By Bobby Carlton
The rise of Industry 4.0 has created new opportunities for manufacturers to improve their efficiency and deliver new revenue streams. Through the use of advanced analytics, XR solutions and machine learning, companies are able to collect and analyze crucial data to improve their operations.
The benefits of implementing advanced analytics and machine learning are numerous, such as improving product quality and reducing production downtime. However, implementing these technologies in a large-scale manner can be a bit of a challeng for some due to the lack of engagement and legacy operations.
The rapid emergence and evolution of Industry 4.0 has created a huge opportunity for companies to improve their efficiency. According to a report by Statista, the market for advanced analytics and machine learning is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2028.
The increasing interest in using sensor networks is due to their ability to create feedback loops to improve the efficiency of manufacturing operations. This process can help identify “hidden factories”. These are bottleneck points or costly problems that are miniscule but in the long run can slow down production.
At the same time, you’re able to use technology for predictive maintenance, explore what-if scenarios, and reduce the costs of operations and highlight advanced analytics.
Despite the widespread use of Industry 4.0, many companies fail to collect and analyze data quickly enough. This is because companies tend to implement the technology in a way that's faster than it can be used.
The biggest barriers to the implementation of Industry 4.0 are the legacy mindsets of employees and operations practices. Despite the significant investment in new technology, these practices still prevent companies from fully embracing the potential of Industry 4.0.
One of the core challenges industries face in embracing the potential of Industry 4.0 is the lack of standardization. This is because there are many different ways of working that make it hard to identify the most effective ways to improve productivity and reduce risk.
Some employees will revert to the old ways of working when new innovations are introduced. This is because they don't trust the new technology such as robotics or XR, and are afraid to take on the new challenge. The value of implementing new technology is not realized until the old methods are phased out.
One of the biggest factors that prevents companies from fully embracing the potential of Industry 4.0 is the lack of preparation. Although many companies have the necessary resources to implement advanced software and sensors, they underestimate the training requirements of their workforce, they lack a strategy to blend new workflow methods into traditional approaches.
A great example of this is introducing VR headset into the workforce. You need to consider what is the strategy to do this with the least amount of disruption and the least amount of employee alienation.
A plan should be developed to avoid the trap of buying technology that's not being used properly or doesn't deliver the desired results. You should consider a more measured approach to the transition process that involves addressing cultural norms and systems thinking.
This step will help companies develop a comprehensive plan that will guide their efforts in implementing Industry 4.0. It will also help them identify the most effective ways to improve their internal processes through technology.
One of the most important factors that employers should consider when it comes to implementing Industry 4.0 is identifying the most critical problems that will drive their transformation efforts. Unfortunately, many companies only install networks that are made up of hundreds of sensors and then try to solve them using a solution that's not designed to solve them.
Start small. For example instead of creating a digital twin of an entire factory floor that included interactivity, high fidelity 3D art, and avatars. You should start off by building out a single room or a section. Take a basic scan using LiDAR to introduce the virtual environment and use that as a foundation to introduce your employees to it. From there, you can then scale up and build off of those successes.
Have a moderated approach that involves identifying the most critical problems that will drive their transformation efforts. This step will help companies identify the most effective ways to improve their internal processes. One of the most important factors that employers should consider when it comes to implementing Industry 4.0 is engaging their employees to identify the most critical issues that will drive their transformation efforts.
This exercise can help you identify the areas where they can make improvements. Another important factor that employers should consider is putting in place processes that can reduce the time it takes to implement the technology.
Before implementing Industry 4.0, it is important that employers adopt a sequence of technology upgrades while also removing outdated systems. With the help of advanced algorithms, sensors, and cloud platforms, workers can gain new insights. Unfortunately, once they encounter problems or outdated methods of working, they will revert to their old ways of doing business. So it needs to be a commitment.
To help the workforce adapt to the new technology, companies should introduce incremental and tightly scoped initiatives. Doing so will allow them to easily digest the changes and improve their performance. However, it is also important to remove outdated systems to prevent your teams from returning to their old ways of doing business.