In 1913, Henry Ford invented the assembly line, ushering in the Second Industrial Revolution – and upending the car industry. Now, a century later, thanks to the notion of Sector 4.0, the automotive industry is undergoing another tremendous transformation. The automobile industry has benefited from Industry 4.0, which has streamlined processes and opened up new business options.
The Automotive Industry Gets Connected
The concept of Industry 4.0 is defined by connectivity. Devices in the Fourth Industry-ready facility communicate with one another and with human interfaces, giving real-time data from a variety of sensors. And people can “link” to that data at any time. This ecosystem of sensors, gadgets, and humans is extremely potent when combined with advanced analytics and machine learning.
Most automotive facilities have yet to achieve that perfect state of connectedness in which humans and machines work in unison. However, the principles of Industry 4.0 were quickly adopted by the industry. Simultaneously, consumers have demanded increased connectivity with their autos, thus driving the industry to develop.
Today, most automotive manufacturers and suppliers have willingly embarked on the path to Industry 4.0. It is leading to increased profitability. Sensors throughout the supply chain, according to Automotive World, have proved crucial. For example, Bosch increased output for its automated braking system (ABS) and electronic stability program by 25% by adopting smart, connected lines.
The Advantages of Industry 4.0 in the Automotive Industry
Supply chain leaders across all industries know that Industry 4.0 provides numerous benefits, all of which influence an organization’s bottom line. However, it provides particular benefits to the automotive industry:
- Agile supply chain: The car industry’s suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are increasingly stringent fuel rules.
- The result: There is a push for lightweight to improve fuel economy. OEMs and suppliers will also be able to quickly adjust manufacturing requirements in response to changing standards thanks to Industry 4.0 readiness.
- Self-monitoring capabilities: As manufacturing facilities progressively shift to 24-hour operations, equipment reliability becomes even more crucial. Plants that are Industry 4.0-enable will have comprehensive monitoring systems in place to detect possible maintenance issues before they cause downtime. The same technique can employ in automobiles to reduce unexpected breakdowns.
- Customizability: Today’s car owners frequently express a wish to modify the setup of their vehicle. Such customization is not possible in the typical vehicle production process. However, progressing toward Industry 4.0 would allow automakers to modify individual automobiles and reduce delivery times for such vehicles.
- Network flexibility: Automotive manufacturers have locations all around the world, allowing for network flexibility. Manufacturers ready for Industry 4.0 will also strategically connect all of these locations. If output or demand fluctuates, operations can transfer across facilities as needed.
Industry 4.0’s Challenges for Automotive Manufacturers
Meanwhile, the transition to Industry 4.0 faces certain significant hurdles that car manufacturers must overcome to remain competitive:
- Contractor integration: Because the automotive sector relies extensively on outsourced production, it has more flexibility to respond to short-term demand changes. However, integrating those contractors into a supply chain with end-to-end (E2E) visibility might be challenging.
- Data security: The current industrial paradigm resembles a closed information loop in which data never leaves an individual organization. Industry 4.0 requires that loop to open, making every manufacturing business vulnerable to cybersecurity risks. This is especially problematic for the automotive industry, as car buyers could face major consequences if their connected vehicles are hacked.
- Data management: The Big Data era is coming, and the automotive industry generates vast amounts of data. While cloud computing tackles the fundamental issue of data storage, many car manufacturers continue to struggle with harnessing their data to get relevant insights. They will need to implement logistics management software that includes advanced analytics and machine learning on a strategic basis.
The automobile industry must continue to push for automation and visibility throughout the supply chain to solve these issues. While neither of these is a The automobile industry must continue to push for automation and visibility throughout the supply chain to solve these issues. While neither of these is a panacea, they give a valuable framework for selecting the appropriate methods and instruments to achieve Industry 4.0 preparedness. Any logistics software or ERP system should assess based on its ability to support Industry 4.0 principles.