What is Industry 4.0 and how does it work?

Gamco

Gamco Team

After the revolutions led by coal, electricity, and then electronics, society is now witnessing a fourth industrial revolution the result of the convergence of digital technologies and industrial production techniques: Industry 4.0

Do you want to know how this new industry works, its origin and operation? Here is everything you need to know about the industry of the future or Industry 4.0.

What is Industry 4.0 called?

Also known as "industry of the future", Industry 4.0 combines real objects and digital technologies to create even more efficient productsthanks to an even more optimized process. To do this, it uses robots, 3D printing, augmented reality and, of course, artificial intelligence.

The various elements of this connected factory constantly communicate with each other to enable safer and more flexible production. The different factories also communicate with each other in order to increase productivity.

Therefore, the principle is reducing energy consumption and labor costswhile at the same time increases the efficiency of industrial processes.

This translates into the evolution of products that are even more customized and more economical for the consumer, while also meeting their needs. During production, the creator has the possibility to communicate directly with the machines through sensors. This is called the "Intelligent Product".

The beginnings of Industry 4.0

The industry of the future is a logical continuation of the way digital technologies are exploited. Thanks to the advent of the Internet of Things, a new way of designing products, leading to the emergence of smart factories.

It was in 2011, in the Industrial Technology Fair in Hannover (Germany), where the concept was first hinted at. Subsequently, it was developed and then promoted by various authorities.

Positive aspects of this production system

Industry 4.0 has a wide range of advantages for both manufacturers and consumers.

Collaboration between robots and humansalso called cobot, frees workers from repetitive tasks and ensures greater precision. While the use of 3D printing allows the creation of complex and customized parts without additional steps.

Augmented reality is also at the service of both manufacturers and consumers. On the one hand, it allows display crucial information in real time at production sites and, on the other hand, it helps the customer to visualize the product in its environment.

Finally, Big Data makes it possible to analyze all dataThe aim of this approach is to provide a real-time solution, again in real time, to understand, anticipate and adapt to possible future events and thus improve decision making.

What is the future of this Industry 4.0 system?

This production system is characterized by its reliability and practicalityThe use of the new technology is expected to increase in the long term, with more and more manufacturers looking to adopt it. In the long term, therefore, it is expected to be a democratization of smart, interconnected factories.

It is true that some positions will tend to disappear, but there will be a demand for more advanced and specialized positions, not only to supervise the machines, but also to be able to deliver quality service to consumers. In other words, experience in the various fields covered will be required.

The connected factory takes into account multiple data at the same time for the production of unique parts. In the end, it is the key to lower pricesThe company's main goal is not only to improve its ability to respond to customers' requests, but also to be more responsive to their needs. Despite what you might think, man is not excluded from this system. On the contrary, it is the center.

Industry 4.0: 9 key technological advances 

A combination of different advanced technologies is needed for the Fourth Industrial Revolution to become a reality. Here are the 9 fundamental elements:

Big Data and analytics

When talking about Big data By analysis we mean the complex process of acquiring information on a multitude of aspects. These can be unknown correlations, customer preferences or market trends. The collected analyses enable companies to make intelligent decisions about what to produce or do.

This information often comes from factors such as predictive modeling and statistical algorithms.

Industrial Internet of Things

The Industrial Internet of Things consists of use Internet and Wi-Fi to connect all components of a factory or a smart industrial facility. This can be particularly useful for machine-to-machine communication, sensor data, machine learning, etc.

In fact, the IoT is described as a network made up of a multitude of industrial devices connected by communication technologies. These enable systems to monitor, collect, exchange and deliver new and valuable information like never before. This data can help industrial companies make smarter and faster business decisions.

Horizontal and vertical systems integration

Horizontal and vertical integration are two of the main components in the development of smart factories. 

The horizontal integration refers to the networking of machines and systems within a production line. While the vertical integrationrepresents the process of connecting all levels of production. These range from the manufacturing process to the sales department of a company. It also establishes a link between engineers and the factories where the product they are working on is made.

Autonomous robots

Although autonomous robots have been on the market for some time, new technologies are making them more efficient and faster. In fact, it looks like in the near future, new robots and smarter machines will be able to interact with and learn from humans. In addition, these innovations allow them to interact with each other and adapt their actions to each new product they produce.

Simulation 

Engineers have been using 3D simulations for a long time. With the rise of Industry 4.0, simulations will also be carried out in factories. In fact, this trend offers the possibility of having a digital copy of a real object that can be tested and manipulated digitally

In addition, simulations enable employee training and production monitoring. They leverage real-time data to mirror the physical world in a virtual model. This will allow operators to optimize the machine setup for the next product on the line in the virtual world before the physical changeover. This action reduces machine setup times and increases quality.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality is a relatively new technology. It currently has advantages such as picking parts in a warehouse using robotics. In the future, engineers hope to use augmented reality for assist employees in repairing and handling complex machinery

Cyber security

With the development of technologies, networks and integration, it is becoming more and more important to important to include high levels of cybersecurity. In fact, without strengthening security measures, companies run the risk of being hacked and losing their production.

Therefore, companies looking to transform their industry into a smart system should consider partnering with cybersecurity companies.

The cloud

Cloud innovation enables companies to store and share a multitude of data and information. With Industry 4.0, production companies have to share a large amount of data across company boundaries. In addition, this approach also allows them to see and do things quickly through cloud sharing.

Manufacturing additive

Additive manufacturing is distinguished by the possibility to produce unique items in-house and at a lower cost. In other words, instead of outsourcing the design of a customized product, a company could do it itself. This solution also helps reduce product shortages.

3D printing

As we have seen above, 3D printing allows producers to prototype and produce individual components. This technique can be useful for create mass-produced material for a custom order. Instead of waiting for consumers to buy a one-size-fits-all product, it helps to create items that exactly fit their needs.

After commenting on the most important points of Industry 4.0, we can conclude that this revolution will represent the future of the manufacturing industry.. Thanks to it, companies could identify new opportunities, become more efficient, save money, increase revenues and improve customer experience.

At Gamco we are pioneers in Artificial Intelligence software for more than 10 years. We developed this software to optimize business, allowing very important returns from the first month of implementation to minimize risks and maximize sales.

And you, do you dare to change?

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