Industry 4.0 is more than a flashy buzzword. It’s the ultimate vector of development for the manufacturing industry. This new confluence of emerging technologies can completely reshape the manufacturing act — from product design and engineering to distribution and after-service.

The change is much needed since the manufacturing industry is experiencing great pressure on several fronts:

  • The growing need for higher productivity and leaner processes.
  • The consumers’ demand for hyper-personalized products and experiences.
  • Plus, the overall digital disruption upending markets at a fast pace.

Industry 4.0 solutions are emerging as a response to all these challenges.

The Scope of Strategic Industry 4.0 Opportunities

By 2025, Industry 4.0 could generate manufacturers and suppliers an estimated $3.7 trillion in value creation potential. Today, however, a mere 30% of manufacturers are already realizing value from their investments. For most, the race to digitization has just begun.

If your organization is currently at the evaluation stage, too, we advise you to take a close look at the following technological areas of innovation.

Predictive Maintenance

Unplanned equipment downtime and sudden failures are well-familiar adversaries to lean manufacturing. The new generation of predictive maintenance solutions, powered by state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms, can identify the early signs of failure and even anticipate malfunctions before those occur.

Such solutions can be plugged to your central control panel and generate alerts whenever the slightest deviations in performance are recorded. Furthermore, they can estimate the optimal maintenance schedule for critical equipment, so that you can order all the spare parts in advance, dispatch the on-site technician and minimize the downtime window to a bare minimum.

Per Deloitte, predictive maintenance solutions can help manufacturers:

  • Increase manufacturing equipment availability and uptime by 10–20%.
  • Subdue maintenance planning time by 20-50%.
  • Reduce the overall maintenance costs by 5–10%.

Industrial IoT (IIoT)

Industrial IoT deployments are growing at a significant speed, and there’s a good reason for that: connectivity adds more clarity to the manufacturing process.

The latest array of sensors can capture a variety of data points ranging from temperature to sound and vibrations — all of these parameters can tell a lot about the equipment operating conditions or the state of produced/transported goods.

According to a recent McKinsey survey, manufacturers are actively exploring the following industrial IoT use cases:

  • Service level optimization
  • Enhanced operational visibility
  • New servicised offerings
  • Connected products
  • Manufacturing process optimization
  • Improved sales enablement

Rolls-Royce was one of the first companies to deploy a full-scale servitization offering to cement their spot as a leading engine supplier. With the TotalCare® service package, the company rents its engines to airlines for a monthly fee that also covers all maintenance work.

To maximize their profit margins, Rolls-Royce collects sensor data from engines and uses predictive algorithms to estimate the optimal maintenance schedule. This way, they deliver added-value to the customer without stretching their operational costs.

Digital Twining

Digital twinning is the central component of truly smart factories. In essence, a twin is a cloud-based representation of a product/asset (or one of its components) that can be leveraged to run highly accurate simulations.

Powered by real-time data collected from sensors, predictive analytics and ML algorithms, digital twins are handy assets for conducting various pilots such as stress-test the performance of the systems critical elements or validate certain engineering assumptions — all without committing to costly physical prototypes.

In addition, digital twins can be created for all the equipment at your plant so that you could:

  • Virtually test, optimize and fine-tune the performance of every asset before applying any changes on the ground.
  • Identify production bottlenecks and potential failures before any operation begins.
  • Continuously collect new data for further process optimization.

Accelerating the Industry 4.0 Revolution — Are You In?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, powered by IoT, AI, ML, and Big Data Analytics, is full speed ahead. The question is: will you stand at the foothold of these innovations?

Email our team for a quick consult! We’d be delighted to advise you on the optimal Industry 4.0 solutions for your operations, custom-made to match your operations.  

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