The second decade of the 21st century is amid innovations that are compelling to witness an advanced phase in the realm of science and technology. It is not only a phase of pure innovations but of making dreams and aspirations a reality. This unique phase in technology is one that gets titled industry 4.0. There is a whole lot of Things (devices) connected, data analytics, predictive mechanisms and automation supported by artificial intelligence and machine learning to operate efficiently. Such a promising standard of innovation in technology is bound to positively impact the operations of manufacturing industry. Is it already placing an impact on the manufacturing realm? What is industry 4.0’ essence within the manufacturing sector? Let’s explore all of this as we excavate through this article.
What is industry 4.0?
Digital technology is the crux of fourth revolution in industry. Industry 4.0 is in short, the fourth industrial revolution that is recognised as a modern insurgency that connects devices, peoples, processes, machines and thereby automates various mechanisms governed by principles of deep learning / machine learning, predictive analytics and so on.
Industry 4.0 encompasses Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cognitive intelligence, cyber-physical systems that empowers Machine to Machine (M2M) operations and communications, eventually lowering human intervention and dependency. In other words, industry 4.0 can be referred as the amalgamation of existing manufacturing practices and sophisticated technology. Industry 4.0 is set to change the face of manufacturing industry for the better!
What constitutes the manufacturing sector?
Turing raw materials into finished products / goods is the primary idea that constitutes manufacturing industry. In brief, not just raw materials even assembling finished parts for an end product too remains a huge task of the manufacturing industry. With every passing phase of the industrial revolution series; the manufacturing industry has come to focus on Mass production and Assembly line that requires specialization and large amounts of capital investments. To achieve the same, further revolutionizing methods of production and assessment of equipment of the manufacturing sector are being researched, tested and applied.
The manufacturing industry does contribute to the annual GDP of a country and is thereby seen as a premier sector in most of the countries across the globe. As is the condition with any other sector, the manufacturing industry does face its own challenges and in the wake of growing demand alongside competing technological innovations, it is crucial to sustain production efficiency, product quality and associated conditions.
Value of industry 4.0 to the manufacturing industry
The manufacturing industry has been witnessing its own couple of challenges that have inevitably posed as limitations for further progress and advancements. Some of the major challenges of the manufacturing industry include:
- Global competition – The top-notch manufacturer position is something that all companies wish to hold. The existing competition across the world is what keeps the position oscillating and changing among different competitors with new arrivals and efficiency standards met by each competitor. Therefore, maintaining a unique impeccable standard is the need of the hour for every manufacturing brand.
- Manual labour shortage – Increasing bifurcation in product creation that requires specialization of a certain area within the manufacturing industry is a result of the rise of assembly line wing. This has increased the need of both skilled and unskilled labour that is not being met and is at juncture of creating a huge vacuum.
- Inventory monitoring, control and asset tracking – Assessing the inventory from time to time is a crucial task. In stock and off stock essentials are to be rightly identified for further processing and uninterrupted production cycles in the manufacturing industry. As is now being done manually, the chances of flaws and wrong estimations are high and therefore needs to be catered and solved for accurate accounting / computing. Manual asset tracking has become an impossible task with the growing nature of industries, this too requires an apt solution.
- Enhance production efficiency – This remains a challenge as the manufacturing industry is on the look for reduced investment costs and improved production efficiency alongside sustained quality standards. This can be achieved through advanced technology incorporation with regard to monitoring, predictive maintenance and so on.
- Lack of new technology adaption – Technological advancement and innovations are continuous processes that do not cease at a given development but seeks to better itself post a successful juncture, it is an ongoing process. As a result, manufacturing industries often fail to adapt the right technology that provides a solution to its practical difficulties. Some adaptions are partial and therefore causes immense trouble with problem solving and remains a dead investment.
These major challenges are some of the reasons that increase the significance of IIoT implementation in the manufacturing industry. IIoT is the advanced and proactive solution to practical problems of the manufacturing industry. It seeks to provide accuracy as opposed to manual failures in dealing with large quantities. Let’s learn more of this technology.
How will IIoT help the manufacturing Industry?
IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) is a major wing of the IoT (Internet of Things) technology. IIoT has started off with a passion to revolutionize the manufacturing industry, yet the data security often hinders the adaption of the same. None the less, the data security issue is being solved too and there exists nothing much that hinders production efficiency, inventory assessment, predictive maintenance and so on. Repercussions of manual computing are sorted with IIoT technology by transforming Manufacturing industry to Smart / Digital Manufacturing.
- Digitization – IIoT helps connect people, devices and processes through its highlighted feature of capturing and providing access to real-time data. this facilitates integration of business operations and thereby reduces scope for error. Such integration transforms the manufacturing industry into a smart operated industry.
- Operational intelligence – Customers are empowered with the latest and best technology that enables them to retrieve real-time data from their environment and learn of the same in detail. This qualifies them to drive operational standards to greater echelons of success with taking the right critical business decisions with utmost sensibility of the prevailing conditions.
- Predictive analytics – An exclusive feature pertaining to IIoT is its ability to predictive your equipment health / condition, production cycles, unplanned loss and so on; this helps you supervise and monitor your manufacturing unit in accordance. This feature strengthens your hold on the firm and plays a vital role in preventing unexpected failures and breakdowns that could hit hard the annual turnovers.
- Cost optimization – IIoT technology optimizes cost for the manufacturing industry. Tools required in the manufacturing industry and monitored with IoT and estimated work life is generated. This is further programmed to inform the vendor who replaces it when need. It saves expenditure on recruiting a whole team to just replace these small tools and optimizes performance of existing workforce.
- Centralised management – IIoT will make it a reality to deploy, connect, add intelligence, analyse and control data along with ensuring management from a central point of firm handling. It was a reality to large companies, but with IIoT it has become cost effective to small and medium scale industries too.
How IIoT of industry 4.0 helps solve issues and add value to manufacturing industries?
Having read elaborately on the issues of the manufacturing industry and how IIoT can solve these issues with utmost precision and ease, it is probably obvious that you might want to implement IIoT to your manufacturing firm. Well, there is no running here and there, we’ve got a one time all-inclusive solution.
Industrial IoT platform is a premier technology that enables manufacturing industries overcome its challenges with a one stop solution that provides end to end facilities; thereby omitting your trouble of having to purchase each necessity of setting up an IIoT working model for your firm. We have engineered to drive business intelligence to greater success heights through our Fogwing IoT platform.
IR sensors, Gyroscope sensors, motion detection sensors, temperature sensors and so on are deployed on equipment and manufacturing unit premises. These sensors capture data at real-time and transmit the same to a cloud. The data is in its complex algorithms which are then verified against the set threshold limits of good performance / temperature / premises boundary and so on. The validated data is transferred to digital information that is further made accessible on fogwing platform dashboard. Alongside this ability, offers options to set up cognitive operations through automation with its features that enables you to command for an action to be triggered. In case, the set threshold limits are nearing or has reached, IIoT will send signals to the microcontroller to trigger a set action that will be registered and accounted on for further verification. This feature facilitates smooth functioning of manufacturing process within the manufacturing unit as it keeps a close watch and read on equipment’s and tools within the vicinity.
In conclusion, Industrial IoT brings to you the reality of industry 4.0 embedded with several features to solve your problems!