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Manufacturing Industry 4.0 – How IoT Is revolutionizing Business

Manufacturing Industry 4.0
Digital Transformation

Manufacturing Industry 4.0 – How IoT Is revolutionizing Business

Manufacturing companies are under rapid transformation, thanks to Industry 4.0 solutions. While 55-70% of companies have realized the potential of leveraging advanced technologies to streamline and speed up their operations, a few still have not untapped the potential of the future technologies. If your business is one among them, it’s time to wake up before it’s too late. 

Industry 4.0 solutions IoT, AI, Mobile App Development, RPA don’t just accelerate operations but help a great deal in controlling the overhead process costs. Another interesting statistics manufacturers must find noteworthy is that companies that are leveraging the above-stated technologies are performing staggeringly even during the Covid-19 pandemic times. 

Still not convinced? The sections below will help you understand the impact of Industry 4.0 for manufacturers

What is Industry 4.0 and what does it mean for Manufacturing

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0) is the ongoing transformation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices combined with the latest smart technology. This primarily focuses on the use of large-scale machine to machine communication (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) deployments to provide increased automation, improved communication and self-monitoring, as well as smart machines that can analyze and diagnose issues without the need for human intervention. (Source: Wikipedia)

What is Industry 4.0 and what does it mean for Manufacturing

(Source: Aberdeen Group)

We are witnessing, across the world, a whole new revolution in manufacturing and supply, which we have now come to call The Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. (We cannot get out of software lingo, do we?). The essence of this revolution is the use of communication and information advances to improve almost any activity on the planet. 

The primary drivers remain rooted in business – demand for greater variety, lower cost and improved quality. The answer Industry found was in fully automated production cells and connected manufacturing or Smart Manufacturing.

According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, 74% of best-in-class organizations cite visibility into performance of operations as the leading capability of Industry 4.0.

And what Industry 4.0 is doing is ushering in the combination of robotics, teleoperation, and cloud technologies to transform enterprise operations, industrial processes, and consumer services across verticals. 

(Source: Researchgate.net)

(Source: Researchgate.net)

The supporting technologies include service robots, ubiquitous connectivity and communication technology, building automation and management systems, sensor equipped energy management system, cloud and edge enabled infrastructure, mobile device management, wearable networks, and intelligent software application. If that sounds like a lot, let us make it simple for you. Whether you are talking about a factory setting, office environment, or enterprise operation, IoT (or call it Industrial IOT) and supporting technologies can enable a smarter workplace.

The Industry 4.0 change drivers

The Industry 4.0 change drivers(Source: isa.org)

Manufacturing Industry 4.0 – IoT Revolution

International Data Corporation (IDC) in its research paper – Transforming Manufacturing with Internet of Things – identified the following drivers which will influence why and how manufacturers invest in IoT.

Manufacturing Industry 4.0 – IoT Revolution(Source: MarketsandMarkets.com)

Complex, dynamic value chains. Manufacturers participate in and manage complex, overlapping value chains, with frequent change, as they seek new opportunities around the globe.

Emerging market growth. Manufacturers continue to reshape supply chains and product strategies to support emerging market growth sourced from and manufactured in emerging regions and local markets.

Traceability, transparency, brand, and reputation. Manufacturers will use increased traceability and transparency to strengthen their ability to deliver product quality and protect their reputations.

Demanding customers. Manufacturers are compressing business cycles to meet customers’ increasing requirements for personalized products and higher levels of service.

Converging technologies for manufacturing. Technologies — operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT), including IoT — are mandatory for manufacturers to design, manufacture, and deliver their products.

Ubiquitous connectivity. Connectivity is ubiquitous — in devices, interfaces, and processes — and extends to the edge, with manufacturers assuming that the communication infrastructure will keep up.

Truth in data. Manufacturers are looking for the truth in data as they seek more valuable analysis of greater volumes and variety of data and the information that will bring them closer to digital execution.

Well then, what is ‘connected manufacturing’ or ‘smart manufacturing?’ Internet of Things, as we all know, is a network of uniquely identifiable endpoints (or “things”) that communicate without human interaction using IP connectivity. In the industrial setting, manufacturers are adding software, sensors, and wireless connectivity to their products, providing the foundation for a new age of operational efficiency through the application of IoT.

The role of IoT in manufacturing

According to Bernard Marr (What Everyone Must Know About Industry 4.0 – Forbes, June 20, 2016), for a factory or system to be considered Industry 4.0, it must include:

IoT in manufacturing helps your company in the following ways. 

Interoperability — machines, devices, sensors and people that connect and communicate with one another.

Information transparency — the systems create a virtual copy of the physical world through sensor data in order to contextualize information.

Technical assistance — both the ability of the systems to support humans in making decisions and solving problems and the ability to assist humans with tasks that are too difficult or unsafe for humans.

Decentralized decision-making — the ability of cyber-physical systems to make simple decisions on their own and become as autonomous as possible.

The impact of IoT on manufacturing companies

The impact of IoT on manufacturing companies (1)(Source: Automation Insights)

Enhanced service delivery. Field service based on actual product performance data allows manufacturers and the service channel to improve customer satisfaction and time-to-repair metrics. Remote diagnostics, monitoring and even fixing of connected products enable more loyal customer relationships, increases value, and allow manufacturers to uphold product quality standards.

100% Efficiency. As shown in the aviation fuel supply example, ability to deliver a continuous supply of material to OEMs or big industries, based on production schedules and real time plant inventory status.

Improved Quality. Documenting actual product performance, creating early warning and detection signals, and enabling closed loop feedback to drive quality improvements in future products.

Improved Speed. Managing inventory positions throughout an increasingly complex logistics network with greater visibility into actual inventory. Reduced order lead time. Increased fulfilment capabilities, including the use of smaller, more localized warehouses located closer to customers.

Applications of IoT in Manufacturing

Here are some interesting applications of IoT in manufacturing.

Our key takeaway

It is not about whether Industry 4.0 (IoT) is impacting manufacturing or not. It already is reshaping manufacturing & supply chain. It is about how quickly you can get equipped to take advantage of and leverage this opportunity and convert this into a competitive advantage. 

Early adopters will be rewarded for embracing this new technology. If you are looking for ways to leverage IoT in manufacturing and supply, talk to our IoT app development experts. 

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