Updated: May 29, 2020
We are now witnessing the fourth industrial revolution. While we humans fear change the industrial revolution is marked by the emergence of new business models, the disruption of incumbents and re-shaping of production, consumption, transportation and delivery systems.
As a manufacturer who has operated a successful business for decades or even longer you might not be willing to the change. However, in reality, the potential benefits that are to be gained from welcoming industry 4.0 are not to be missed.
Way back in the year when several banks resisted the use of technology, Where are those banks today? Unquestionably NOT in the business (unless they later caught up with the trends). The same can be applied and said for those who fail to adopt industry 4.0 in today’s day. The achievements in technology we have experienced will allow any business that invests in them to better connect with their people, systems, and machines. Additionally, making their businesses more efficient, adaptable and collaborative than in the past.
So, here is a list of factors you need to consider before adapting industry 4.0 :
1. THE CURRENT INFRASTRUCTURE
Do your current machines have the potential of upgradation in order to make them compatible with new industry 4.0 technology or do they have to be replaced? The IoT technology is integrated with sensors attached to machinery, which collect and transmit data. Hence it is possible to attach such sensors to some of your existing machinery thus updating them. There is also a need to run a check on compatibility with the communication systems that help to transmit the data along with data storage systems, databases and servers. Seek professional advice from experts during the current machinery evaluation stage.
Adapting industry 4.0 will, in all possibilities will save you money by bringing a boost in productivity and lowering overall costs. Although it could take time to see results and the expenditure initially can be really high. The decision of replacement or simply upgrading the existing machinery should be based on funds available.
3. THE RIGHT PEOPLE
In order to reap the most benefits of industry 4.0, there is a a need of well trained staff to operate new machinery, to gather, to interpret data as well as decide on an appropriate course of action based on data collected. Before going on board with a factory upgrade, evaluate whether your current workforce is suitable. Run a check on if you
🚹 need to employ new workers with new skills
🚹 Is there a need to invest in a training program for existing staff and length and the cost of training program
4. MEASURING THE BENEFITS
Before investing effort and resources into an upgrade is important to have data systems in place to calculate the benefits of your investment, measure ROI, increases in efficiency, reduction in wastage.
TO IMPLEMENT OR NOT?
Industry 4.0 technology is the future of manufacturing. The emergence of new business models, the disruption of incumbents and the reshaping of production, consumption, transportation and delivery systems, with fully connected and highly flexible factories that integrate data from all the sources. Its further helping in better planning of inventory and leading to offering a better service to their customers. The potential benefits to your business are staggering but if you are daunted by the scale of the changes needed, relax and take it step-by-step. There is no need to change everything at once. Cover one aspect of your production at a time.
This “lights out” production concept—where manufacturing activities and material flows are handled entirely automatically—is becoming an increasingly common attribute of modern manufacturing. In part, the new wave of automation will be driven by the same things that first brought robotics and automation into the workplace: to free human workers from dirty, dull, or dangerous jobs; to improve quality by eliminating errors and reducing variability; and to cut manufacturing costs by replacing increasingly expensive people with ever-cheaper machines. Today’s most advanced automation systems have additional capabilities, however, enabling their use in environments that have not been suitable for automation up to now and allowing the capture of entirely new sources of value in manufacturing.