The impact of Industry 4.0 on businesses in manufacturing
If you work in manufacturing, you’ve probably heard the term Industry 4.0 used quite a lot.
Industry 4.0 is a term used to describe the 4th phase of the industrial revolution – it basically describes the modern move towards digitisation within manufacturing and can be seen in the automation of processes, the rise of data analytics and mobile technologies.
So far, so good, but how can this latest phase in industrial development be harnessed to benefit your business? We take you through some key areas.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
As with most forms of new technologies, a bewildering name has been applied to something that we are all beginning to recognise in our daily lives.
The Internet of Things basically refers to the connections between devices that allows them to carry out more work than if they were operating discretely.
How does this work in practice?
Well, rather than a machine simply producing goods it can now generate data that informs users of its machine health, hours of downtime or time since maintenance was last carried out.
Alternatively, a device can be set to order new materials when it is running low and production is likely to be affected.
As the tech develops, new opportunities are appearing for gains to productivity and reductions in waste.
Saving time with Industry 4.0
By cutting out inefficiencies that take up too much staff time (i.e., making reports and the creation of documents and reminders automatic rather than manual) an organisation can free up time for staff to do what they do best – manufacture goods!
With fewer wasted hours on admin, staff can instead dedicate more time to updating their skillset through training and career growth, leading to a cycle of improvements that go beyond simple reducing waste – as long as the time is reinvested wisely.
One of the less heralded areas of Industry 4.0 but prove to be the improvements to safety.
We are already familiar with the usefulness of machines carrying out jobs that would be too dangerous for human hands but the ability to integrate motion sensors into equipment, allowing them to shut off and anticipate accidents before they even happen is another step forward.
Furthermore the ability to generate data insights into that can then be used to improve safety standards in the future should not be overestimated.
Cutting costs while improving productivity
A key concern of most businesses will always be cutting costs by reducing inefficiencies, but Industry 4.0 is showing the way towards better cost-effectiveness without damaging productivity.
In this sense, reductions is waste through automation and predictive analysis can be paired with data insights that generate more opportunities for boosting the bottom line.
Making sure your business is equipped with the best technologies can open up new markets, ensure that performances improve and that targets are not only met but are exceeded.
All of this makes Industry 4.0 the perfect cocktail of improved staff experience, reductions in waste and meaningful improvements to profitability.
Did you find this article useful? If you’d like to discuss the implication of Industry 4.0 further, you can get in touch with one of our ERP consultants here to learn how we can assist your business.
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