Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is about the Physical and Digital Worlds merging. It was given this title by the German Academy of Science to signify what in their view was a reflection on the overall impact this change will have on Society, as much as Steam Engines did at the end of the 19th Century in the first Industrial Revolution. The 2nd and 3rd Revolutions were the emergence of Mass Production and Electricity, and Computers and the digital age.

It is important because of the benefits it will deliver to Manufacturers, Workers and as a consequence most of all Consumers.

By enabling flexibility and the ability to change much easier whilst at the same increasing the rate of innovation, leading to faster design processes, which in turn leads to more choice for the Consumer.

Workers work/life balance can change as they become more like co-ordinators at the centre of production assisting in finding solutions to the challenges which arise.

By 2020 it is expected that more than 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, a high proportion of them changing traditional production and logistic processes. The use of smart items will enable more flexible and autonomous manufacturing units
SmartRFiD can help Organisations make these changes to ensure a continued and prosperous future.
View 5 reasons why “Industry 4.0” is relevant and important – and likely to be revolutionary:

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View 5 reasons why “Industry 4.0” is
relevant and important and likely to be revolutionary:

1. Solving current manufacturing problems.

In a world of increasing market volatility, shorter product life cycles, higher product complexity, and global supply chains, companies are seeking to become more flexible and responsive to business trends….more

The Industry 4.0 vision provides recommendations how companies can ease these challenges: The digitalization of the whole product lifecycle will allow companies to use data from production, service, and social media which will lead to faster product improvements. Smart items will bring stronger integration of top floor and shop floor and thus more intelligence and flexibility to production. With these technologies, companies can react faster to demand changes and implement new configurations easier or even re-plan production much faster.

2. It creates an innovation economy.

Digital chains will not only improve efficiency but also speed up innovations as new business models can be implemented….more

Here are two examples how Industry 4.0 speeds up innovations: 1. Manufacturers can generate new business by sharing equipment or selling capacity they don’t need on marketplaces. 2. Thanks to sensors and connectivity, products will be enriched by services (such as predictive maintenance) or even transformed into services. An engine manufacturer might not sell engines anymore in the future but provide them as a service to customers. He then would only charge the power of the engines the customer uses.

3. The consumer becomes the center of all activities.

Today’s consumers demand individually made products and services (“Made-for-Me”). Smart items, products and machines will enable manufacturers to get down to lot size one and produce customized products without extra cost. Digitalization will lead to an easier crowd sourcing which will lead to a faster design process.

4. Brings Workers into the center of production.

As machines are becoming smarter, the work in production lines will be enriched and humanized. Simple manual tasks will disappear. Workers will become coordinators who ensure a smooth production and only intervene when a machine calls for action. Flexibility will be a key success factor. Workers will be assigned where help is needed. This will place higher demands in terms of managing complexity, problem-solving and self-organization, but also allow the work force to become more flexible. Fixed shifts per day will be complemented by dynamic and self-organized capacity planning that takes employees’ preferences into consideration. This will improve the life-work-balance of all employees and allow shorter response time to a changed order situation.

5. It will enable sustainable prosperity.

The old models of industrialization run out: Economies and with it societies increasingly recognize the risks of globalization, job losses and resource shortages. Generating profit and realizing growth have to be put into a more long-term perspective, for example by finding ways to cope with constraints on energy, resources, environment, and social and economic impacts. Industry 4.0 can help to find solutions to these challenges. If it is smart and innovative, production can reduce energy consumption, help companies to sustain their business with existing and new business models and use new technologies to produce all over the world (even at high cost locations) close to the markets and at the tact of the workers.

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