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What is meant by Industry 4.0?

There has been a lot of talk about a new era of modernization in industry. We often call it the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” or “Industry 4.0”.

Concept of Industry4.0

The most common trend in industries today is automated robots or machines which are operated by trained staff. Thus, the manpower which is responsible for the production is kept minimal as almost everything is done by machines.

The next step of advancement would be the complete automation of the entire production unit. It means zero involvement of human. This involves integrating technologies like cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing with factories.

The machines in the factories would be able to communicate with each other, analyze and monitor the environment in real-time and operate by themselves while the manufacturer is kept informed and can control everything by any digital device like a smartphone.

 

Applications of Industry 4.0

  • Manufacturing– In smart factories, manufacturing would be done according to modular assembly and not assembly line. With modular assembly, the degree of sophistication in manufacturing will increase and it will consist of automated robots and monitoring systems which can perform an on-spot quality analysis. Meaning better production and quality control.
  • LogisticsSmart warehouse where robots are deployed can do all the job their human counterparts do, only faster and better. These robots are self-charging and wifi-equipped and are responsible for moving goods in the warehouse. The inventory, shipments log, etc. are also automatically maintained.
  • Supply chain– A connected supply-chain network to the factory’s system will optimize production when necessary. For example, if shipment of raw material is delayed, the factory’s production pace would be automatically adjusted by calculating the arrival time of the delivery. Also, if any irregularities happen in production, the information on the delay will be relayed to the concerned party.

These applications are just a few to name. The Internet of Things (IoT) will enable your managers or supervisor to monitor all the on-site data on their mobile phone. It also has potential beyond manufacturing like smart farming and related activities. There are many other possible applications not mentioned here. You can share them with us if you can or ask us any queries regarding the same @Stalwart Research.

 

Features of Industry 4.0

  • Increased productivity– The introduction of complete automation will definitely increase the output as the production can take place without any breaks and on holidays.
  • Quality– With complete automation, even the quality of produced goods will be good and consistent as the machines can automatically keep track of quality measures in the production cycle much accurately than human counterparts. Also, an automated system will exercise strict quality test and allow only the best produce.
  • Least human interference– The system of production unit designed as per industry 4.0 would require the involvement of just one human supervisor and a small maintenance team to look over an entire production plant while all the production would be taken care automatically. That kind of setup would require practically zero manpower for production activities.
  • Efficient– The production speed and consumption of resources like electricity, water, etc. is done efficiently as the automated systems avoid any unnecessary wastage.
  • Adaptive– With integrating logistics and supply-chain in the system, a proper and efficient production cycle is achieved which considers delays, early deliveries, deadlines, etc. And optimize production accordingly.
  • Cost-effective– As discussed earlier, the EFFICIENT and  ADAPTIVE nature of a system designed under industry 4.0. With no human labor required, the production can continue without putting on lights. Also the cost of maintaining a labor force like canteen facilities, locker room facilities, salaries, etc. can be saved. An example of the system being cost-effective- Using the data from sensors in its equipment, an African gold mine identified a problem with the oxygen levels during leaching. Once fixed, they were able to increase their yield by 3.7%, which saved them $20 million annually.

 

The world is changing more rapidly than ever now. In fact, many think that today’s technology may become obsolete and unrecognizable 10 years from now. Of course the same goes for production as companies throughout the globe are adopting technologies realizing the potential of Industry 4.0.

Take baby steps by introducing proper technology in the production cycle keeping in mind the future and the current competition. Also, upgrade the current workforce or recruit staff with suitable skills and knowledge that can handle and manage responsibilities made possible by AI systems.

For more advice contact us @Stalwart Research.

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