Digital Themes

Industry 4.0

The most recent industrial revolution is widely known as Industry 4.0. It combines industrial machinery, robots and processes with internet-connected sensors and other technologies. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is what drives Industry 4.0.

The term, Industry 4.0, is said to originate from a German government memo which outlined an ambitious strategy to connect industrial equipment to the internet to improve efficiency and computerize the manufacturing process. Vast improvements in sensor technology, artificial intelligence, and business intelligence have contributed to the rise in smart manufacturing and the Industrial IoT revolution.

Efficiencies can be had with the use of smart, autonomous machinery that continuously reports back to its computer-based operation hub. Data collected from normal operations can be analyzed to determine the optimal output. Continuous monitoring, with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), helps ensure machinery is functioning properly and repairs can be made proactively. This is especially helpful for mass production and additive manufacturing businesses.

Industry 4.0 connects the physical world with machines to create smart factories, smart warehousing operations, and adaptive logistical networks that support an entirely different supply chain than has ever been possible. Machines connect to cloud-based business resource planning systems (ERP)). Real time data allows businesses to use big data analytics to improve productivity and avoid costly last minute repairs. 

Why is industry 4.0 important to businesses?

  • Agility to respond to market demands. Industry 4.0 lets businesses respond quickly to a changing market, no matter the current conditions.

  • Unprecedented productivity gains. Industry 4.0 allows businesses to extract unprecedented productivity from smart machinery, warehousing, and autonomous robots by leveraging data to make important business decisions.

  • Cost reduction. Industry 4.0 can result in significant cost savings by helping businesses improve on profit-driven initiatives and find better ways to produce already popular products. Efficiency in production helps support on-time delivery, and ultimately customer satisfaction.

  • Visibility into shop floor operations. Smart operations need the support of skilled workers to run smoothly. Industry 4.0 technologies let workers see everything happening on the shop floor, for example.
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