Industry 4.0 is all about doing things differently, and the manufacturing industry has taken notice with new innovations in automation and data exchange across production lines to meet changing market demand. This includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as cloud computing — which can help drive growth goals for manufacturers who are willing to adapt their mindset from maintaining the status quo towards embracing innovation that will enable them to win over today's demanding customer base.
Industry 4.0 is the intersection of cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT includes smart sensors that give managers more accurate information on which they can base their decisions for growth in today's competitive environment.
Adopting an Industry 4.0 approach provides a means for navigating change in the manufacturing industry, which is reinventing business models to focus on services that add value and/or entering new geographic markets or adjacent market segments.
In the digital age, many processes and workflows have been streamlined to create more efficient business operations. In process engineering for instance there is a shift towards computer science-influenced techniques such as machine learning which help optimize systems with minimal input from humans while also reducing costs by 40%.
The first step of this process is evaluating how ready manufacturers are by understanding what type of IT they have currently available — it will show them whether any changes need to be made before implementing their strategy moving forward into Industry 4.0
Simply put, Digital Transformation is a paradigm shift in business and industrial manufacturing. It's the process of bettering customer experience and company values through digital technology adoption to encourage innovation.
At the core of digital transformation is data, and lots of it. Nowhere is that truer than in manufacturing, where the Internet of Things (IoT) and continuous monitoring are keys to driving operational efficiency and ensuring product quality. Yet, despite its importance in driving business value, many manufacturers have not yet realized returns from their analytics investments because they have not been able to transform and deploy the data they collect.
Digital transformation is forcing businesses to evolve, leverage more value, and operate effectively in order to stay competitive within the manufacturing industry. Where we once imagined a factory focused on digital production driven by robot-assisted capabilities, reality has transcended these boundaries as it's become evident that what was only conceptualized for Industry 4.0 can be portrayed beyond just the physical infrastructure of the traditional plant floor.
This means going outside of our walls, not simply relying exclusively on industrial robots, but also digitally optimizing all aspects of operation such as logistics, management, or even customer care services through software-based cognitive assistance agents and other virtual resources provided via technological advances in AI (artificial intelligence).
In this way, Digital Transformation ultimately empowers the decision-makers to position organizations within reach of achieving their goals by providing the most complete and concise information, merging the power of robotic technology with human insight, intelligence, and strategy.
A single solution should be enough to make any business successful, and SmartHub is that solution. As a one-stop-shop for all applications in the manufacturing engineering industry, this product will transform your operations with its flexibility and structured workflow. It's designed as a single data structure of processes, so you get even more context on operational data while still enjoying streamlined workflows throughout the process.
SmartHub also enables your manufacturing facility to bridge the gap between OT and IT to provide a simple solution for easy adoption while maintaining world-class IT security and privacy.
SmartHub provides a range of innovative features such as automating processes, creating and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs), and integrating with applications and connections, making our solution a one-of-a-kind management system tool.
In order to automate your operational processes, you must first find specific technologies that align with your operational goals and business systems.
Machines play an important role in any production line. It is critical that they are compatible with the latest Industry 4.0 technologies, so you can integrate and operate smoothly across your entire facility- from retrofitting machines to implementing state-of-the art ones.
Once you’ve found the technology that fits in with your operations’ specific needs, you will need to integrate that technology into your data and systems. Once again, SmartHub is a great resource for not only system integration, but also connecting data from disparate sources so that you can get a better overall view of your operations, allowing you to identify where your operations strengths and weaknesses are.
From here, you’ll design a method of controlling your workflow, so you can quickly identify and fix what needs to be adjusted in your workflow to continually improve your processes and operations. This proactive approach prevents bottlenecks and identifies problems before they become catastrophes, keeping production moving while improving.
After designing the control of your workflow, you can then strategically distribute tasks so that processes are supervised and surveyed for efficiency of output, which leads to the final stage of automating operational systems: monitoring.
At this point, you can manage and monitor your automated system in real-time, cutting the time from identifying problems to solving them, meanwhile noticing patterns and trends in what is most efficient or what needs improvement. This process of continually observing, analyzing, and improving operational systems helps keep you on track to meet your operational goals and deadlines while maintaining quality benchmarks, ensuring that you are able to keep up with industry standards as technology moves forward.
Automation is happening all around us, both in our personal lives as well as in the business and industrial sectors. From our telecommunications to our methods of transportation, there’s no doubt that automation has made daily life and ordinary tasks quicker, easier, and even safer for us.
In the manufacturing arena specifically, automation has improved several areas of production such as lowering operating costs, reducing workplace hazards, and gaining higher quality and consistency in production output.
As technology continues to improve, automation will continue to improve as well, which will lead to greater productivity and benefits in the manufacturing and engineering industries. Robotics and Artificial Intelligence will continue to revolutionize and modernize the manufacturing industry, emphasizing the importance of digitally transforming business processes and manufacturing now, so that keeping up with industry standards isn’t difficult or complicated.