What is Industry 4.0? It’s a term referring to the fourth industrial revolution, or an industry revolution 4.0. The fourth industrial revolution is the use of innovations such as automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics to improve industrial and manufacturing processes.
Understanding Industry 4.0 Technology
First of all, what is Industry 4.0 technology? This type of technology encompasses several different digital technologies, including the following:
- Big Data and Analytics: Big data and analytics contribute to smart manufacturing processes that include predictive maintenance. Analytics deployments can analyze data from connected machines and equipment, and then use that data to determine the equipment’s condition. If an analysis shows it’s likely to fail, maintenance should be performed. This can reduce repair costs, since predictive maintenance can occur before the component, equipment, or machine fails. Beyond maintenance, analytics make it possible to use data from all across your company, from production equipment and systems to customer management systems, to base your decisions on real-time data derived from the workplace around you.
- The Industrial Internet of Things: The Internet of Things (IoT) is when devices and systems are embedded with connections to the internet and other connective systems. Industrial IoT gives you access to all sorts of data and increases the visibility of your products and production process. This Industry 4.0 technology allows you to monitor your production process to make sure batches are produced properly and products meet quality standards, among other capabilities.
- Augmented Reality: Systems based in augmented reality are still in the early stages of development and deployment, but experts predict they will make a big impact on manufacturing and industrial work procedures. How is this possible? Augmented reality technology generates an image and superimposes on a user’s view of the world. Eventually, industrial and manufacturing companies will be able to use augmented reality systems to help select parts for equipment and send instructions through various mobile devices.
Industrial IoT gives you access to all sorts of data and increases the visibility of your products and production process. This Industry 4.0 technology allows you to monitor your production process to make sure batches are produced properly and products meet quality standards, among other capabilities.
Industry 4.0 Technology Best Practices
Now that we’ve covered what Industry 4.0 technology is and what it can be used for, let’s discuss best practices for this technology. Here’s what you can do to make the most of your facility’s Industry 4.0 technology:
- Understand Your Technology’s Device Management: Make sure you know what your technology’s device management capabilities are and understand how you can deploy them in your facility. When you understand how your IoT systems connect your equipment, machines, and other devices, you can begin to determine which management capabilities fit best with certain parts and aspects of your facility and your production process.
- Prioritize Connectivity: As you focus on understanding your device management capabilities, you should also examine and understand how the IoT device management systems connect to your facility’s enterprise management system (EMS). Your EMS oversees the facility as a whole and controls how various systems operate and interact. It is extremely important for your EMS to communicate effectively with your device management systems. When they do, all your operations can run effectively.
- Embrace Cloud-Based Deployment Options: Cloud computing makes Industry 4.0 technology possible, and it has multiple deployment options for these systems and technologies. Look at all of your deployment options within your cloud environment. You may find that options like multi-tenancy may be right for your systems. The more you learn about cloud-based deployment options and how they work with your Industry 4.0 systems and processes, the more likely you are to find the right deployment options for your operations.
- Prepare Scaled-Back Versions of Your Traditional Best Practices: Industry 4.0 technologies are the building blocks for creating a smart factory or industrial facility. However, your current best practices are still relevant as you integrate these technologies into your facility. As you transition into a smart factory business model, you may have to change when you perform your traditional best practices. You may also have to modify them to fit your facility’s new technology. No matter what, you should be flexible as you integrate this new technology.
As cyber physical systems meet the physical world, you should be ready to implement and use these best practices. When you do that, you’ll see increased productivity and improved production processes.
Implement Industry 4.0 Technologies With Us
For over 20 years, HEXA Ingenieros has helped companies around the world realize their performance goals with unique, custom-tailored automated solutions. In the wake of our expansion to St. Louis, Missouri, in 2017, we’re proud to announce that we’ve only grown from strength to strength.