What is Industry 4.0

What is Industry 4.0? – Ultimate Guide Industry 1.0 to 4.0

 The manufacturing industry is evolving. You must be willing to invest in Industry 4.0 if you want to survive and prosper today. You can get going with the aid of this resource.

A new stage of the Industrial Revolution known as “Industry 4.0” places a strong emphasis on connection, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. For businesses that concentrate on manufacturing and supply chain management, Industry 4.0, which includes IIoT and smart manufacturing, combines physical production and operations with intelligent digital technology, machine learning, and big data to create a more comprehensive and better connected ecosystem.The requirement for connectivity and access to real-time information across processes, partners, products, and people is a challenge that today’s businesses and organisations must all overcome, despite the fact that each one is unique.

What is Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 can help in this situation.

Industry 4.0 involves reinventing how your entire organisation runs and expands, not just investing in cutting-edge equipment and software to increase production productivity. You will receive a comprehensive understanding of Industry 4.0 and IIoT through this resource, which will include the following details:

  • Industry development from 1.0 to 4.0
  • Basic IIoT terms and glossary
  • Smart use cases in manufacturing
  • Who is Industry 4.0 intended for?
  • Advantages of adopting the Industry 4.0 model
  • Challenges to consider and overcome
  • How Epicor can help your business

The manufacturing industry is evolving. You must be willing to invest in Industry 4.0 if you want to survive and prosper today. You can get going with the aid of this resource.

Industry development from 1.0 to 4.0

Understanding how manufacturing has changed specifically since the 1800s is helpful before delving too deeply into the what, why, and how of Industry 4.0. The world has either gone through four separate industrial revolutions or is still going through them today.

Initial Industrial Revolution

The early 1800s saw the beginning of the first industrial revolution. Manufacturing changed during this time from focusing on manual labour done by humans and assisted by work animals to a more optimal kind of labour done by humans through the use of water and steam-powered engines and other sorts of machine tools.

Industrial Revolution II

With the invention of steel and the usage of electricity in factories at the beginning of the 20th century, the globe saw a second industrial revolution. Electricity made manufacturing more productive and contributed to the mobility of production equipment. To increase productivity, mass production ideas like the assembly line were used during this phase.

3rd Industrial Revolution

A third industrial revolution started to emerge gradually in the late 1950s as manufacturers started integrating more electronic—and later computer—technology into their facilities. During this time, the emphasis in manufacturing started to shift away from analogue and mechanical technologies and toward digital technology and automation software.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0

A fourth industrial revolution, known as Industry 4.0, has evolved in the recent decades. With the aid of connection provided by the Internet of Things (IoT), access to real-time data, and the introduction of cyber-physical systems, Industry 4.0 elevates the current emphasis on digital technology to a completely new level. A more complete, connected, and all-encompassing approach to production is provided by Industry 4.0. It links the physical and digital worlds and makes it easier for partners, vendors, partners, and individuals to collaborate and access information. With the help of Industry 4.0, business leaders are better able to manage and comprehend every part of their operations. They can also use real-time data to increase productivity, enhance workflows, and spur expansion.

Glossary of Terms and Basic IIoT Concepts

There are countless concepts and terminologies related to IIoT and Industry 4.0, however the following 12 fundamental terms and expressions should be understood before deciding whether to invest in Industry 4.0 solutions for your company:

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP):

Business process management solutions that can be used to manage information across a business include enterprise resource planning (ERP).

IoT:

IoT stands for “Internet of Things,” a term that describes links between actual physical objects, such as machinery or sensors, and the Internet.

IIoT:

The term “IIoT” refers to the connections between people, data, and machines as they apply to production. IIoT is an acronym for the Industrial Internet of Things.

Big data:

Big data refers to large amounts of structured or unstructured data that can be collected, stored, organized and analyzed to uncover patterns, trends, relationships and opportunities.

Artificial intelligence (AI): 

Artificial intelligence is the term used to describe a computer’s capacity to carry out operations and reach choices that, in the past, would have required some degree of human intelligence.

M2M:

M2M stands for machine-to-machine and describes the communication that takes place across wired or wireless networks between two different machines.

Digitization:

The process of gathering and transforming various types of information into a digital format is referred to as digitization.

Smart factory:

A smart factory is one that invests in and makes use of Industry 4.0 tools, techniques, and strategies.

Machine learning:

The ability of computers to learn and advance on their own through artificial intelligence—without being explicitly instructed or programmed to do so—is referred to as machine learning.

Cloud computing:

Utilizing networked remote computers that are hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data is known as “cloud computing.”

Real-time data processing:

Real-time data processing is the practise of using computers and other devices to continually and automatically process data in order to produce results and insights that are immediate or nearly immediate.

Ecosystem:

In terms of manufacturing, an ecosystem is the potential interconnectedness of your whole business, including your planning and administration of inventories, finances, customer connections, supply chain operations, and production operations.

Cyber-physical systems (CPS):

A manufacturing environment supported by Industry 4.0 that delivers real-time data gathering, analysis, and transparency across every component of a manufacturing operation is referred to as a CPS. It is also referred to as cyber manufacturing.

You’re prepared to learn more about how smart manufacturing may alter the way you manage and expand your business now that you have a better knowledge of some of the key ideas behind Industry 4.0.

Use Cases for Smart Manufacturing

Consider how smart manufacturing might be used in your business or a business that is comparable to yours in order to better comprehend the concept. You can better grasp the value of Industry 4.0 in a manufacturing operation by considering the following three use cases:

Supply chain management and optimization:

Industry 4.0 solutions for supply chain management and optimization give firms more knowledge, control, and data visibility throughout their entire supply chain. Companies can outperform less-efficient rivals by using supply chain management capabilities to get goods and services to market more quickly, more affordably, and of higher quality.

Predictive maintenance/analytics:

Industry 4.0 technologies enable manufacturers to anticipate when potential issues will develop before they really do. This is known as predictive maintenance or analytics. Preventive maintenance is performed at your factory based on schedule or time when IoT systems are not installed.

It is, thus, a manual task. Preventive maintenance is significantly more automated and streamlined with IoT solutions in place. Systems can alert you when difficulties are developing or equipment needs to be repaired, enabling you to address possible problems before they grow into more serious ones. In addition to asking proactive questions like “what is going to happen” and “what can we do to prevent it from happening,” predictive analytics enables businesses to answer reactionary questions like “what has happened?” and “why did it happen.” Manufacturers may go from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance with the use of these analytics.

Asset tracking and optimization:

Industry 4.0 technologies enable manufacturers to manage assets more effectively at every level of the supply chain, giving them a greater sense of inventory, quality, and logistical optimization potential. Employees at a factory with IoT can have better global visibility of their assets. Asset transfers, disposals, reclassifications, and adjustments are examples of common asset management processes that can be streamlined, handled centrally, and controlled in real time.

Reviewing these use cases is meant to get you to start imagining and planning how smart manufacturing may fit into your own business. How can you tell if Industry 4.0 is the appropriate fit for your business?

Who Is Industry 4.0 Right For?

How do you decide whether or when to invest in Industry 4.0 for your company?

It’s generally safe to start assessing Industry 4.0 technology and solution providers and assigning the resources required for adoption if you can cross off most of the things on this list:

  • You work in a highly competitive sector with many tech-savvy competitors.
  • You’re having trouble finding candidates to fill open positions at your company.
  • You desire greater supply chain visibility.
  • Before they escalate into major concerns, you want to recognise them and handle them.
  • You want to increase productivity and profitability throughout your entire business.
  • You want everyone on your team to have knowledgeable, current, and pertinent perspectives on business and production processes.
  • You desire more detailed and timely analytics.
  • You require assistance digitising and interpreting information
  • You aim to enhance client pleasure and experience.
  • You want to maintain or enhance the quality of your products.
  • You desire a more comprehensive enterprise resource planning system that covers not only financials, customer interactions, supply chain management, and production execution, but also inventory and planning.
  • You desire a consistent and adaptable perspective of your organization’s production and commercial operations that is suited to particular departments or users.
  • You desire real-time insights to assist you in daily decision-making about your company that is quicker and better.

Are you still unsure if Industry 4.0 is the best fit for you? Learn more about some specific ways it can benefit you and your business by reading on.

Advantages of Using the Industry 4.0 Model

Design, sales, inventories, scheduling, quality, engineering, customer and field service are all included in the scope of Industry 4.0, as well as the complete product life cycle and supply chain. Everyone provides accurate, current, and pertinent perspectives on business and production processes, as well as significantly deeper and timely analytics.

The following is a succinct, non-exhaustive list of some advantages of using an Industry 4.0 model for your company:

It increases your ability to compete, particularly with market disruptors like Amazon. You should be making investments in technology and solutions that will help you enhance and optimise your own operation as businesses like Amazon continue to improve supply chain management and logistics. You must have the systems and procedures in place to give your consumers and clients the same quality of service (or better) as they may receive from a business like Amazon if you want to remain competitive.

You become more appealing to the younger workforce as a result. Companies that engage in cutting-edge Industry 4.0 technologies will have an easier time luring and keeping new employees.

It strengthens and encourages collaboration within your team. Businesses that invest in Industry 4.0 solutions can improve productivity, foster departmental collaboration, enable predictive and prescriptive analytics, and give operators, managers, and executives more access to real-time data and intelligence to help them make better decisions as they carry out their daily tasks.

It enables you to handle possible problems before they turn into significant concerns. You may identify and resolve potential maintenance and supply chain management concerns more promptly by using automation, real-time data, predictive analytics, and internet-connected machines.

It enables you to reduce expenses, increase earnings, and support growth. You can control and improve every area of your supply chain and production processes with the aid of industry 4.0 technologies. It provides you with the real-time data and insights you require to make quicker, more informed business decisions that will ultimately increase the productivity and profitability of your entire enterprise.

There are numerous additional advantages to take into account, as was previously discussed. Check out our manufacturing software page to learn more advantages.

Problems to Think About and Solve

You could be considering some of the potential difficulties involved with implementing new technology and procedures in your company as you decide whether or not to engage in Industry 4.0. It’s not just you. The following are some of the most frequent inquiries that business owners have regarding smart manufacturing:

Q # 1: Will the data we have about our customers and business be secure?

Many organisations are concerned that using cloud-based technology and removing data from their own walls will make their operations and data more accessible to attackers as the threat of cyber-hacking grows yearly. By utilising its extensive security know-how and implementing strict cyber-security controls for all of its customers that invest in Industry 4.0 technologies, Epicor keeps information safe and secure.

Q # 2: Will our business data and customer information be safe?

Yes is the simplest response to this query. Even though some people may find it difficult to accept and adopt new technology and a new business model, you can ultimately win over your team’s support by being open and transparent with them throughout the entire implementation process, setting clear expectations up front, and explaining the benefits of investing in Industry 4.0 technology.

Q # 3: Do we have the personnel and resources necessary to manage and apply this technology?

You won’t need to rely as heavily on your IT crew to administer and maintain systems when you invest in cloud-based technologies. Instead, you gain from the service provider’s routine upgrades and maintenance. For instance, some businesses are selecting cloud-based ERP or software as a service in order to avoid the constant setup and upgrade problems ERP has typically faced (SaaS). Similar to cloud storage, the cloud ERP provider pays for the building and upkeep of infrastructure that would typically be the responsibility of IT. Without a dedicated IT infrastructure or employees, a cloud-based ERP system offers all of the advantages of ERP and frees up those resources to be used for other IT duties.

Q #4: Will I be able to use data to inform my decisions?

Yes! You can get the information, instruction, and documentation you need from Epicor to understand how to use data to alter, enhance, and expand your business.

How Epicor Can Benefit Your Company

You may integrate Industry 4.0 technologies into your manufacturing company with the aid of Epicor. We offer adaptable, sector-specific software that is created to meet the demands of our clients in the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service sectors. Explore our business solutions page to find out more about how we can support you and your company.

The illustration that follows demonstrates why more businesses are collaborating with us to fund smart manufacturing and create the factories of the future

A conclusion

In the competitive corporate world of today, you need to employ solutions that can streamline activities, increase productivity and cooperation, and make real-time use of data. Epicor’s Industry 4.0 solutions can help you get started. Are you prepared to invest? Start now.

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