Continuous improvement is a part of human nature - we work, learn, apply, and repeat. The same mantra can be applied to manufacturing. Whether it’s process changes, employee training, or advances in technology, the factory floor is a space that warrants continuous efforts in order to achieve lean, productive outputs.
As operations on a micro level are improving, so is the manufacturing industry on a whole. Industry has entered into a revitalization that is on the cusp of generating advantageous impacts for operators globally - a phenomenon called Industry 4.0.
It’s a topic we’ve covered over the past few months on our blog and, in case you’ve missed any of them, here’s a recap:
There seems to be a new definition of Industry 4.0 everywhere you look. Here is a plain and simple definition of Industry 4.0 and where the term originated:
Article: Understanding Industry 4.0
Once you have a basic understanding, you can begin to comprehend how multiple factors make up the big picture:
Article: 5 Factors of Industry 4.0
Applying Industry 4.0 technologies in the future means that manufacturers need to evaluate how their operation works today and identify the benefits that connectivity will bring:
Article: Ramping up to Industry 4.0
So you’re excited about Industry 4.0 but not exactly sure where to begin. Here are a few beginner steps to get started with Industry 4.0 implementation:
Taking a deeper look at the material transport technology that has advanced due to Industry 4.0 capability, it becomes apparent that autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) are no longer the most productive way of moving materials in a plant. There are a series of limitations:
In the end, Industry 4.0 is a complex thing, with many moving parts (both literally and figuratively) that encompass a variety of technologies, applications and solutions. Gain an understanding of how industry is changing, embrace iterative processes, adapt quickly and engage in technologies to champion the exciting era of manufacturing that awaits.