Industry 4.0 or 4IR refers to the fourth industrial revolution and is the latest evolution in manufacturing. Throughout world history, several industrial revolutions have transformed the manufacturing industry. The first industrial revolution emerged with the introduction of mechanisation, steam power and hydropower. It was followed by the second industrial revolution, which was focused on mass production and assembly lines using electrical power. The third industrial revolution emerged with computers, IT (Information Technology) systems, robotics and automation, which eventually paved the way for the fourth industrial revolution.
Industry 4.0 originated in 2011 through a project initiated by the government of Germany to computerise their manufacturing industry. It is an integration between physical assets and emerging digital technologies -like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), robots, drones, autonomous vehicles, 3d printing, cloud computing and others, that have the possibility to communicate, analyse and act.
How Do Industry 4.0 Technologies Revolutionise Manufacturing Organisations?
Data monitoring and collection
Factories equipped with advanced sensors, embedded software and robotics are capable of real-time monitoring and collection of data.
Having information on factors such as temperature, pressure, volume, energy consumption, loaded hours and unloaded hours within immediate reach allow for effective decision making for maintenance, process control, inventory, human resource management and more.
Information and communication technologies play a main role in implementing industry 4.0 concepts. Secure, near real-time and standardised communication interfaces, has never been easier before. Industry 4.0 networking technologies offer a fully interconnected communication facility between equipment and systems where all equipment feeds data into software programmes that allow for fast and accurate decision making.
More advanced automation
Even though automation is an old technology applied in manufacturing, industry 4.0 takes it to the next level enabling more informed programming and creating new ways for people and robots to work together to maximise overall productivity and safety. Lightweight, space-saving robots that can operate alongside humans without safety caging are capable of delivering new levels of flexibility within smart factory environments.
Data analytics and action
Advanced analytics tools optimise areas such as process control. They create a reliable maintenance process. This includes predictive maintenance to reduce downtime, increase productivity and keep the factory operating at its maximum capacity. Furthermore, it creates remote maintenance possibilities where experts are able to perform certain tasks For instance, software updates and rectifications, without the need for being present physically.
Industry 4.0 also possesses improved wearable technology for the best possible approach toward employee safety. While many companies rely on situational awareness to assess their safety, industry 4.0 technologies provide information on the overall health and safety of their employees while they work. For instance, if a gas leakage occurs, notifications can be sent upon the detection of physical signs to the control room or managers.
High-tech IoT devices in smart factories promise enhancements in productivity and quality. Replacing manual inspection business models with AI-powered visual insights minimises manufacturing faults and saves money and time. Virtual monitoring of manufacturing processes is possible with a minimum investment through a smartphone connected to the cloud. Machine learning algorithms enable manufacturers to track errors immediately, rather than at later stages which might cause costly repair requirements.
Industry 4.0 has become vital for managing production rates in manufacturing and remaining competitive in highly competitive manufacturing industries. The efficient flow of information between departments enhances team collaboration and eases the achievement of targets and goals. The application of artificial intelligence within manufacturing is not just limited to the production process, it has also expanded to areas of customer service and aftercare. Virtually guided self-service includes the availability of virtual agents on business websites, helping customers to resolve their issues very quickly. Sensors and other Industry 4.0 technology tools aid in more effective inventory management with guaranteed accuracy. Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies can also be applied to analyse procurement and supply chain partners and create more flexibility in sourcing. Industry 4.0 also enables more efficient and more accurate record-keeping which reduces redundant work and missed responsibilities.
Digitalisation relies on the adaptation of new technical skills, most importantly in operating activities and mechanical working processes in production, purchasing, warehousing and logistics. In some instances, retraining or further training in new applications will be required. In future, companies will pay more attention to developing the competencies of their employees in their journey towards industry 4.0 adoption. Industry 4.0 will immensely influence the company’s labour strategies as well. Despite fears that automation will replace workers, however, actually, the demand for highly skilled labour will rise.
To benefit from exponential growth here, manufacturing companies must organise around digital power, tap external knowledge pools, combine assets, gain better market and industry knowledge, learn customer preferences, focus on learning new skills, and innovate much faster than before.
Companies will become learning organisations, so as to utilise the full potential of the industry 4.0 technologies.
What Is Unique About Cerexio Industry 4.0 Solutions?
Cerexio is a Singapore-based company with a global reach. We are a team that aspire to provide tailor-made high-tech solutions for any challenge that manufacturing firms are likely to encounter. As a leading technology vendor, our industry 4.0 based technological possibilities like sensors, digital twins, AI, satellite imagery, advanced analytics, IIoT, robotics, blockchain technology and more enhance our solutions to remain the best available in the market. Cerexio accommodates talented experts with extraordinary capabilities and vast experience who aspire to assist and guide your company towards smart manufacturing in the smartest way. Connect with us to learn more.
How Advanced Will Manufacturing Become In The Digital Era?
We live in the era of Industry 4.0. This Fourth Industrial Revolution with its unmatched speed and scale generates a powerful data-driven perspective on manufacturing operations. Industry 4.0 facilities immense possibilities to counter the modern challenges of the manufacturing industry. Cerexio industry 4.0 technologies are capable of offering unprecedented industrial advances to manufacturing companies worldwide.
Improvements in industrial 4.0 concepts and technologies will be able to unlock the furthest evolution of a smart factory: the lights-out factory. Unlike traditional factories, in lights-out manufacturing, the factories will be fully automated, will require no human presence and will operate 24/7. Though it sounds like magic, lights-out factories which are capable of unlocking huge potential, are the ultimate expectation of the industry 4.0 future that is already in action.