Strong competitive pressure, Consumption habits in perpetual change, ever shorter deadlines… faced with this situation, the industrial sector has no choice but to develop its production methods in favor of the tools of technology. Indeed, technical and technological innovations, in particular those brought by the digital boomare beneficial to all industries (automotive, aeronautics, agri-food, pharmaceutical, etc.).
They constitute of real boosters for production capacities, both in terms of quantity and quality. Thus, for several years, we have been talking about “Industry 4.0” or “Industry of the future” or even “fourth industrial revolution”. This designates a new generation of connected factories, robotized and intelligent with the aim of adapting more easily to production needs and processes. We tell you everything.
The integration of new technologies in factories: what are the benefits?
Today, industrial establishments that have not integrated new digital tools into their operations are losing enough points on the market. Failure to adapt to this change is to compromise its competitiveness, perhaps even its survival. Find out here why technology is so important in factories.
Technology drives increased productivity and competitiveness
The introduction of new technologies has become as much a vector of performance as a necessary step. For industries, robot assistance or process automation optimizes productivity compared to human action alone. It is a fact, industrial innovation improves productive capacities, exchanges, communication between all information systems and mobility.
Regardless of the sector, namely aeronautics, the automobile or the food industry, there are many testimonials to this effect. The predictive maintenance such as the Manufacturing Execution System or MES are a very telling example of what technology can bring to productivity.
This technology favors the acceleration of the rates which limits the interruption of the machines. Indeed, thanks to the “Manufacturing Execution System” which is a complete software system for example, you can follow, monitor and control the manufacturing process of goods, from raw materials to finished products.
No matter the size of a manufacturing operation, an MES can contribute to productivity and at the overall profitability by making the manufacturing process information controlled.
Technology helps improve the customer experience
Given the strong competition faced by industrial companies, the only way to to win the loyalty of customers is to offer him greater satisfaction. One of the advantages of the passage of almost all of the company’s services and activities to the era of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) is that it makes it possible to provide a omnichannel support to customers so that they can reach by phone, website, app or any other solution of their choice.
For example, many organizations today use AI-powered chatbots for customer support. It is a reliable and practical approach which allows to better identify the needs of the customer, and thus to improve his satisfaction. With the innovative, intelligent and efficient toolsit becomes easier to follow up, track, get feedback and provide a tailored and fully personalized offer.
All of this will enable industries to deliver a transformative customer experience and lead to a increase in turnover. Click here to learn more about the smart factory.
The shift to digital, for a reduction in infrastructure costs
Thanks to the digital transformation generated by the Internet, computer networks, connected objects and other digital technologies, the infrastructure cost is reduced considerably. When the company moves from a traditional on-premises architecture to solutions like the cloud, it no longer has to invest in servers or maintain them.
Cloud storage gives instant access and no maintenance is required. This method allows you to basically have the resources you need at any given time and only pay for it. Furthermore, let us specify that the extension for urgent needs is not at all complicated and also turns out to be very profitable.
Industry 4.0, a technology at the service of employment
It is important to separate things. In reality, the intervention of robots would not replace man, which would be synonymous with destroying jobs, putting employees out of work. If so, then Factory 4.0 would be disadvantageous for society as a whole. On the other hand, it is rather create thousands of jobs in the industry sector.
This is what was noted by L’Usine nouvelle in 2018. According to this review, 20,000 jobs would have been created thanks to Industry 4.0. Within a decade, current jobs will have to change. Automation would thus have an impact on 60% of jobs. Finally, the presence of sensors makes the less energy-intensive production, because these tools promote operational optimization.
Now you can produce at night for reduce electricity consumption costs or favor certain more favorable weather conditions. These are all financial savings to be made as well as environmental benefits.
How will the production system of the factory of the future work?
The operation of Factory 4.0 involves:
- collecting and real-time data analysis ;
- conservation and exploitation of know-how;
- process safety ;
- artificial intelligence to serve production.
In the field of the industry of the future, the challenge is to place the consumer at the heart of its digital transformation. For optimal functioning, industrial innovation should follow the following logic:
- A use of information technology and communication, which allows all plant systems to constantly interact so that information can be processed in a short time;
- An implementation of intelligent systems capable of self-assessment and self-correction;
- Sustained work for the employee with the help of robotics, a strengthening of the specialization of his position and expertise required on the use of machines to guarantee the quality of service to consumers.
What are the components of Industry 4.0?
The fourth industrial revolutionrefers to the convergence of digital technologies and industrial production techniques. It is an evolution of existing equipment, that is to say that it is improved and placed at the heart of a network within which all information is shared. This change is accompanied by new technologies such as:
- The Internet of Things (IOT – Internet Of Things) and its intelligent dimension: this constitutes an innovative force which is the development of new products;
- Additive manufacturing or 3D printing : it is a fast and scalable manufacturing process that is perfectly suited to the production of small series for which it is very competitive;
- The COBOT(contraction of Collaborative and Robot): this easy-to-program industrial robot plays the role of assistant-operator and replaces the human arm for simple and repetitive tasks;
- augmented reality(AR – Augmented Reality): it consists of superimposing 3D virtual content on reality. Here the operator will be able to see the progress of a procedure in real time, and to carry it out quickly and well;
- Process simulation : it makes it possible to identify the best options concerning the production or the maintenance of the machines, and consequently the optimization of the assets;
- The digital model or digital twin: it is used to carry out several tests before the first prototype of a product is produced;
- Cyber Physical Systems(CPS in English): they aim to add additional functionalities to the physical elements;
- Industrial Big DATA: it is a powerful technology that allows you to monitor production and quality to make the best decisions with reactivity.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
This section brings together the main questions that Internet users ask about Industry 4.0 and offers detailed answers.
What is the origin of the factory of the future?
Logically, it is the adaptation of the mode of production to technological tools that is at the origin of industry 4.0.
What is the principle of Industry 4.0?
The principle is that industrial brands can set up a factory that is both competitive and connected. It is about cultural change, a strategy of empowerment, exploration and innovation.
What is the challenge of the digitalization of the industry?
The great challenge of the digitization of industry is to improve people’s working conditions, stimulate creativity and help employees acquire new skills.