Industry 4.0 describes a wave of new technologies which will create a 4th industrial revolution in the coming decades. It will create interconnected, sophisticated, and highly automated factories using the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, robotics, cognitive computing, smart sensors, data analytics, and other technological innovations.
Industry 4.0 will be the first industrial revolution to include close interconnection between manufacturers and other parts of the economy via Smart Cities technologies. Manufacturers will be able to use the Internet of Things to gather data from their customers, allowing them to manage resources and assets much more effectively. There will be an amalgamation of traditional manufacturing techniques with cutting-edge technology, and real-time data analytics to deliver greater efficiency and productivity. It is a radical change that will completely transform the manufacturing industry.
- Industry 4.0 incorporates several new technologies in the manufacturing process, creating a more integrated and sophisticated value chain.
- The first industrial revolution to closely connect industry with consumer demand using integrated technology.
- Allows for manufacturers to engage with consumers in new ways.
- Incorporates several key technologies which improve productivity and reduce costs
- Will reduce risk for manufacturers by synchronising production capacity with demand
- Will lead to development of sophisticated “dark factories” using smart manufacturing
Economic Outlook for Industry 4.0:
A recent report from Market Research Engine predicts the Industry 4.0 Market to exceed more than US$ 26.7 Billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 23.1% in the given forecast period. The report also states that companies including General Electric Company, Daimler Ag, Klockner & Co. Se, Trumpf Gmbh, Festo Ag & Co. Kg, Bosch Rexroth Ag, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen Gmbh, Sas, Siemens Ag, and Wittenstein Ag, will be dominant players.
Key Industry 4.0 Technologies:
The four main components of industry 4.0 are Cyber-physical systems, Industrial Internet of Things, Cloud Computing and Cognitive Computing. Within those components are numerous technologies, including:
- Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Technologies
- Smart Sensors
- Data Analytics and Data Visualisation
- Fog, Edge and Cloud Computing Technologies
- Additive Manufacturing
- Smart Cities
- Mobile Devices
- New Materials
- 3D Printing
- Location Detection Technology
- Multilevel customer interaction and customer profiling
- Advanced Human Machine Interfaces
- Big Data Analytics
- Augmented Reality
These technologies to be widely adopted in many industries aside from manufacturing, including Construction, Automotive, Electronics, Aerospace and Defence, Transportation, Chemical and Oil and Gas.
Key Benefits of Industry 4.0.
There are ample benefits associated with Industry 4.0 for manufacturers. They include:
Usage of IoT in Manufacturing:
IoT involves a network of sensors which collect important production data from devices, workers, and environments. Cloud software is used to turn this data into useful insights on the efficiency of manufacturing operations.
Productivity Improvements Through Automation & Optimisation:
Industry 4.0 technologies can help manufacturers automate and optimise their factories more efficiently. There will be countless new ways to boost productivity.
Better Product Quality:
Real-time monitoring and IoT-enabled quality improvement will help manufacturers ensure their products are meeting very specific quality control criteria.
Better Working Conditions:
The combination of location tracking, sensor data, IoT, analytics and other technologies will help manufacturers understand how employees operate in the workplace. It will become easier to find areas of improvement for worker safety and satisfaction. Additionally, the automation of repetitive and dangerous tasks will be beneficial for employees.
Real-Time Data Making a Real-Time Supply Chain:
Additional interconnectivity along the supply chain will help manufacturers understand what to produce and when to produce it. There will also be less guesswork about how consumers are using products, allowing manufacturers to quickly adapt to changing preferences.
Customisation for Consumers:
Industry 4.0 will give businesses much greater control over how their factories operate. They will be able to fine-tune production on the fly, creating one-off designs using a variety of technologies including 3D printing, robotics and smart sensors.
Preparing For Industry 4.0:
Companies like Bulgin sell a wide range of components and tools which allow businesses to take advantage of Industry 4.0 today. They include:
Secure and reliable components which can be used to automate factory processes. They include robust sealed connectors, ideal for manufacturing and material handling processes. Bulgin products useful for factory automation include the 900 Series Circular Power Connectors, 900 Series Ethernet Circular Data Connectors, M16 Series Automation Connectors, Photoelectric Sensors, and Switches.
Applications for these products include Industrial Robotics, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Automotive Manufacturing, and Material Handling Equipment.
Tools & Machinery:
Connectivity solutions with rugged metal or plastic housings to facilitate secure power, signal and data connections in harsh environments. Ideal for heavy duty tools, metal and wood processing equipment, food and beverage processing systems and packaging machinery.
Instrumentation & Measurement:
Instrumentation and measurement systems are an essential part of Industry 4.0 as they provide computer systems and appliances with the information they need. Bulgin provide the components needed to obtain accurate and consistent measurements which allow for optimised process control and automated manufacturing systems.
Products useful for instrumentation and measurement include the M16 Series Circular Automated Connectors, 400 Series SMB Circular Data Connectors, and 6000 Series Circular Power Connectors.
The businesses that adopt Industry 4.0 technologies early will obtain a significant competitive advantage. The fourth industrial revolution will bring about some dramatic changes in how products are manufactured and many incredible benefits for forward-thinking businesses.