Manufacturers are undergoing an evolution. To survive and thrive today, you need to be willing to invest in Industry 4.0. This new phase in the Industrial Revolution is all about interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. IIoT, which includes smart manufacturing, enables manufacturing and supply chain management enterprises to manage their production and operations more holistically and more efficiently by blending smart digital technologies, machine learning, and big data.
In spite of the fact that every company and organization is different, they all face the same challenge: the need to source and share real-time information across processes, partners, products, and people.
Industry 4.0 builds on nine technological breakthroughs. As a result of these breakthroughs, intelligent and self-contained systems can be created which combine the physical and digital worlds.
The application of digital technologies in previously manual operations has led to the realization of the smart factory through Industry 4.0.
Through connectivity, automation, and optimization, Industry 4.0 is transforming into a digital world.
#Manufacturing 4.0 is a movement of numerous technologies collaborating to reach its fullest potential.
The 9 technologies of Industry 4,0?
Industrial Internet of Things (#IIoT)
The Industrial Internet of Things is the focus of Industry 4.0. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) refers to the interconnection and collaboration of data, machines, and people in the manufacturing industry.
The most physical things - devices, robots, machinery, equipment, and products - will use IoT sensors and RFID tags to gain real-time information about their health, productivity, or location in Industry 4.0.
IIoT allows all aspects of an industrial operation to be connected, and the data generated allows for improved efficiencies across the operation.
These technologies can help companies run more efficient supply chains, design and adapt products more rapidly, minimize equipment downtime, stay on top of consumer trends, manage products and inventory, and many other things.
The manufacturing sector can take advantage of AI and machine learning to fully utilize not only the data created on the factory floor, but from throughout the business unit, and from suppliers and partners.
This is a requirement of Industry 4.0-enabled smart factories. The entire idea of this new industrial revolution is to eliminate manual processing, with AI serving as the key tool to do it.
Data from a connected factory may be used by AI to optimize machines, re-program operations, and identify general improvements to raise efficiency and profit. By using AI and machine learning, businesses can gain visibility, predictability, and automation into their operations and processes.
Manufacturing processes, for example, regularly lead to industrial machines breakdown. Using machine learning algorithms, businesses can utilize data generated from these assets to carry out predictive maintenance, resulting in improved uptime and efficiency.
The "great enabler" of Industry 4.0 and digital transformation is cloud computing. Smart manufacturing requires the integration and connectivity of engineering, supply chain, production, sales and distribution, and service.
The cloud makes this possible. Speed, scalability, storage, and cost savings are just some of the advantages of cloud computing.
From artificial intelligence and machine learning to the Internet of Things, it lays the foundation for innovation and provides enterprises with tools to take advantage of the latest technologies.
Industry 4.0 technologies communicate and coordinate via the cloud, and the cloud hosts the data that fuels Industry 4.0 technologies.
The cloud also allows for greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the processing of the generally vast amounts of data that must be stored and evaluated.
Using cloud computing also allows small and medium-sized manufacturers to right-size their demands and scale as their business grows, saving them money.
Augmented reality (#AR)
As part of Industry 4.0, digital content is overlayed on a real-world environment using augmented reality. The use of augmented reality (AR) brings digital aspects to life.
Utilizing AR technology, employees can perceive real-time IoT data, digitised parts, maintenance or assembly instructions, training materials, and more when facing a physical object.
Manufacturing operators get real-time information from AR wearables and other devices, which improves their work process by allowing them to make better decisions. Both worker training and maintenance can be done with augmented reality in manufacturing.
The virtualized environment allows new employees to practice using potentially risky machinery before they step foot on the factory floor.
Augmented reality can also be used by technicians to see inside dangerous and complex machinery before they open it up, so they know for sure what they're looking for and how to proceed.
Big Data and AI analytics (#Data)
Big Data is just what it sounds like: a large amount of data. In Industry 4.0, big data is collected from a variety of sources, including factory equipment and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, as well as ERP and CRM systems.
There are machines in the driver's seat. Machine learning analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are applied to the data in real time. The story is entirely different.
Using today's powerful computer capabilities, factory leaders can turn these massive amounts of pure, unadulterated data into accurate, actionable data that can be used for decision-making.
Supply chain planning, logistics management, manufacturing, R&D and engineering, enterprise asset management (EAM), and procurement all benefit from these insights, which help with decision-making and automation.
The other technologies of Industry 4.0 are heavily dependent upon big data. In general, the more effective something is, the more data it uses.
Additive manufacturing/#3D printing
The 3D printing technology, also known as additive manufacturing, plays a crucial role in Industry 4.0. While it was initially used for prototyping, 3D printing is now used for a wide range of purposes, including mass customization and distributed manufacturing.
Its revolutionary nature allows it to create lighter, stronger parts and systems.
A difference between subtractive and additive manufacturing is that the former works by cutting large chunks of material to create parts and components, while the latter builds items from 3D models by combining materials.
Using these technologies, small quantities of customised products can be produced quickly. The advantages of additive manufacturing/3D printing include reducing materials waste, reducing production stages, and creating distinct parts that are required for final assembly.
Autonomous Robots (#Robots)
Industry 4.0 has led to the development of a new generation of autonomous robots. Robotic technology has taken over a lot of jobs that humans find hazardous. The autonomous robot is a self-contained robot capable of performing intelligent tasks without the help of a human. With little to no downtime, even if the tasks are complex, they perform repeated tasks quickly and accurately.
Robots that are programmed to carry out activities with little or no human assistance, for example inventory scanning drones or pick and place robots that work autonomously, range in size and function.
With cutting-edge software, artificial intelligence, sensors, and machine vision, these robots are capable of completing tough and sensitive jobs and can interpret and act on information they receive from their environment.
Simulation/Digital Twins (#DigitalTwins)
Although it might sound like something from a science fiction film, digital twins are a very real technology for simulating a real-world object, concept, or physical location within a digital environment.
A digital twin is a virtual replica of a real-world machine, product, process, factory, and supply chain or system based on sensor data collected from IoT devices. This key component of Industry 4.0 can help companies better understand, analyze, and improve the performance and maintenance of industrial systems and products. Manufacturing processes and product development benefit from 3D simulations.
The 3D model can include a detailed representation of a facility's physical assets, operational systems, and structures. A wide range of applications can be achieved with digital twin systems.
This digital twin and machine learning can be used by manufacturing management to estimate maintenance activities and determine optimal periods to reduce bottlenecks. Before workers are exposed to non-simulated machines on the floor, they can teach them at a safe distance and test changes to operational processes before investing money, time, and energy into implementing them.
Cybersecurity is critical to Industry 4.0 with its increasing connectivity and use of Big Data. Unless you have some way to prevent hackers and other criminals from entering your network, you can't use a lot of technology for every aspect of your business.
Using cybersecurity technology to protect your digital systems from external and internal threats is considered cyber security. The use of sophisticated techniques is required to make communication reliable.
The implementation of a Zero Trust architecture and technologies such as machine learning and blockchain can help companies automate threat detection, prevention, and response, as well as address the risks associated with insider threats and private-public partnerships across their networks.
By digitising and bringing smart systems online, manufacturers risk losing intellectual property, having production equipment hijacked to produce faulty products, and being vulnerable to ransomware, identity theft, and other threats.
Having all nine components of Industry 4.0 integrated will be crucial to its modernization.
Integrating horizontally and vertically has been described as "the backbone of Industry 4.0.". Integrating horizontal and vertical systems depends on connectivity and visibility.
On the production floor, across multiple plants, and throughout the supply chain, processes are strongly tied together with horizontal integration. The concept of vertical integration connects all levels of a company, allowing data to flow seamlessly from the shop floor to the top floor and back again.
It is only through seamless interconnections between all supply chain partners (suppliers, manufacturers, customers, aggregators, and others) that the problem of systems operating in silos can be resolved.
In the era of constant communication and data sharing, businesses and machines can analyse data in greater detail, provide greater transparency, and increase agility, resulting in increased efficiency.
Advantages in Industry 4.0
Develop smart, connected objects that can communicate information about their health and location, as well as the conditions of their storage. From product quality and customer service to logistics and research and development, the information these devices exchange can help you improve many aspects of your business. In addition, service needs can be anticipated, upgrades can be implemented remotely, and new business models can be created.
Operate smart factories, which are highly digital, generally self-contained facilities that employ new technologies such as Big Data, artificial intelligence, robotics, analytics, and the Internet of Things. Smart manufacturing 4.0 techniques can be used to produce customised items at a low cost and on a large scale.
Today, almost every physical asset comes equipped with sensors that, in combination with IoT and analytics, can transform enterprise asset management. Through intelligent assets, technicians can track asset performance in real time, predict and avoid downtime, perform dynamic and predictive maintenance, utilize digital twins, and connect assets tightly with business processes.
Despite how autonomous your systems become; you will always need humans. By providing them with AI and real-time sensor data, they can stay on top of what is happening on the shop floor and will be able to make quick decisions and respond to issues as they occur. Apps that integrate wearables and augmented reality can also be used to effectively solve problems, monitor health, and stay safe for individuals.
Lets Wrap up
DXSolution is speeding digital factory conversions by providing a user-friendly and adaptable industrial IoT platform that allows users to effortlessly collect and translate data from any piece of manufacturing equipment into powerful, actionable applications.
Multiple manufacturers have connected machines to DXSolution to reduce machine downtime, maximise capacity, and boost manufacturing output and profitability.