If you work in the manufacturing field, chances are you have probably heard talk of Industry 4.0. You might be wondering what it is and how it will affect you and your company. Here is an overview of what to expect in this next phase of manufacturing.
What is Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0, a term coined by General Electric, is what manufacturers are calling the fourth industrial revolution. It is a coming age of automation and big data exchange in manufacturing technology.
This includes trends such as cloud computing, advanced analytics, and machines and that can communicate with each other and people, as well as predict mechanical failures and react autonomously to trigger maintenance. Unexpected downtimes will become a very rare occurrence. Along with Industry 4.0 comes the “smart factory.”
Smart factories: What are they and how can I classify as one?
A smart factory is a factory of the future where processes are efficiently implemented by integrating technologies of the new digital age of manufacturing.
To classify as a smart factory, your organization must meet these criteria:
- Your factory’s machines, devices, and people must be connected and able to communicate with each other.
- Your information systems should be capable of creating a virtual copy of the physical world through sensor data (for example 3D printing technology).
- Machine systems must support people in making decisions and problem solving, as well as assist in tasks deemed too difficult or dangerous for people.
- Cyber-physical systems must be able to make simple decisions on their own.
How does this affect me and how can I prepare?
Think about the structure of your organization and how you can achieve greater connectivity. Get ready for more efficient processes, less waste and less waiting, which will lead to reduced costs for your company.
But keep in mind, you won’t yield successful results if you aren’t prepared with the right team of people to handle what’s to come in the future of Industry 4.0. With monumental growth, also comes challenge. Don’t wait to act! Begin the search now for the best digital talent to join your workforce.