Network Science
May 24, 2021

Industry 4.0 elements and customer demands

Junuz spoke about customer demand driving businesses to change. Customers today want speedy deliveries, customized high-quality products, and secure hassle-free interactions. He further added that the integration of Industry 4.0 into the business helps achieve these qualities. These elements include visibility, transparency, predictive capability, and adaptability.

Getting to Industry 4.0

Digital technologies like data collection and IoT are an integral part of getting to a ‘smart factory’. Junuz focused on the importance of combining that with investment in the workplace, workforce and designing innovative business models. Different systems need to interact with each other, and exchange data while following an enterprise-control framework and giving due consideration to cybersecurity.

Interactive Session and Attendee Insights

Through a live poll among the attendees, the following insights were made into the businesses:

1. What Digital Tools and Technologies do you use today?
Currently, a majority of attendees used software and data silos to make their manufacturing more connected. Over 92% use digitization for data collection and around 65% use it for production manufacturing. Other prominent areas include KPI tracking, product design, and finance.

2. What is standing in your way?
Over 60% of businesses felt that a lack of strategy, resistance to change, and dearth of digital leadership were primary reasons that stood in their way of championing digital Industry 4.0 tools.
3. What are your future plans for implementing digital tools and technologies? What would enable you to accelerate your journey?
70% of the attendees were willing to get expert help to help them start their Industry 4.0 journey. Over 53% wanted to do due diligence to get ahead in this area. No one except a rare 6% wanted to wait for technology to further advance. The rest were sure that their Industry 4.0 journey is ready for take-off with the right guidance and strategy.

Risks and Opportunity in Industry 4.0

Not moving towards Industry 4.0 poses many risks for businesses. These include the loss of customers who are unhappy if demands for transparency and speedy delivery are not met, especially if they can get it elsewhere. Such businesses will fall behind the competition, not be able to keep up with the market changes and sudden external triggers like the COVID pandemic.

This is when Cheruvu Krishna (Vice President, MothersonSumi), used specific manufacturing use cases to highlight the advantage of automated production count, running status, and consequent removal of manual logs. He explained the difference between hardwired data concentrators that give external information about production count and machine running status and external sensors that can further help determine electrical and mechanical measurements for predictive analytics.

According to Cheruvu, there are several correlated parts in an assembly line. Such correlations in anomalous values in different parts of the assembly line are detected by algorithms to strengthen the classification of the component as “pass” or “fail”. He emphasized that such technology can save downtime and human effort – all that is needed is monitoring machine parameters (data acquisition) and the result’s analytics.

Creating Competitive Advantage

Junuz explained that companies can get ahead of their competition by the following measures:

1. Preventive instead of reactive maintenance.
2. Training the workforce to help them make well-informed decisions to mitigate problems.
3. Devise better strategies to use data-driven technology and subsequently retain customers and attract new ones.

Starting your own Journey

Junuz left the audience with important tips on starting one’s own journey to Industry 4.0. He urged everyone to build a vision and continuously assess where they stand currently in terms of their capabilities to meet customer demands and how technology enables them to do so. This should be followed by an effective strategy to fill the gaps and a strong plan to execute that strategy. The message given at the end was for every company to devise its own strategy rather than blindly follow something that may not be a right fit for them.

“Everyone has a different Industry 4.0 journey. However, staying still and doing nothing will allow your competitors to move further ahead. Acting now and seeking support will stop this.”

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