Industry 4.0 Solutions: Technologies, Challenges, and Implementation for SMEs

Industry 4.0 Solutions
Digital Transformation

Industry 4.0 Solutions: Technologies, Challenges, and Implementation for SMEs

Since the advancement of Industry 4.0 solutions, manufacturers have moved a long way from digitization to digitalization. 

Industry 4.0 technologies

The industry has realized the significance of digitalizing the processes, systems, and human resources using the technologies like IoT, AI, RPA, Mobile applications, etc. 

Interconnecting all the departments has paved the way for improving the operational efficiency of humans and machines to a great extent. 

Also, the data accumulation and accuracy have enabled the manufacturers to process and analyze data to make faster decisions leading to rapid and substantial growth. 

Industry 4.0 – Challenges for small and medium business

While the above is the story concerning large companies, many small and medium-sized companies are yet to realize the potential of future technology as they confront specific roadblocks. 

A few of them are

  1. Getting C-suite for buy-in
  2. Lazy change management approach
  3. Lack of roadmap to Industry 4.0 solution
  4. Lack of resources, tools, and technology assistance 

Industry 4.0 solutions – Challenges for small and medium-sized companies

1. Persuading C-suite for buy-in

Digital transformation or implementation of Industry 4.0 solutions for a manufacturing company requires an uphill task consuming many hours, resources, and money. 

It is a must for any Admin team within the manufacturing company to clear the air with the correct details about the program and its execution. 

A common challenge every CEO or MD of a company fears is the delivery of products and customer service. With new implementations comes new challenges that could drain time and money. 

So, it is a must for the Admin team to persuade the C-suite executives with a clear agenda on what the program is all about, how long it will take, who will be involved, what technologies will be implemented, and what will be the RoI after implementation. 

And, above all, how the existing process will be in progress without any grinding halt or stop. 

The buck doesn’t stop here. The Admin team has communicated the full details to all the workforce as they are the persons that have to adopt the new technologies. 

Sometimes, companies see resistance to new technology implementations as that might require some time to understand the tool and the productivity.  

With clear communication about the complete program, it won’t be tough to persuade the executives and workforce to implement it. 

2. Lazy change management approach

Introducing new technologies in the productivity arena often won’t please the workforce as they are used to the existing technologies and tools in the force. 

As they are comfortable using the present tool, there are high chances that the new device will force them to step out of their comfort zone. 

Also, the workforce of small companies has tight manufacturing and delivery deadlines that can’t be met with a forced change to the system. 

To achieve that, it is critical for the Admin team to explain the significance of every technology and its impact on the workforce’s performance, productivity and efficiency. 

If they convince them with the right details and benefits of using the technologies like IoT, AI, RPA, Mobile apps, etc., then chances are they might get the nod of the workforce without breaking a sweat. 

3. Lack of roadmap to Industry 4.0 implementations

Most CEOs of MDs of manufacturing companies fear this. Without a proper program in place or implementing the wrong technology without accurate analysis might hurt the company’s bottom line significantly. 

Understanding the technologies and the ROI they can bring to the business is exceptionally critical before meeting with the employees and executives. 

Having a step-by-step approach to every change and implementation will help the Admins improve the staff’s productivity and efficiency. 

SMEs don’t have much money and time to experiment with new things unless they are sure that the recent step will favor their company’s growth. 

So it is a must to come up with a concrete plan to win their approvals. 

4. Lack of resources, tools, and support

Another massive roadblock for SMEs that implement new technology, tool, or system is the lack of support – it can be resources, tools, and support. 

Implementing technologies like IoT, AI, RPA, or Mobile Applications can take a long. Success isn’t possible without a backup team of resources, tools, and support.

Partnering with an Industry 4.0 expert or winning digital transformation company is all-important to address the challenge. 

The Admin team has to consider this before taking up the idea with C-level executives. The implementation, productivity, and delivery time must be considered thoroughly beforehand. 

With the help of an expert Industry 4.0 service provider, the onus on the shoulder of the Admin team won’t be painful. 

       Read More: Manufacturing Industry 4.0 - How IoT Is revolutionizing 

Industry 4.0 solutions – Implementations for SMEs 

When it comes to implementations of Industry 4.0 solutions, different technologies are used across departments. 

IoT/mobile app for asset and inventory management has many use cases in manufacturing, construction, etc. 

Implementing IoT in inventory management is one of the most common use cases. 

With IoT, complicated inventory management becomes simple and seamless. 

Here are a few benefits of IoT in inventory management.

Remote Asset Tracking uses cloud-based technology to get information about the assets anytime, anywhere.

Asset Health/Condition Monitoring evaluates the various health indicators and associated risks and incidents and offers recommendations to improve asset condition/health.

Asset Lifecycle Management helps maintain assets’ portfolios and demonstrates the RoI achieved for the various assets throughout their lifecycle.

Asset Workflow Automation simplifies mundane and monotonous work to accelerate business processes with 100% accuracy to improve employee productivity.

Discover how we implemented product traceability solution for a leading manufacturing company to increase the asset tracking by 40% and cost savings by 30%.

IoT and AI for shop floor automation

IoT and AI play a significant role in improving shop floor productivity and efficiency

Managing the machines and measuring the efficiency of machines under different conditions is a challenge for manufacturers and managers. 

With IoT and AI implementation on the machines, it is seamless to monitor the performance of every machine, its condition, and efficiency. Any deviation in the efficiency is known beforehand before the machine’s condition worsens and production stops. 

AI helps the managers with the data collected from the machines using IoT. The accurate data collected from machines helps the managers plan the maintenance part smartly. This allows the managers to save much time and money. 

Discover how we implemented shop automation solution using IoT to improve the productivity on the shop floor for a leading manufacturing company. 

Wrapping up

SMEs fearing of the industry 4.0 solutions don’t have to overthink. With the right strategy, approach, and understanding of the solutions and benefits, SMEs can implement the right technology to improve their overall productivity and efficiency. 

Are you still struggling to kick start your industry 4.0 program? Get in touch with us. We are experts with a proven track record of partnering with different manufacturing solutions.

Want the right advice or suggestions for implementing Industry 4.0 solutions?