The world of manufacturing is changing. Industry 4.0 is poised to fundamentally alter many workplaces. Companies that fail to adapt may soon struggle to stay ahead of the competition. By being aware of what technologies are on the horizon, manufacturers can position themselves to take advantage of them, increasing their odds of long-term success.
What is Industry 4.0?
In the simplest terms, Industry 4.0 is a movement in the manufacturing industry that focuses on advancements in areas like machine intelligence and connectivity. Technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics play a vital role, modernizing production floors and automating a range of processes.
5 Technologies Industry 4.0 Will Bring Manufacturers
1. Advanced Simulations
Simulation technology allows manufacturers to visualize changes to operations. Through the use of digital twins, companies can examine how alterations in processes may play out in the real world.
This can be incredibly beneficial if an adjustment may be risky. Problems can be identified virtually, giving manufacturers a chance to refine their approach before involving any physical assets, products, or employees.
2. Precision 3D Printing
Creating product prototypes can be a daunting, and often time-consuming, task. With the advent of 3D printing, models can be produced on-site and with greater ease. During early development stages, this can be incredibly helpful. It provides product developers with tangible examples, often in substantially less time and at a fraction of the cost of traditional approaches.
As time passes, 3D printing technology is becoming increasingly precise. This could allow for the creation of highly complex or incredibly detailed models, as well as prototypes, where even the slightest error could cause performance issues.
3. Smart Automation
Automation has long had a place in manufacturing. However, new advances have made the process “smarter.” By collecting data, manufacturers can analyze operations. The ability to identify bottlenecks, unnecessary waste, and other issues that drive up costs goes up, enabling companies to make changes in areas that will have the biggest impact on the bottom line.
Additionally, next-gen robotics will have increasingly robust feature sets. They will be able to use data to adjust their operations in real-time, leading to better overall performance.
4. Augmented Reality
While augmented reality (AR) has been around for some years, it is still maturing. In the coming years, manufacturers may be able to use it for a variety of activities. For example, remote troubleshooting assistance could guide employees through repair processes. Additionally, training programs could assist new hires, allowing them to learn in the actual environment.
5. M2M Communication
Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication is likely farther out than many of the technologies above, at least on a broad scale. Still, it will be a critical component of a fully automated environment. It would reduce the need for employees to engage with equipment, resulting in greater efficiency.
Call Our Team to Learn More
Ultimately, the impact of Industry 4.0 is undeniable, creating opportunities for manufacturers to reach new heights. If you’d like to learn more about emerging technologies, the team at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us today and see how our tech trends expertise can benefit you.