We’re undergoing an important change in how we make items due to the digitalization of manufacturing. The change is so important that it’s being applied to the Industry 4.0 to describe the fourth revolution that’s been occurring in production. From the beginning of the industrial revolution (mechanization by steam and water power) to mass manufacturing and assembly lines that were powered by electrical power during the next fourth industrial revolution will continue the steps that were started in the third century with the introduction of automation and computers and improve it by implementing smart and autonomous systems powered by machine learning and data.
Although some people ignore Industry 4.0 as merely a marketing term, changes are occurring in the world of manufacturing that merit our focus.
Industry 4.0 enhances the computerization process of Industry 3.0
When computers first came into Industry 3.0, it was radical due to the inclusion of totally new technology. In the present, and the future, as Industry 4.0 unfolds, computers are in constant communication with each other to eventually make decisions that are not influenced by humans. A combination of the cyber-physical system as well as technology, the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Systems make Industry 4.0 feasible as well as the intelligent factory is a possibility. Due to the help of smart machines that are constantly getting smarter as they have access to more information manufacturing facilities will become more efficient, productive, and less efficient. In the end, it’s the network of these machines that are digitally connected and share and create information which results in the full potential that is Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 applications of today
Many organizations may be unsure of how Industry 4.0 could impact their business, or struggling to find the expertise or the skills to determine the best way to adapt it to their particular application, others are already implementing changes and are preparing for the future where intelligent machines can improve their businesses. Here are some possible applications:
Find opportunities: Connected machines accumulate a lot of data, which can be used to inform maintenance of performance, performance, and other issues and also analyze that data to discover patterns and trends which are not possible for humans to achieve in a reasonable timeframe Industry 4.0 offers the opportunity for companies to enhance their processes quickly and effectively by knowing what areas require attention. Utilizing the data collected by sensors that are part of their equipment the African gold mine was able to identify an issue with oxygen levels that were causing the leaching. After fixing the issue, they were able to boost the production to 3.7 percent which saved them around 20 million dollars annually.
Improve supply chain logistics and logistics Connected supply chains can adapt and adjust whenever new information is made available. When a weather-related delay holds up the delivery of a shipment is delayed, a connected system could adapt to the situation and change the manufacturing process’s prioritization.
Autonomous vehicles and equipment It is possible to find shipyards that are using automated cranes as well as trucks to simplify their operations when they receive shipping containers from ships.
Robots: Previously only available for large companies with huge budgets, robots are now affordable and accessible to companies that are of any size. From picking out products in the warehouse until they are ready to ship, automated robots can quickly and securely assist manufacturing companies. Robots move items across Amazon Warehouses and reduce expenses and enable better utilization of floor space by Amazon, the Amazon online store.
Manufacturing with additives (3D printing) The technology has seen a huge improvement in the past decade and has moved from being used to prototype actual production. The advancements in Metal additive manufacturing have opened an array of production possibilities.
Internet of Things and the cloud: A major component in Industry 4.0 is the Internet of Things that is defined by the use of connected devices. This is not only beneficial for internal operations, but with the cloud environment in which the data can be stored the equipment and processes can be made more efficient by leveraging the knowledge of other companies using the same equipment, or to provide smaller businesses access to technologies they would not be able to access on their own.
Although Industry 4.0 is still in its early stages and we may not get the full picture until 30 years later, companies who are taking advantage of the new technologies can realize the full potential of Industry 4.0’s potential. They are also trying to improve the skills of their existing workforce to be able to handle the new job duties that can be made possible through Internet 4.0 and to recruit new employees who have the right abilities.