How Can Industry 4.0 Can Improve Traditional Manufacturing?
All around the world, the traditional manufacturing industry is on the verge of a total digital transformation, accelerated by the success of growing technologies. Moore’s law on technological pace is taking its full effect and driving man to the ends of intelligence, automation and productivity. The term “Industry 4.0” is used to describe the technological overhaul revolution taking place in industries on a global scale.
What is it?
Industry 4.0 is characterized by the following:
- Vertical Networking – the interconnection of smart production systems, i.e. factories and products and the networking of production and marketing services.
- Horizontal Integration – a web of business partners and customers, all linked to each other across continents.
- Acceleration through Technological Innovations – the change would be driven by technological developments and introduction of concepts such as Internet of Things, which would ultimately aid in the goal of mass production at a low cost.
In a nutshell, Industry 4.0 is a blend of computers, cyber networks and automation infrastructure, all working together in synch to achieve more smartness, greater efficiency and increased independence from manual control.
Industry 4.0 can take traditional manufacturing and take it to a whole new level through the following topics.
This is the number one force that can take an industry that uses conventional manufacturing tactics to a whole new level. Industry 4.0 will enable integrated & cross-disciplinary engineering throughout the value chain and customer life cycles.
Innovation has traditionally been linked to products but once Industry 4.0 takes over, company structures, processes and networks will all change and provide customer/consumer with greater involvement.
In addition, tracking the return on investment and identifying risks earlier on would be a possibility through large-scale data monitoring on all levels. Through the use of Artificial Intelligence, big data processing would be possible, generating early indicators of supply/demand and market interests.
Automatic Monitoring & Control
The demand is deemed to increase, as with the passage of time, the world is only getting populous. The expansion of the factory floor means more difficulty monitoring what goes on which assembly line, let alone factories at various locations.
However, the problem can be solved if a grid of sensors is connected to an intelligent control systems that keeps the system running in a perfect loop. Industry 4.0 will bring such ideas to life. Remote monitoring of multiple production lines and rectification of anomalies would be possible, with limited user interaction.
Smart Supply Chains
The key to success of any supply chain is efficient and timely exchange of information. Traditional supply chains are plagued with friction, caused by incomplete data. The potential for disruption in such a model is high, and tackling sudden shifts in demands isn’t possible.
The digital supply chain, powered by Industry 4.0 would change this. Opening the supply network to all would add fluidity to the market, allowing real-time demands to be met in a more orderly fashion. B2C markets are the perfect examples of this as they request greater information about shipment arrivals, so that they would have a faster trigger as demand increases. Similarly, B2B networks expect timely status information on supply shipments, which are then sent off to production plants.
Constant updating and transmission of reliable data would make the industry more capable of handling greater demands in a short period of time, whether it’s in time of peace or in the face of a disaster.
Using inefficient set points is one of the many legacies of the traditional industrial system. A high risk of failure is the outcome, along with higher costs and lower efficiency. Industry 4.0 heavily relies on Artificial Intelligence through the use of high-power computers and real-time data, which will make everything automatic. Right from controlling valves to adjusting set points to generating reports, everything will be performed in a faster and more uniform manner.
The last bit is important as it will let managers and corporate think tanks make decisions based on latest value, getting them move one step ahead of the competition.
Assignment and monitoring of every single asset can be a daunting task, but nonetheless a vital one. Manually, keeping records of each asset and identifying to whom it is assigned is not a feasible process, especially for large-scale plants. With the help of Internet of Things, factory managers would be able to effortless monitor every single asset connected to their system, know about its operating details and any fault that has or is occurring.
This would allow for a timely response to be issued, depending on the request and its urgency.
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