What is Industry 4.0, and how will it affect your company?

Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution, which changes the production and business model by connecting and building up the whole industry chain with intelligent networking, which heralds a new era of industry. The article discusses how Industry 4.0 will affect your company’s business model, production, and management.

What is Industry 4.0?

In recent years, industry experts have been talking about a new kind of industrial revolution. It has been referred to as Industry 4.0, or smart manufacturing, and some call it Digital Manufacturing. All these terms mean that machines are going to start communicating with each other in a whole new way- something that could eventually change everything from how you work to who manufactures your products. Think about UReason’s APM studio, and it connects the data of the assets to your personal space in the platform. The data is non-stop measured, and even includes historical data. The data collection set provides you with valuable insights into the lifetime of your assets. Every little event is translated to easy-to-read data about the support, to streamline manufacturing processes.

The 4.0 industry operates in manufacturing technologies, such as cloud computing, cyber security, big data and the Internet of things. These technologies can be used for business process automation, which means digital business processes are streamlined by capturing information digitally instead of having a human intervene.

How will Industry 4.0 affect your company?

There are three main areas where industry 4.0 (and its connected devices) will affect businesses: production, networking, management. 

‘How will Industry 4.0 affect my business?’ Production: The intelligent factory heralds a new age of efficiency for business – but not every type of production line will benefit equally; logistics and transport companies should be excited by what’s coming their way as process optimisation takes centre stage in manufacturing facilities across industries. In contrast, car manufacturers may be concerned about job losses as robots take over from humans on assembly lines. 

Industry 4.0 and predictive maintenance

‘How will Industry 4.0 affect my business?’ Management: New technology means changes to operational management, particularly when it comes to data-driven decision making. Real-time information delivered by connected devices means decisions made quickly with high levels of accuracy can lead to greater control, more predictable financial results and better responsiveness to customer needs. ‘How will Industry 4.0 affect my business?’

‘How will Industry 4.0 affect my business?’ Networking: Customer access to live product information at all times via mobile devices creates an expectation that they’ll always have the most up-to-date details about products before they decide whether or not to buy them. This means consumers are more likely to compare options on price alone rather than feature sets, reducing margins for some businesses involved in commoditised markets.

‘How will Industry 4.0 affect my business?’ Overall: More automation means more minor jobs available, which could threaten consumer demand if brands cannot maintain a trusted relationship with their customers at all times.  Those who quickly adapt will see significant benefits over time, while slower movers risk suffering losses if they fail to adapt.

What are the future implications of Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 is connecting the whole industry chain through software and intelligent networking. The process changes your company’s business model, its production, and management.  Once companies start building up their Industry 4.0 capabilities, they can raise overall competitiveness while creating new values for end users. Enterprises should transform and upgrade their manufacturing capability and application-level before thinking about digital transformation. According to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) survey, more than half of enterprises across European countries and regions have begun initiatives toward transforming manufacturing operations using IT technology; they predict that more than half of all manufacturing activities could be automated within 10 years.  Those who do not begin taking action now may lose opportunities down the road because digital technologies are changing too quickly. In addition, businesses need skilled workers, so it is time to train employees on related technologies and help them keep abreast of developments in relevant fields. This includes automation engineers whose job scope ranges from machine design to logistics planning—they must also study business applications of digitised data analysis tools and devise ways to use them effectively.

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PdM Maturity Matrix

Which level is your organisation on in the Predictive Maintenance Maturity Matrix?

To get the most out of Predictive Maintenance, your organisation should be on at least level 4. This is the area where there is enough data available for our APM software to derive the most accurate and reliable predictions about the performance of your assets through machine learning and data analytics.

From Predictive to Prescriptive

As the leader in the field of next-generation asset performance management software, we are reaching the new frontiers. And the new frontier is currently Prescriptive Maintenance, often considered the level 5 of maintenance. Here, by leveraging the power of machine learning, Internet of Things and big data analytics, our APM software can produce ever-evolving outcome-focused recommendations for operations and maintenance on top of predicting asset performance.

What is UReason's tool in industry 4.0?

With UReaon’s APM Studio; a reduction in downtimes, cost savings for unexpected breakdowns, and extended asset life are all major benefits of implementing a preventive maintenance program. Preventive maintenance keeps machines working correctly by ensuring that any problems are caught before they lead to costly downtime issues. This could result in 25% reduction of downtime of the assets. It’s important to understand though that preventive maintenance will not solve all issues with your equipment. However, when implemented successfully, Predictive Maintenance keeps machines up and running with a decrease of costly maintenance costs of 20% by preventing unexpected failures. Moreover, APM software provides companies with a real time overview of their assets lifetime which leads to longer asset life and significant reductions in machinery costs over time. Predictive maintenance can increase the durability of assets with 80%.

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