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A CIO’s Guide to Industry 4.0 – The Future of Manufacturing

Industry 4.0 is the next phase of digitalization in the manufacturing sector that is driven by factors including the proliferation of data volumes, growth of connectivity and computational power, and key advancements in manufacturing innovations. Although they are still in the early stages of development, smart factory and industry 4.0 have already begun transforming manufacturing. By embracing industry 4.0, manufacturers can gain much more than just extending their digital reach and or selling new varieties of products and services. Industrial automation can increase productivity and performance and also bring down the overall production costs. Another major benefit of industry 4.0 is that it will greatly promote globalization through worldwide supply chains and sensor networks. Developing the right digital capabilities for becoming a manufacturing 4.0 organization requires a strategic step-by-step approach. This article outlines the key steps critical to success.

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Industry 4.0Evaluate existing capabilities with expectations

CIO’s must begin by evaluating their existing technological capabilities and compare them with the digital maturity that they expect to achieve. Prioritize measures that directly align with the organization’s overall strategy and will most likely create better business value. It is also vital to communicate and get commitment for the measures that are chosen for not just the top leadership but also ensure that it is evident to people across the organization who are integral to the execution.

Begin with pilot projects

Pilot projects can be used to demonstrate proof of concept and demonstrate the business gains that can be derived from the industry 4.0 strategy. Early success in the pilot projects can also help gain buy-in from the organization and secure adequate funds for the final roll-out. Collaborate with digital leaders outside the company to create pragmatic designs for the industry 4.0 concept, this is can significantly accelerate digital innovation.

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Map capabilities required to achieve desired goals

The flaws in the pilots for industry 4.0 transformation will help CIOs identify the capabilities that the organization lacks in achieving the desired results. Create a blueprint highlighting the technology enablers that will help propel the business processes forward. The success of an industry 4.0 transformation will largely depend on the company’s ability to deploy appropriate skills and knowledge.

Embrace digital capabilities

A company can encounter several roadblocks in their journey to embrace digital transformation. Data is critical to make the right business decisions and adopt feasible strategies. Combine data from different verticals of business including logistics, QC, and engineering functions and use this to analyze new methods to attract customers. Advanced technologies such as real-time analytics can be used to attract customers and fully capture the potential of industry 4.0.  Actively understanding customer behavior and orchestrating a distinct role for your organization within complex ecosystems will be the greatest breakthrough to successfully adopting industry 4.0 capabilities.

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Will Industry 4.0 Change the Face of the Chemical Industry?

Industry 4.0 has been proven to be a huge success in the manufacturing scenario, and it is gradually making its way to the chemical industry. But will chemical companies be ready to experiment with this technology in their operations? How far is it going to prove beneficial for them? Let us find out. Industry 4.0 incorporates a number of advanced digital and physical technologies that form a greater physical-to-digital-to-physical connection and has the potential to transform the chemical industry by streamlining operations and promoting strategic growth. Businesses focused on business operations can use industry 4.0 to improve productivity and reduce risks, and the companies that are emphasizing on growth can apply industry 4.0 to build incremental revenue andIR_Brochure generate new income streams.

What can industry 4.0 do for the chemical industry?

There are several benefits that chemical companies can leverage from industry 4.0. Let us examine a few of them:

  • Various smart manufacturing techniques such as predictive asset management, process control, and production stimulations, etc. can help players in the chemical industry to improve their business operations.
  • Incorporating industrial 4.0 into business will help chemical companies to optimize their maintenance spends and improve asset efficiency with the help of digital maintenance.
  • Industry 4.0 techniques such as automated control actions and real-time analytics help in supporting predictions, alerts, and prescriptive responses.
  • Companies in the chemical industry can leverage industry 4.0 technologies to control the non-standard processes and ensure energy efficiency.

What should companies in the chemical industry do to incorporate industry 4.0 successfully?

Chemical companies seeking to incorporate industry 4.0 solutions into their business must carry out the following actions:

  • Use historical data of mature products and processes to uncover new business insights and identify new sources of revenue growth
  • Create a cross-functional team to focus on the industry’s opportunities. This way, they can pool in the competencies from different departments for decision making on business operations or growth.
  • Partner with analytics providers, technology vendors, and universities to manage operations at different layers. This will make it easier for them to devise new revenue models by utilizing various data to draw insights on developing chemical products and services
  • Focus on risk management technology and policies. Efficient risk management policies will help companies in the chemical industry to keep themselves safe from risks associated with automated systems and loosely coupled assets.


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Industry 4.0 – Revolutionizing the Manufacturing Industry

Industry 4.0 may seem too complex and confusing for neophytes and experts alike. Industry 4.0 is the process of transforming the activities in the manufacturing industry with technology and making it dynamic and intelligent, bringing to life the concept of a smart factory. In layman terms, it refers to the amalgamation of top technology innovations such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and InterIR_Brochurenet of things (IoT) that has revolutionized the manufacturing industry. These sophisticated technologies bring together the best of both worlds – the physical and virtual worlds – to the manufacturing industry.

Industry 4.0 in the Manufacturing Industry – How?

Industry 4.0 aims at improving manufacturing and production activities by integrating automation and ensuring process optimization. This application is not limited to the routine physical production activities and trickles down to other functions such as product development, planning, and supply chain logistics among others. Considering the fact that it is still in its nascent stages of development, a question that arises is how is Industry 4.0 revolutionizing the manufacturing sector? Here’s how.

  • With the help of Industry 4.0, manufacturing companies can drive transparency and agility across business operations, which irons out the shortcomings of an average supply chain
  • It allows the manufacturing industry players to create a responsive supply chain, which enables the manufacturers to reach out to the end consumers directly. The technological adoption facilitates the creation of customized solutions and personalized products that address the customer’s needs
  • By replacing superfluous traditional systems with an advanced digitized system that scores high on interoperability, industry 4.0 aims at minimizing costs and maximizing revenue for the industry
  • The introduction of technology and automated processes improves employee morale, increases workforce productivity, reduces training costs, and lowers employee attrition levels in the manufacturing sector


Industry 4.0 in the Manufacturing Industry – Roadblocks

Integrating Industry 4.0 with the existing processes requires the manufacturing companies to collaborate with vast amounts of data directly. Not many manufacturing companies hold the potential to adopt a data-driven and technology-based approach as they lack the required infrastructural capabilities. In addition to the technological capabilities, there are several other roadblocks such as a dearth of skilled human resources, an abundance of strict regulatory frameworks, and high investments that hinder the successful adoption of Industry 4.0 among the manufacturing companies. The companies who overcome these challenges will gain the first mover advantage in the manufacturing sector and gain a strong foothold in the market.

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