Industry 4.0 Impact on Businesses

What is Industry 4.0?

 

Industry 4.0

As we enter the fourth Industrial Revolution, businesses are headed into the future with the following question: How can we make sure that transition will be smooth and swift?

Before assessing how the new technology will impact our business, we need to answer two questions: what exactly is Industry 4.0 and what needs to be changed in order to keep up with it?

The term “Industry 4.0”  originates from a German industrial initiative conducted by prof. Henning Kagermann. It refers to combining the major digital inventions to transform the different industrial sectors such as electronics, industrial manufacturing, engineering and construction, healthcare, transportation, energy, etc.

These digital innovations include Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Advanced Robotics, autonomous machines with a focus on artificial intelligence and Big Data. Using these technologies combined with large-scale machine production allows physical and virtual worlds to merge. This integration is currently in its early stages of life.   

Why does it matter?

 

If we look back at the last ten years, we see that the variety of products has doubled while their life span has reduced to a quarter. There’s clearly a need for rethinking the production process and line it up with the technological  progress.

The interconnection between consumers is now at a historical high with an incredible richness of technologies to help them achieve new things. To understand the next step – i.e. identify domains where services can be improved – machine learning plays a key role. The collected data will increase exponentially, due to innovations such as quantum computing. This means that these data streams have to be correlated, filtered, grouped or merged, in one word they have to make sense. This is where machine learning comes into play.

The result of analyzing and understanding huge amounts of data is increasing the capability to transform the service we offer, to optimize the use of our resources and ultimately to maintain our competitiveness in the market.  

Why not simply ignore it?

 

Being competitive is one of the main reasons to get involved. Staying up to date with new technology will undoubtedly be beneficial to make processes faster and cost-efficient.

The risk to get behind in technology could mean future issues when trying to integrate to the new developments in the manufacturing sector.

 

Where to?

To catch this wave of transformations, companies will have to keep constantly aware of innovations and assess the costs of embedding them into their production process.

As most operations will become fully digitized, this will help bring new products to market with less effort. One advantage to this approach is that new offerings will be easily tested without requiring a full launch.

Because of the new interconnection capability, any product can provide insights into the customers who use it: how they operate, what workarounds they find to their problems, what delays they have, etc.

Industry 4.0 will take advantage of mass customization to offer companies personalized products using previously used data or experience. They will be able to use technology that will already have been trained on others datasets and will easily be applied to their own production line.

 

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