Manufacturing Gets Smarter with Industry 4.0

Manufacturing Gets Smarter with Industry 4.0

Manufacturing Technology Insights | Wednesday, June 12, 2019

FREMONT, CA: The fourth industrial revolution is here, and revolutions are rarely small, as any history buff can attest—they bring monumental changes to the status quo and force completely new directions. The 2018 MFG Forum attempted to tackle Industry 4.0's evolving problem; the disturbances it will trigger, the emergence of new techniques and resources to assist solidify a winning strategy for all sizes producers. The change from mechanical to electrical parts will redefine the automotive industry and manufacturing.  Additive manufacturing, robotics and automation all have a direct effect on the manufacturing process and are a vital force behind Industry 4.0. Unlike the past industrial revolutions, technological convergence magnifies each one's ability to create a strong transformation wave.

Industry 4.0 enabled by a digital business network can be leveraged by manufacturers to recognize comparable, if not higher, developments in their industry, as there are many more friction points. Some of the most excellent possibilities for transformative developments, therefore, lie outside the manufacturer's four walls and better coordinate and optimize the supply network for manufacturing. The Business-to-Business (B2B) value chain is much more complex from the client to the factory floor, and back through supplier layers, with different sides in various levels generating endless contact points and more friction.

The effective meshing of systems with the power of machine learning and AI offers a comprehensive, worldwide perspective and allows these systems to interact and regulate procedures autonomously. It promises to provide deep and fundamental insights into where the value lies and to recognize numerous ecosystem-wide leaks of value. AI, IoT, and the network play a critical role in linking all parties in real time so that they can detect problems early, intervene, and work together to solve them to improve safety and efficiency, as well as improve products and operate the plant more effectively and safely.

In the end, Industry 4.0 is about a constellation of systems that perform optimally when interconnected and coordinated smartly across the parties and the cyber-physical barrier. This communication and cooperation drive a lot of the business value that Industry 4.0 offers. If better connected, companies are better placed to leverage Industry 4.0's strength through 3D printing, robotics, and IoT within the plant, and are better placed to align goals and resources across the value chain to deliver the highest value to the end client at the lowest price.

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