What is Industry 4.0 and why you need to know about it
What Industry 4.0 is and why you need to know about it
Industry 4.0 is one of the most talked-about topics in the industry today, but many people are still not clear on what it means. The term industry 4.0 encompasses several different technologies that can significantly impact manufacturing processes and how they are performed in an organization.
In this blog post, we will explore industry 4.0 in-depth to help you understand all the benefits it offers manufacturers. And why you should consider implementing these technologies into your company's operations today!
So, what is industry 4.0, and why is everyone talking about it?
Industry 4.0 is an umbrella term for several technological capabilities that enable manufacturers to operate more efficiently by automating processes and integrating different industry devices and systems.
The way it works is relatively straightforward - specific technologies are integrated into manufacturing processes to create a "smart factory" that is highly automated.
And when we say automated, we mean that industry devices are integrated into an organization's existing systems to perform processes automatically - without the need for human intervention.
If you think of it, the automation in factories started with simple assembly line machines programmed to perform the same task repeatedly.
Now factories are equipped with sensors, robotics, cloud-based systems for data sharing between devices in different locations, predictive analytics capabilities. All of which are designed to help manufacturers operate efficiently while staying competitive.
How is industry 4.0 defined? What technologies does it include?
We have defined industry 4.0 above, but let's dig deeper into what industry 4.0 technologies are.
Industry 4.0 is a branch of science concerned with improving manufacturing processes through machinery or other tools & methods. It includes many interdisciplinary fields such as engineering, physics, chemistry, etc.
Industry experts define industry 4.0 as integrating people, processes, and products (including services) connected in real-time by digital solutions.
It relies on several technological capabilities such as:
- Mass connectivity through enhanced internet connections between devices/machines
- cloud computing
- The Internet of Things (IoT) - share data with others using industry communication protocols to communicate securely over an industry network or internet connection.
- Cyber-physical systems that enable industrial devices to connect in a secure fashion & exchange data.
- Machine learning functionality, enabling industry machines to learn from their surroundings and make decisions based on this knowledge.
- Virtual reality (VR) uses videos/images rendered by computers to simulate real-world environments for training purposes or visualization. VR can be used as an effective collaboration tool between teams located across different areas of the world!
- Augmented reality (AR) uses computer-generated enhancements to enhance users' views of their physical environment.
- Blockchain is another industry technology that is making waves in the industry today. Blockchain is a digital ledger for recording transactions, agreements, etc., so its security is guaranteed by encryption and distribution across networks.
What effect does industry 4.0 have on manufacturing?
Industry-specific IoT devices are quickly becoming the standard among manufacturers worldwide because of the enormous benefits offered by this new generation of machines and tools.
The technologies above allow companies to transition from batch production and use real-time data by integrating different devices, systems, and processes more seamlessly across their organizations.
Manufacturers can improve efficiency and overall planning capabilities since they can now schedule maintenance checkups based on actual demand instead of relying on fixed time windows.
Some significant advantages include:
- Improved production quality
- reducing costs by eliminating unnecessary tasks
- providing companies with opportunities for increased revenue through improved productivity
- it improves efficiency by automating processes
- Allows manufacturers to integrate industry devices and systems
- reduces the time needed to bring a product from design into production
- Optimize inventory management
That also means industry operators can be more proactive in responding to issues by using sensors that track real-time data. It allows manufacturers to make faster decisions instead of waiting for the next scheduled maintenance checkup.
It's important to note that industry experts predict adoption of industry 4.0 applications will take place gradually over the coming years instead of overnight.
That means it could be difficult for companies to measure their progress and get a sense of how they're doing compared to other organizations since there is no universal benchmarking framework available yet to help them keep track.
Challenges to consider and overcome when implementing industry 4.0 technologies
However, it's important to note that there are many challenges associated with implementing such advanced technology.
This concerns both manufacturing organizations looking at industrial applications and industry suppliers offering industry applications to manufacturers.
The biggest challenge will likely be the fact that many industry technologies are not yet interoperable with one another. It means there is little chance for users to take advantage of all these capabilities in a single platform or system. So, manufacturers may find it hard to achieve full-scale industry adoption.
Industry experts recommend companies start by looking at what they already have within their organizations. Identify areas where integration can increase efficiency without requiring significant investments before implementing Industry 4.0 standards into production systems.
They also advise against focusing only on high-cost technology solutions since this may prevent them from achieving a true return on investment (ROI) throughout the process.
Instead, professionals urge firms to look closely at industry-specific needs and requirements to identify gaps that manufacturers can fill using Industry 4.0 technologies.
It is crucial for manufacturers who want to implement industry 4.0 technologies to understand that there may be challenges due to:
- data security issues
- lack of skilled professionals on staff
- economic factors such as high initial capital investments
- industry readiness
For example, specific internet-connected machines offer plenty of opportunities for increased revenue through improved productivity by automating tasks that were once done manually. An inherent risk is involved because each machine can potentially be hacked if cyber security standards aren't met during implementation.
One of the most common ways manufacturers can overcome this hurdle is by partnering with a technology vendor. He should be specializing in integrating industry 4.0 connected machines into existing business processes seamlessly, securely, and at an affordable cost.
This means more productivity & efficiency and a faster decision-making process, which allows you to be more competitive overall!
How can Beas Manufacturing help your business?
Beas Manufacturing is a manufacturing software specializing in implementing technology solutions that optimize operations and improve overall productivity for manufacturers of all sizes!
Our industry experts and trusted business partners are dedicated to provide industry & manufacturing companies of all sizes with the latest technology solutions and services needed for industry success.
Beas Manufacturing is the optimal ERP software: It provides all modern tools for flexible automation and optimization. We provide industry manufacturing businesses with the latest industrial automation and optimization solutions to help manufacturers achieve their goals faster!
- All modern technologies for machine-to-machine communication, the Internet of Things, or Rest Services are supported.
- With the help of Beas Manufacturing WEB product configurator, you can automate the following processes:
- creation of the necessary Bill of materials and routings over intelligent agent
- product calculation
- production planning
- material procurement
- machine data and personnel time recording
- With the help of sensors, all data can be automatically recorded and delivered to Beas via Rest Services, and all further necessary actions can be automated, as well.
- Beas Manufacturing' Business Performance and Dashboards help you receive a complete view of all costs and situations.
Beas delivers everything for this in one complete package. It is the perfect Industry 4.0 solution for you!
Are you ready for industry success?
What industry experts recommend manufacturers do to start implementing industry technologies. Some challenges need to be overcome, but it is possible with the help of a trusted technology solution like Beas Manufacturing!