Technology is in people’s daily lives, whether it is to eat, get dressed, get around, and even socialize. And when we talk about buying products from the industry, the customer is just as demanding as in other spheres, requiring punctuality, transparency in communication, and product quality.
This context requires industries to be adept at Industry 4.0, implementing industrial technology, to generate continuous improvement that reaches the quality demanded by customers. In addition to operational efficiency to reduce costs and increase revenue.
What is industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0, also called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has in its field a wide range of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the internet of things, and cloud computing.
These applications aim to promote the digitalization of industrial activities by improving processes, through continuous improvement and increased productivity.
The aspects mentioned above were until recently unknown to most people. However, they quickly spread throughout different industries, becoming part of the daily life of several businesses and the population in general. However, even being present in people’s daily lives, not all of them understand exactly the features and differences between each technology.
Check below a description to better guide you on this subject:
1) Artificial Intelligence
Application of logic-based analysis and techniques, including machine learning, to interpret events, analyze trends and systems behavior, in addition to automating decisions to perform future actions.
A mechanical device that moves partially, or totally, physically interacts with people or the environment in which it is, autonomously. It is also able to modify its behavior based on data from sensors.
3) Internet of things
Interconnection between objects through enabling infrastructure (electronics, software, sensors and/or actuators, with distributed computing capacity and organized in networks, which start to communicate and interact, being able to be remotely monitored and/or controlled, resulting in enhanced efficiency.
4) Cloud computing
Finally, Cloud Computing is the distribution of computing services – servers, storage, database, networks, software, analysis, intelligence – over the internet. Thus, enabling access to company information from anywhere in the world.
As a consequence, stakeholders can work from different locations while still maintaining the unification of information. This way, high investments in equipment and support staff are avoided, allowing the company to focus on investments in its main activities.
What are the main challenges in Industry 4.0?
Applying the concepts listed earlier is no easy task. And getting your application to meet the needs of the operation is even more challenging!
Professionals who are responsible for managing industrial production face many challenges in order to ensure quality, deadline management, optimize manpower, processes, and machine performance. All this while calculating the price of the products and controlling the stock, in order to have higher profit margins for their company and increasing their competitiveness in the market.
- We can summarize these challenges in 6 main topics:
- Planning purchases and managing inventories;
- Establishing sales prices;
- Managing the industrial operation;
- Committing to realistic delivery deadlines and meeting them accordingly;
- Ensuring the quality of processes;
- Tracing the origins of each product.
Benefits of deploying Industry 4.0 software
The implementation of industrial technology is based on the solution of challenges, bringing clear benefits to the industry. Check below some examples that reinforce the relevance of its performance:
- Increased efficiency;
- Reduced errors and contingencies;
- Decreased expenses budget and waste;
- Decision making based on data;
- Promotion of innovation.
These, and many other benefits of industry 4.0, guarantee the best functioning of the company. Thus, ensuring more automated processes, which result in efficiency in addition to cost reduction.
Also, the generation of data in the process allows for more assertive decisions that in exchange give rise to innovation. With these key points, we can solve several problems in the industry, in its most diverse departments and areas of activity.
Industry 4.0, its pillars, and opportunities transform the company into a more competitive one.
What are the main challenges for implementing industrial technology?
If the benefits are so many, why don’t all industries use this technology? This is due to the fact that like any change, there will always be resistance, and that famous (and fateful) statement: “But we always did it that way and it worked out well”, ends up being a shield to avoid the change that must happen.
The use of technology for simplification and automated measurement of processes became a requirement of competitive companies precisely because it flattened the expenses curve and increased the revenue curve.
Dentre os grandes desafios para essa implantação está a resistência a mudança desse processo. Por isso, é extremamente importante que os líderes da organização entendam a importância. E mais do que isso, sejam propagadores dessa nova forma de trabalho.
Among the major challenges for this implementation is the resistance to change in this process. Therefore, it is extremely important that the organization’s leaders understand its importance. And more than that, be supporters of this new way of working.
Another aspect that can facilitate the use of Industry 4.0 is the implementation of a pilot project in a specific area that is more open to change. Thus, with a smaller investment, it is already possible to understand the step by step of how the industrial technology will be implemented, identifying and mitigating future problems.
Another possible obstacle is the limitation of systemic infrastructure to put Industry 4.0 into practice. However, all of these points can be overcome with:
- Qualified people;
- Engaged leaders;
- And implementation of the process in phases.
What are the pillars of Industry 4.0?
Therefore, for this implementation we have 10 technologies applied to Industry 4.0, which are the fundamental pillars of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, being:
- Intelligent robots, which interact with other machines and human beings;
- Additive and Hybrid Manufacturing, allowing production through 3D printers;
- Virtual simulation, being able to prototype solutions, bringing efficiency to the processes;
- Systems integration, which integrate the production chain;
- Internet of things, providing connectivity of different devices, making access and control in the process flexible;
- Big data & analytics, intelligence for continuous improvement in real-time;
- Cloud computing, access to the database from anywhere;
- Cyber Security, more secure communication systems;
- Augmented reality, performance within the systems for a repair, or new parameterization in the process;
- Ethics, guided by universal principles.
What are the softwares that enable the implementation of these pillars?
There are numerous options in the software market that support the implementation of the pillars of industry 4.0. Some of the most used ones are described below:
- iOMNIA: it is an integrated management platform, which is based on the standardization of processes, increased productivity and efficiency, reduced costs and waste in production, increased collaboration between areas, information security, and increased assertiveness on decision making.
- Honeywell: digitalization of operational workflow, aiming at tool integration.
- HSI Smart Solution: intelligent solutions that guarantee visualization of performance in real-time, quality management, maintenance, materials, among others.
Therefore, Industry 4.0, through industrial technology, aims to bring continuous improvement of products to increase the quality of the final product, and efficiency in the process to reduce costs of production.
Bringing industries to the competitiveness of today’s technological world.