We have undergone three technological revolutions since the 1800s. Each is motivated by a revolutionary new technology: steam engine mechanics, assembly line innovation, and machine speed. They named them industrial “revolutions.” Not only did the design that drove them to increase productivity and efficiency a little bit, it fully revolutionized how they were produced.
We are now in the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, which brings into the future the automation and computerization that we saw in the Third Industrial Revolution. Industry 4.0, from smart manufacturing and factories to intelligent warehousing and distribution, makes everything “smart” in the supply chain. But in the supply chain, Industry 4.0 doesn’t end. It interconnects with back-end systems to offer enterprises an unparalleled degree of insight and control, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP). In the end, Industry 4.0 is a major component of every company’s digital transformation.
TECHNOLOGIES UNDER INDUSTRY 4.0
Industry 4.0 is based on nine foundations of the technology. Such advances bridge the physical and digital worlds and allow intelligent and autonomous systems. Any of these emerging technologies are now used by businesses and supply chains. Still, as they are using it together, the full potential of Industry 4.0 comes to life.
- Big Data and AI analytics – Big Data is gathered from a wide variety of sources in Industry 4.0, from factory equipment and IoT devices to ERP and CRM systems to weather and traffic applications. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning analytics are applied to data in real-time and insights are leveraged in every field of supply chain management to enhance decision-making and automation: supply chain planning, logistics management, manufacturing, R&D and engineering, business asset management (EAM), and procurement.
- Horizontal and vertical integration – Industry 4.0 has horizontal and vertical integration as the backbone. With horizontal integration, on the factory floor, through several production facilities, and the entire supply chain, processes are closely integrated at the “field level”. All the layers of an enterprise are linked together with vertical integration, and data flows freely from the shop floor to the top floor and back down again. In other words, business processes such as R&D, quality assurance, sales and marketing, and other divisions are closely integrated with development, and data and information silos are a thing of the past.
- Cloud computing – The “great enabler” of Industry 4.0 and digital transformation is cloud computing. Cloud technology today goes far beyond efficiencies in speed, scalability, storage, and cost. It forms the basis of the most advanced technology, from AI and machine learning to the Internet of Things – and it provides organizations with the means to innovate. Cloud-based data that drives Industrial 4.0 technology and the cyber-physical networks at the heart of Industry 4.0 use the cloud to collaborate and organize.
- Augmented Reality (AR) – Augmented reality, which is a real environment that overlays digital content, is a central principle of Industry 4.0.0. Employees use smart glasses or mobile devices with an AR system to visualize real-time IoT data, digitized components, instructions for repair or assembly, training material, and more when looking at a physical thing – like a commodity or a piece of machinery. AR is still evolving, but it has huge consequences for maintenance, operation, quality assurance, and training and protection for technicians.
- Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – The Internet of Things (IoT) is so important to Industry 4.0, specifically, the Industrial Internet of Things, that the two terms are often used interchangeably. Most physical things in Industry 4.0 use sensors and RFID tags to provide real-time data about their state, performance, or location: computers, robots, machinery, equipment, goods. This technology helps businesses to manage faster supply chains, design and change goods easily, avoid downtime of equipment, keep on top of customer demands, monitor products, inventory, and many more.
- Additive manufacturing/3D printing – Another key technique pushing Industry 4.0. is additive manufacturing or 3D printing. Initially, 3D printing was seen as a fast prototyping instrument, but now provides a wider variety of uses, from mass customization to distributed output. For example, through 3D printing, components and goods may be held in virtual inventories as concept files and printed on-demand at the point of need, minimizing both shipping distances and costs.
- Autonomous robotics – A new wave of autonomous robots is emerging with Industry 4.0. Autonomous robots vary greatly in size and purpose, from inventory screening drones to autonomous mobile robots for pick and place operations, designed to execute tasks with limited human interference. These robots are capable of performing complex and delicate tasks, fitted with cutting-edge software, AI, sensors, and computer vision, and can detect, interpret, and respond to the information they obtain from their environment.
- Simulation/digital twins – A digital twin is a virtual simulation based on IoT sensor data of a real-world object, product, process, or system. This central component of Industry 4.0 helps enterprises to better understand, assess, and enhance the efficiency of manufacturing processes and goods and their maintenance. For example, an asset operator may use a digital twin to detect a particular malfunctioning component, anticipate future problems, and boost uptime.
- Cybersecurity – Successful cybersecurity is crucial for the increased connectivity and use of Big Data in Industry 4.0. Companies will simplify vulnerability identification, avoidance, and reaction and minimize the likelihood of data breaches and development delays across their networks by introducing a Zero Confidence architecture and technology such as deep learning and blockchain.
BENEFITS OF INDUSTRY 4.0
- Smart Goods – Create linked, self-aware devices that can exchange data about their health, location, level of use, conditions of storage, and more. From product consistency and customer support to logistics and R&D, the insights these smart products share will help you enhance anything. They will also predict demands for service, obtain remote upgrades, and open the door to new business models dependent on service.
- Smart Factories – Highly digitized, largely automated facilities that take full advantage of emerging technology such as Big Data, artificial intelligence, robotics, analytics, and IoT run smart factories. Industry 4.0, these plants are self-correcting, employ Industry 4.0 processes of development, which make it possible to produce cost-effectively and on scale personalized goods.
- Smart Assets – About any physical asset installed today has built-in sensors, which, when linked to IoT and analytics, are game-changers for corporate asset management. Technicians can track asset output in real-time with intellectual properties, foresee and stop downtime, use complex and predictive management, take advantage of digital twins, and closely integrate assets and business processes.
- Empowered people – You will still need people, no matter how autonomous the systems get. Empower them with technology such as AI and access to data from live sensors. So they understand what’s going on on the shop floor and are able to make fast choices and deal with challenges when they arise. Wearable devices and applications for augmented reality will also help them solve challenges, monitor their health and ensure their protection.
COMPANIES ENCOUNTER ADVANTAGES
There is a wide variety of Industry 4.0 technologies on the market, helping thousands of firms transform their digital supply chain, reinventing logistics, relying on clients, and connecting their whole enterprise.
Here are a few advantages that businesses encounter:
- Radical optimization and efficiency improvements: businesses make data-driven decisions through their activities, increase the accuracy of predictions, help on-time execution, and develop profit-optimized strategies.
- Resilience and resilience, regardless of what the competition or economy brings: businesses are forming the future state-based digital supply chain.
- Trust to pursue innovative business strategies and capture opportunities quickly: Companies are reducing prices, improving consumer quality and linking supply chains by sea, ground and air thanks to Industry 4.0 solutions.
- Green and renewable strategies without losing profitability: By going digital, consumers are getting more efficient and cost-effective.