Despite the industrial domain of organisations, almost all firms harness technologies to optimise the long-term health and economic well-being of their firms. The recent emergence of industry 4.0 standards redefined industrial technologies with newer standards in a range of disruptive technology. New-age industry specialists are now challenged in gaining value whilst impacted by the competition and sustainability requirements brewed after the disruptions made during industry 4.0 technology redefinitions. Disruptive technologies include Digital Twin, IIoT Networks, Cloud Platforms, Simulation Technology, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics, Smart Manufacturing, AI, Cyber-physical Systems, Cognitive Computing and more.
This article investigates the direct impact that companies have in creating value in the businesses by investing in industry 4.0-recognised technologies and how they can capitalise on smart technologies to control the risks, costs and performances of their operations single-handedly.
A business value addresses the ultimate value of a business in both terms of tangible value and intangible value. Tangible value refers to the monetary elements that provide tangible profits for the business like stockholders’ equity, assets, utilities, and other quantifiable business values. On the other hand, intangible value refers to the goodwill, brand, trademarks and public benefits of a company in meeting goals. After the emergence of new technologies, companies of all kinds adapted their business activities to meet business value-driven standards in meeting goals. Business value is a blend of parameters that must be set and met in the right with the right expense of resources. For example, brand recognition, customer loyalty, market share, the share of wallet, revenue, customer retention, profitability, marketing response rates, customer gratifications and many more targets help your company meet the desired value appropriately.
By enhancing a few business functions, meeting the desired golden standards of a business can be made easier and faster. Such functions are the functionality, performance, usability, reliability, agility, availability, and security of the business operations and services. To fulfil these functions optimally and within a single console, many industrial practitioners rely on industry 4.0 recognised technologies. By investing in the core IT advancements and performances, businesses ensure that their business value is broadened with smarter financial decisions, optimised operations, updated data-driven insights and sound predictive capabilities of event-driven company futures.
With the emergence of industry 4.0 definitions, traditional manufacturing paradigms were disrupted and refined, and the lines that separated the virtual world from physical manufacturing factories and industrial spaces started to blur. Industrial service transformed from general procedures to outcome-based service and operations were augmented to add company value at every step. By merging the cyber world with the actual world, industry 4.0 brings forth tremendous speed in making business value-oriented decisions that prioritise business value generation in every simple decision manufacturers make.
Here are ten of the main industry 4.0-related investments that you must make to optimise your business generate better value with less time, spending and effort.
Investing in predictive and prescriptive analytics would have a direct impact on the value creation process of your business. Integrating predictive and prescriptive technologies into business models offers advantages like recommending better approaches in decision-making, predicting impending risks and failures, explaining the context for business exercises and more. These technologies can estimate business values and compare them with desired business value to prescribe operations and control measures to meet goals with scientifically proven data. They scaffold value-driven business decisions with success-guaranteed insights by utilising AI models that are trained in realistic environments. Thus, making the adoption of predictive and prescriptive analytics in software solutions a ‘soon to be mandatory’ advancement in smart CPPSs.
Another value-driven investment that companies undertake is moving the core system from legacy systems to cloud-driven systems. It offers the advantage of allowing corporate data to be accumulated in a shared platform and connects all disparate data sources into one smart IT infrastructure. Cloud technologies never cease to grow in terms of intelligence, speed and accuracy, making them powerful technology advancements for all industrial practitioners. Most companies invest in cloud technologies to deploy analytics and machine learning protocols in the cloud to enable seamless data-driven production operations.
With the precise interconnectivity and shared virtual opportunities offered by new-age technologies, the need for data privatisation and security has also been dramatically increased. Safety and security from possible cybersecurity threats require the correct efforts in deploying upgraded and resilient security protocols and data security measures. Therefore, most modern solution providers in the market offer sophisticated access management systems for machines, identity verification systems, automated data backup systems, data privatisation, encryption technologies for data on the fly and many other unique security protocols to ensure the safety of value-driven information of the business. Investing in safeguarding sensitive data is therefore quintessential for manufacturers who are hoping to aliment business value via industry 4.0 investments.
Simulation technology can be identified as the cornerstone of industry 4.0 technological advancements. Simulation technology is now a must-equip technology; most manufacturers invest in simulations and deploy it extensively in factories and plants. This technology allows the user to leverage operational data and feeds specific event-driven parametric information to a simulation platform to mirror the changes of the physical world if it underwent similar events. For example, if a company needs to learn how their productivity statuses should be during a peak season, they can simply use GUIs to feed event-specific information and learn the potential and resilience of factories to perform under a particularly stressful season. If done right, this technology can optimise setting in numerous operational variations and allow factory managers to utilise critical resources in a healthy, cost-efficient and effective manner.
Integration is one of the key capabilities in modern industrial technology systems, and Horizontal and Vertical System Integration is the centre of integration capabilities. This technology allows companies to cohesively merge into one big smart network starting from all ‘things’. It uses IoT/IIoT technology to connect functions, workforce, machines, departments, stakeholders, capabilities, branches and the abundance of components in an industrial ecosystem. It is the engine where value chains are truly automated via data integration between cross-companies and universally at large. It can be described as the neural network of a value creation body and a needful investment for industrial players of the future.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are mainly used in material handling, repair instruction, quality checking machinery in modernised manufacturing facilities. By harnessing AR and VR, industrial companies can use both real-time and non-real-time information that optimises work procedures and organisational decision-making. These technologies provide immersive experiences to overcome hidden challenges and underwhelm impending risks and failures. Thus, these technologies add value to all key stakeholders in understanding the current status of business operations, performance and potential advances to gain more value with even data-driven decisions or actions the user makes.
Additive Manufacturing is one of the most recognised technology deployments in the new-age industrial ventures. It refers to personalised or tailor-made product development instead of prototyping a general one-size-fit-to-all product for clients with various requirements. It accelerates operations in manufacturing products by aligning signature requirements in terms of complex components, budget caps, lightweight designs, colours and more. This helps in neglecting dispensable expenses and resource expenditure and allocating corporate time, money and effort on value-driven client-oriented operations.
The Digital Twin technology is also another value-driven investment that industrial specialists can make to transform industrial systems into smart integrated industrial networks. The Digital Twin provides an updated virtual model (3D, 2D or holographic model) to show computed data of past, present and predicted statistical data, statuses, parameters according to the users’ preferences. It offers a tweakable model of physical assets that can be probed to detect performance variations, predict risks, simulate events, provide precise and minute visualisation starting from a part of the equipment to grand industrial infrastructure. It allows digitised commissioning of physical assets to make value-driven decisions based on the sustainment requirements of the assets, fluctuating client demands and critical resource expenditure of an industrial establishment.
Investing in IIoT Systems is no longer a “good-to-have ” technological capability. With the soaring competitions and unforgiving rat race in the manufacturing and other industrial domains, IIoT technology became an inevitable technology for most companies. This technology interconnects all industrial facilities, equipment, processes, software- all smart machines, people and objects- to provide seamless data streams. Thus, it is the engine that optimises the data-driven efforts of any industrial practitioner; because in the modern age, the better data capitalisations efforts are, the more value and success stories the user will narrate.
There are still industrialists that focus on outdated goals of optimisation. But, forward-thinking industrial experts are more focused on generating value by bending operational to fluidly meet the preset goals, client requirements and outlive all legacy systems by addressing current asset sustainment needs. Focusing on upheaving the value of an organisation via Industry 4.0 investments is now a shared effort for any company; there is no way to meet the best value without investing in industry 4.0 recognised technologies. These investments allow smart product tracking, productivity increments, lower operating costs, better product qualities, innovative process and operational augmentation, seize competitive advantages and a range of other value-driven advantages that your company cannot miss. Make smart investments and capture value at a business scale with industry 4.0 investments; you can enjoy boundless benefits from tangible and intangible business values with no extra effort, cost or time whatsoever.