Welcome Manufacturing 4.0

Samrat Pradhan (Correspondent) | Wednesday, 25 November 2020, 14:43 IST

Welcome Manufacturing 4.0

Technology adoption in Manufacturing industry has been one of the most significant milestones in the human race, offering new opportunities and advantages which few years back were deemed impossible. Various new age technologies such as IoT, AI/ML, Data Analytics have changed the manufacturing game forever. The terms smart factories are really coming to reality with numerous automation processes that are being carried out in the manufacturing domain. 


As industry as a whole is undergoing a fourth wave of industrial technology change known as Industry 4.0 today, connected industrial devices have started to see wider adoption in many areas – from IoT gateways to networking equipment and more. So  to accelerate the journey towards fully automated smart factories,  companies are combining data from networks of IoT and IIoT devices and computer-controlled systems with cloud and ML computing.  The three most significant trends that are signalling a change in the traditional manufacturing landscape are connectivity, intelligence and flexible automation. 

 

There has been a convergence of technologies with the emergence of digital solutions and advanced technologies such as Industrial Internet of Things, Big Data, Cloud computing, Additive manufacturing, Advanced robotics, and AR/VR. Interconnected computer systems are now connecting previously disparate systems and processes across the value and supply chain, thus driving manufacturing’s digital transformation. 

From helping in improving product quality, preventing inspection bottlenecks in smart factories, to optimizing work-In-process inventory in factories, Industry 4.0 Revolution has been the needed acceleration for the manufacturing companies to stay abreast of the changing market dynamics.  

The changes in manufacturing domain with the Industry 4.0 Revolution:

Traditionally, the process of tracking and monitoring inventory manually was a grave challenge for the companies. However, with Industry 4.0, technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID) technology aid in tracking and manage thousands of supplies . The radio waves help in reading and capturing information stored on a tag attached to an object, such as healthcare supplies.  

Today, large and complex data sets generated by IoT devices coming from a wide range of cloud and enterprise applications, websites, computers, sensors, among others can be taken into consideration by the Manufacturing companies. They can convert the data collected into actionable business insights for tangible benefits. 

As Big Data has created the need for an infrastructure that can store and manage this data more efficiently, advancements in Cloud computing will become more favourable for the manufacturing units to place their applications and data onto the cloud with needed flexibility as per the specific requirements. 

Advanced robotics with the capability of performing difficult tasks which were close to impossible by human hands are being developed to help players in the manufacturing domain. These self driven robots can recognise, analyse and act upon information they receive from the surroundings and can even collaborate and learn from humans.

Across virtually all industries, additive Manufacturing offers a huge scope of possibilities for manufacturing from tooling to mass customisation. Hence a decentralised approach to manufacturing  reduces transportation distances and also simplify inventory management 

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