While everything in the manufacturing industry may appear to be a never-ending process, we are again on the verge of another revolution. Industry experts dub this transformation the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution,’ or ‘Industry 4.0‘ by industry experts. It focuses on applying smart technologies in conjunction with traditional manufacturing and industrial methods. The first industrial revolution was all about automation through steam power and water to give you an idea of how the manufacturing industry has grown over time. The second one was about cutting-edge assembly lines that employed electricity.
On the other hand, the third industrial revolution witnessed the introduction of semiconductors, mainframe computers, personal computers, and the internet. The ‘digital revolution’ was the name given to the third industrial revolution, and Industry 4.0 will be taking on the first with even more advanced technologies.
With the use of coupled cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the Internet of Systems, Industry 4.0 brings the concept of smart factories to life. It is a network of digitally connected machines that has the potential to increase the efficiency and productivity of manufacturing units and organizations.
⚙️ Gearing Up for the Transition
While manufacturing appears to have a bright future, firms and SMEs should be prepared to tackle this change’s problems. The first thing that organizations must consider is the potential for skill problems. Smart technology surrounds Industry 4.0, and some current workforce members may be unaware of it. As a result, organizations must be prepared to train their personnel in this area. However, in rare circumstances, it may be required to hire new personnel. Other considerations that firms must address as they prepare for the 4.0 shift include clear vision, data security, manufacturing challenges, and the ease of making informed decisions.
⚙️ Providing a Boost to SMEs
SMEs will play a critical role in India’s transition to smart manufacturing. And as a result of Industry 4.0, such businesses will reap significant rewards. It will assist organizations in producing additional revenue by lowering operating expenses, optimizing customer interactions, and providing insight into the status of the production system. Furthermore, SMEs will have more options and specialized services available thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and e-commerce platforms.
SMEs will benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution because it will deliver real-time updates, decreased inventories, improved worker safety, standard maintenance methods, and production transparency. Industry 4.0 is good for SMEs, but it is also good for the environment. It provides energy-efficient, environmentally beneficial, and long-term solutions that help to protect the environment.
⚙️ Going Hand-in-Hand
In India, SMEs have played a significant role in boosting the economy. They have also aided in the transformation of production units, bringing them closer to smart technologies. The IT sector, which is the backbone of smart manufacturing, has been a major contributor in this area. The possibility for Indian SMEs to explore and grow is tremendous, but implementing and enhancing design and quality processes at the SME level is critical.
While SMEs may experience certain obstacles as they adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the focus is on the broader picture. SMEs should concentrate on quality, traceability, collaboration, and efficiency, with the rest being taken care of by the latest industrial revolution. In addition, considerations like changing market expectations, managerial readiness, the necessity for an automated supply chain, and other urbanization difficulties are some of the primary challenges that Industry 4.0 may assist solve.
⚙️ Reshaping the Workforce
The adoption of Industry 4.0 in enterprises will uniquely be reshaping the workforce. Data scientists will be in higher demand as big data and edge computing drive quality control operations, robot-assisted production capabilities will help eliminate manual labor, and smart supply will allow for faster and better supply decisions. On the other hand, predictive management can allow for better equipment maintenance, ensuring that you are aware of any requirements even before a failure happens. In addition, additive manufacturing will make it easier to create complicated parts for systems in a series of easy processes. The system’s multidimensional analysis capabilities and real-time detection and updates will aid in achieving the ultimate objective of being at the forefront of smart manufacturing.
⚙️ A Progressive Change
The changes in the workforce have aided in creating numerous job opportunities, reducing India’s unemployment rate even further. Technical designers, supply chain coordinators, data analysts, and engineers will be in high demand. There will also be new job opportunities in the 3-D modeling, 3-D CAD, IT, and R&D industries. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is unquestionably a progressive change that will assist industrial units in growing their operations on a micro-multinational scale while also fostering innovation. Let’s be a part of this incredible change that will transform the manufacturing industry!