The fourth industrial revolution has impressed the manufacturing industry and in recent years, numerous companies are planning to revamp their facilities into smart factories. Machine Market International reveals four core advantages of this contemporary concept.
Manufacturing companies are increasingly adopting ‘Industry 4.0’ in their production processes and the results are stunning. What is it that is driving these companies towards this new concept? Some of the main plus points have been elaborated below:
Increased productivity and reduced downtime
Production is a crucial aspect that has to be monitored carefully. With the implementation of ‘Industry 4.0’ market players can enhance production and utilise the resources efficiently in a shorter period of time. Another significant advantage is that operators can achieve less downtime due to enhanced machine monitoring and automated or semi-automated decision-making. Once the facility is upgraded to a full- fledged smart factory the general OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) will also improve.
This is probably one of the best features of adopting ‘Industry 4.0’ in a manufacturing set up. With the assistance of the new technology, machines can communicate with each other without any human intervention. Previously, all the data collected on a single machine was confined to the machine itself, the information could not be shared with other machines. However, Industry 4.0 technologies i.e. automation, systems integration, data management, etc are capable of connecting production lines, business processes and departments irrespective of location, time, and other factors. This means that all the data and information can be shared automatically.
Costs and ROI
To make a factory smart with ‘Industry 4.0’ technologies is not an easy task and requires time. The transformation process has to be done in stages and proves to be a costly affair but the return on investment is substantial, it pays off as one is able to enhance their production in a shorter period of time and reduce downtime. It also ensures lower operational costs (overall and there are very few issues with regards to the quality of the products.
With this new technology, one can innovate and manufacture better quality products and also improve customer experience. It’s automated track and trace feature enables one to identify the exact location of the product and update the customer on the product’s whereabouts, if needed.
In addition to this, for industries such as pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing one has to comply with the regulations and this is usually done manually. However, with ‘Industry 4.0’ one can automate the compliance process including track and trace, quality inspections, serialisation, data logging, and more.
Companies are constantly working on technologies and solutions to provide a better ‘Industry 4.0’ experience to its users. In fact, this year, the EMO industrial show will also be dedicating a special area for ‘Industry 4.0’ at its venue in Hannover, Germany wherein industry players from around the world will exhibit their latest innovations.