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 Internet 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.