomous robot is designed to be self-reliant and to perform tasks without requiring human involvement or input. A wide wide range of technology exists, from robot process automation to flying vehicles with artificial intelligence, all of which have very different sizes, functionality, mobility, dexterity, and cost characteristics.
Robots that are autonomous are able to comprehend their environment and make independent decisions based on that knowledge. Their uses can be found in warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and even in hazardous environments where they can increase worker safety and efficiency.
They can also be used side-by-side with humans for more efficiency and to prevent injury in hazardous conditions. As well as speeding up picking, sorting, and storing, these devices can minimize labor and utilization instability.
Cloud Storage and Computing
We have all used cloud computing in some way, even if the term seems strange. One of the most common cloud computing services we all use is email or cloud storage. All you need is an internet connection to get started - no software or hardware required.
The manufacturing sector could benefit immensely if managers were allowed to purchase services on the internet instead of hardware and software, as they would cut capital expenditures and improve manufacturing efficiency.
Adapting the Industry 4.0 model to your organization
As a result of Industry 4.0, organizations will have more control over product life cycles, will improve customer service, and will improve quality control. A 4.0 model can improve engineering, design, sales, stock, and company operations, for example.
We have compiled a few quick, non-exhaustive reasons for why your business should embrace an Industry 4.0 approach to improve its performance.
To maintain your competitive edge, you need to invest in systems and processes that help you operate more efficiently. Your organization needs to follow all relevant standards and regulations in order to optimize logistics and supply chain management.
The latest, most innovative Industry 4.0 technologies enhance the attractiveness of your company to the younger generation. By investing in such technologies, employers have a better chance of retaining and attracting new talent.
Your team's collaboration is enhanced and improved. With Industry 4.0 technology, labor efficiency can be increased, workplace collaboration can improve, analytics can be predictive and prescriptive, and managers and executives can leverage real-time information to make better decisions. Using intelligence data, make better decisions while handling day-to-day responsibilities.
If you use predictive analytics, real-time information, connected equipment, and automation, you can reduce the risk of supply chain management and maintenance issues becoming major ones.
This will enable you to cut costs, increase profit, and stimulate expansion. Your manufacturing processes and supply chain can be optimized through Industry 4.0 technology. Your business is then able to make faster, more informed decisions, which improves the efficiency of your entire operation.
An industry 4.0 survey by McKinsey suggests three outcomes: a win for companies already scaling digital technologies, a reality check for companies still scaling, and a wake-up call for companies that have not yet embarked on Industry 4.0 journeys.
Manufacturing companies that did not implement Industry 4.0 before COVID-19 have been woken up by it. In COVID-19, these manufacturers have been hampered by a lack of prior experience, problems with IT/OT stacks, and financial pressure.
In summary, Industry 4.0 shall bring the following advantages
Costs associated with inspections and maintenance can be reduced
Reduce the costs of repairs or replacements due to failure
Profit decreases due to reduced plant production losses
Condition-based monitoring is enabled
The reduction in capital expense due to a growth in load or aging or damaged piece of equipment
Dynamic overloading provides a more confident and secured performance
It can detect incipient faults to prevent unplanned outages and failures
This integration keeps an eye on and diagnoses every vital component.
Collaborative working and knowledge sharing.
Productivity increased. Improved Efficiency Flexibility and Agility.
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