What is Industry 4.0 and why is it important?
Industry 4.0 is the natural next step, Industry 4.0 optimises the computerisation of Industry 3.0.
As per Forbes, Big Data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represent a source for ongoing discovery and analysis. Today data is collected everywhere, from systems and sensors to mobile devices. The challenge is that the industry is still in the process of developing methods to best interpret data. It’s the evolution of Industry 4.0 that will change the way organisations and solutions within those organisations work together; teams will be able to make better, smarter decisions.
The concept of Smart Factory is the seamless connection of individual production steps, from planning stages to actuators in the field. In the near future, machinery and equipment will be able to improve processes through self-optimisation; systems will autonomously adapt to the traffic profile and network environment. Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), are an integral part of the Smart Factory, as their autonomous intelligence connects the factory together, allowing seamless operations.
Leading by example is the Siemens Electronic Works facility in Amberg, Germany. Smart machines coordinate production and global distribution or a built-to-order process involving roughly 1.6 billion components. When the Smart Factory is achieved, it will represent a pivotal shift for Industry 4.0, as the revolution will begin to roll out across multiple verticals. Various markets spanning healthcare to consumer goods will adapt Industry 4.0 technologies initially modelled in the Smart Factory.
Cyber Physical Systems
Cyber physical systems are integrations of computation, networking and physical processes. Computers and networks monitor and control physical processes with feedback loops; the physical system reacts, the system uses software to interpret actions and tracks results. The notion centres on computers and software being embedded in devices where the first use is not computation, rather it is a loop of action and machine learning.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a simple term for a grandiose concept. IoT is the connection of all devices to the internet and each other. As Wired said, “it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gather sensors; it is mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection.” This interconnection will enable “smart factories” to take shape as equipment will use data to manufacture, move, report and learn at astounding rates, efficiently.
Interoperability is in essence what happens when we bring the above elements together. It is the connection of cyber-physical systems, humans and smart factories communicating with each other through the IoT. In doing so, manufacturing partners can effectively share information, error-free. Consider that no single company can dictate all its partners use the same software or standards for how the information is represented. Interoperability enables error-free transmission and translation.
From 3D prints to self-driving vehicles, Industry 4.0 technologies are propelling the manufacturing industry with new means of efficiency, accuracy and reliability. The level of intelligence offered today is only the beginning for what is to come.
Why Industry 4.0 matters?
Through everything from autonomous equipment and vehicles to additive manufacturing (3D printing), Industry 4.0 has vast potential across many aspects of business, including: