Industry 4.0 and Manufacturing Sector

Article Description :

This article titled ‘Industry 4.0 and Manufacturing Sector’ explains about the impact that Industry 4.0 will bring on the Metalworking sector.
The Manufacturing sector has undergone several transformations over the years. But the recent business models are facing the biggest paradigm shift ever in the industrial sector. The era of Industry 4.0 has introduced several digital technologies.

The expansion of these technologies has opened way for extremely mind-blowing capabilities. On the other hand, this brilliant phase of the Fourth Industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) brings with it a few practical complexities. Yet, these challenges are expected to tap the unopened dimension of the human genius in the industrial sector.

Industrial 4.0 has an assorted number of breakthrough innovations among which IoT plays a significantly major role. IoT is a technology that connects several devices in the cyberspace. It does not involve humans or computers but is built with internet infrastructure. This interface reduces manual labour and transfers data within a faster period.

The embedded smart sensors in the devices connect to each other and transfer digital data within fraction of seconds. These data may be audio, video, algorithms or simulations in the form of digital signals. These complex and giant data sets that can be digitally processed in no time are known as Big-Data.

The smart factories of the Industry 4.0 have adapted to these latest technologies in almost all working units. Most additive manufacturing companies have started to upgrade with these technologies. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology is recently transforming the manufacturing sector and is opening doors to several automation capabilities.

One of the smartest moves include, installation of smart sensors in machine parts. This helps in sensing and pre-setting of parameters. Complete processes can be monitored from start to finish. This helps in achieving process control.

Also, the Big Data extracted from the sensors have made it possible to identify the lifetime period of machines. It is possible to get quick alerts in case of any required replacements needed. Apart from the working units, quantity of the products can be tested right away. This is possible even from a different location.

There are companies that work with multiple vendors using the technologies of Industry 4.0. These companies are now able to derive to best outcome of products and services. These goods and services are achieved at a faster time and with maximum quality.

Mass production has now become much easier with these technologies. This technology driven factories of the future aims at improving productivity at a really faster pace.

Industrial processes are evolving. The recent evolution aims at replacing the human ideas into automated processes and systems. Both the physical world and the virtual world are now inter-linked by means of this industrial revolution. As a result, several smart factories are now emerging in the manufacturing sector.

Industrial revolution does not treat any unit the process as a separate entity. According to this era, the processes, human labour and machines are a combined entity. They are connected to each other to automate the processes. This helps produce accurate results within a precise time period.

The automation phase completely focuses on the collection and processing of real time data. The sharing of data is executed by means of wireless networks.

These processes collaborate physical machines with software controls. These systems are inter-linked by means of Internet. Industry 4.0 has highly impacted the robotics unit of the manufacturing sector. As a major contributor to automation, Robotics is influenced by means of the latest emerging technologies of this era.

In fact, the robotics unit is flourishing in capabilities due to the introduction of the Industry 4.0 technologies. These robots are connected to each other and also to other physical units involved in this process. This is perfectly achieved through IoT.

The technologies have made way for machines to self-drive themselves by the application of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. This replaces manual input and saves a tremendously huge amount of time. The process is also capable of deriving outputs with dynamic requirements met within the same system. Production of output in different volumes from the same system is also an advantage.

On the other hand, it is also possible for clients to monitor the complete product cycle. The adaptation of Big Data in large firms has reduced the complexity of manual discrepancies and delayed outputs. The faster output thereby saves a lot of quality time for industrial giants. This replaces the traditional processing time with innovations in technology research and development.

BUT WHAT CHALLENGES DOES COMPANIES FACE IN SHIFTING TO THESE TECHNOLOGIES?

1. Skill gap in expertise required area:
The biggest challenge that has risen with Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing sector is the insufficient skills in certain working segments. The more the industry expands, the more it requires human expertise in order to control and innovate.

But it is still a great challenge to cope up at the pace at which Technology is spreading out. Hence, there is a need for companies to choose pre-skilled experts. Otherwise, they must come forward to train the existing employees with the latest required skills.

2. Processing of Analog data:
The next challenge is the processing of analog data using technology. The existing technologies work on digitally processed signals while researches are still in progress to process raw analog signals. The solution to this challenge will however turn out to be another revolution in the manufacturing sector.

3. Complexity in troubleshooting and control:
While skill gap is an existing demand, it might still complicate with the rise of data issue in the cyberspace. There are specific complications in the technologies. For example, if any part of the data is in trouble, it will wholly affect the data in other parts.

In order to back this situation, expertise at all data processing stages is required. This phase can be rightly stated as ‘All or Nothing’ when it comes to troubleshooting and control.

Beyond all odds, these technological advancements of Industry 4.0 in the Manufacturing Sector still prove to be a life saver. The addition of much more capabilities would take the industry to a level of greater accomplishments. It will also serve the humankind with products that will make life much easier.

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Resources :
Cellro
Automation Alley
Metalworking world magazine

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