The way businesses produce, improve, and distribute their goods is changing because of the advent of “Industry 4.0” New technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) are being integrated into manufacturing facilities and across operations.
In these intelligent factories, sensors, embedded software, and robots collect and analyze data, allowing for better decision-making and more efficient operations. Data from production operations can be coupled with data from ERP, supply chain, customer service, and other corporate systems to get even more value from the previously compartmentalized information.
Increased automation, predictive maintenance, self-optimization of process improvements, and a new degree of efficiency and responsiveness to clients result from this new digital technology.
The manufacturing industry has an extraordinary chance to leapfrog into the fourth industrial revolution by developing intelligent factories. It is possible to do predictive maintenance on manufacturing assets and reduce equipment downtime by analyzing massive amounts of big data acquired from sensors on the factory floor.
Factory efficiency is boosted when high-tech IoT devices are employed. Manufacturing errors are reduced, and time and money are saved by replacing manual inspection business models with AI-powered visual insights. Employees in charge of quality control can use a smartphone with a cloud connection to keep tabs on production operations. It is more cost-effective to fix problems early on rather than wait for them to get worse and more expensive.
Discrete and process manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, and other industrial sectors can benefit from the concepts and technology of Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 technologies
Nine technological pillars support the concept of Industry 4.0. Intelligent and autonomous systems are now possible because of these technological advancements. The full potential of Industry 4.0 can only be realized when these advanced technologies are deployed together.
In Industry 4.0, Big Data is collected from various sources, from manufacturing equipment and Internet of Things (IoT) devices to ERP and CRM systems to weather and traffic apps. Big Data is then analyzed using artificial intelligence (AI). Intelligent analytics based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can be used in real-time on data to improve decision-making and automate processes across the whole supply chain, from planning to production to R&D/engineering to procurement to EAM.
Industry 4.0 relies on horizontal and vertical integration as its foundation. Processes are firmly linked at the “field level” with horizontal integration — on the factory floor, across various production facilities, and throughout the supply chain. Horizontally. With vertical integration, data may flow effortlessly from the shop floor to the top floor and back again, connecting all levels of a business. As a result, departments like R&D, quality assurance, sales and marketing, and others are fully integrated with production, and data silos are a thing of the past.
Cloud computing is the “great enabler” of Industry 4.0 and digital transformation. Nowadays, there is much more to cloud computing than just speed, scalability, storage, and cost reductions. Several advanced technologies are built on top of it, including AI and machine learning, and the Internet of Things. Industry 4.0’s cyber-physical systems connect and coordinate through the cloud, which houses the data that powers Industry 4.0 technology.
A fundamental notion of Industry 4.0 is augmented reality (AR), which overlays digital content in a real-world environment. When gazing at a physical object, such as a piece of equipment or a product, employees can see real-time IoT data, digital parts, maintenance or assembly instructions, training information, and more with an AR system. Virtual reality (VR) is a relatively new technology, but it already has a profound impact on everything from maintenance and service to quality assurance and training for service technicians.
Since both the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet of Things are crucial to Industry 4.0, the terms are often used interchangeably. What is an IIoT, you ask? The Industrial Internet of Things. Devices, robots, machinery, equipment, and products in Industry 4.0 use sensors and RFID tags to deliver real-time data on their condition, performance, or location. Supply chains can function more smoothly; items can be quickly redesigned, equipment downtime can be avoided if manufacturers use this technology, and much more may be accomplished.
In addition to Industry 4.0, 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is a vital technology driving this shift in manufacturing. Since its inception, 3D printing has evolved from a speedy prototyping technology that can be used for everything from mass customization to decentralized production. With 3D printing, for example, design data can be held in virtual inventory and printed on-demand at the location of need, decreasing transit distances and transportation costs.
Industry 4.0 brings forth a new generation of autonomous robots. Autonomous robots can be programmed to execute various jobs, from inventory scanning drones to autonomous mobile robots for picking and placing. These robots can do complex and sensitive jobs and detect, interpret, and act on the information they receive from their environment, thanks to cutting-edge software, AI, sensors, and machine vision.
A digital twin is a virtual replica of a real-world machine, product, process, or system based on sensor data from the Internet of Things. Industrial systems and products can be better understood, analyzed, and maintained with the help of Industry 4.0’s central component. A digital twin can help an asset operator discover a faulty part, predict future faults, and increase uptime.
Effective cybersecurity has never been more critical than in the age of Industry 4.0, which relies heavily on connectivity and Big Data. Incorporating a Zero Trust architecture with cutting-edge technologies like machine learning and blockchain can help firms reduce their risk of data breaches and delays in production.
Benefits of Industry 4.0
Products that can think for themselves
Create intelligent, self-aware items that can communicate about their health, location, amount of use, and storage conditions, among other attributes. You may use the information these intelligent devices provide to improve everything from product quality and customer service to logistics and R&D. As a result. They can anticipate service needs, obtain remote upgrades and open the door to new service-based business models.
The most up-to-date factories
Take advantage of new technologies like Big Data, artificial intelligence, robotics, analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to run intelligent factories. Automated, self-correcting factories known as Factory 4.0 are capable of producing bespoke products cost-effectively and at a large scale.
Assets with a keen eye
Enterprise asset management will undergo a paradigm shift thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics. Incorporating digital twins and dynamic and predictive maintenance, intellectual assets allow specialists to closely watch asset performance in real-time, forecast failure, and save costly downtime.
You will always need people, no matter how autonomous your systems become. Empower them with cutting-edge technology like AI and real-time sensor data, so they can make quick decisions and handle issues as they arise on the work floor. To assist people to solve problems, maintaining track of their health, and avoiding dangers, they can use augmented reality apps and wearable tech devices.