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Industry 4.0 Is Boosting Productivity With Digitization

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By Author: Radhika Jain
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Indian manufacturers are preparing to seize the global market by diversifying their production and by embracing digital technologies to transform the existing shopfloors.

With this blog, we’ll be highlighting the challenges faced by manufacturers in this context.

Back in the 18th century, Industrialisation was very different than it is today. It was majorly labor-intensive until Industry 2.0 was introduced. In the twentieth century, Industry 2.0 brought a revolution amongst industries as they began using electricity in factories -- making the whole manufacturing process streamlined and standardized. It was then followed by the subsequent phase of disruption, Industry 3.0, which involved the deployment of information and digital technologies to replace manual tasks by computers for better productivity.

The Modern Smart Factory (Industry 4.0)

Today, industries are at the brink of Industry 4.0, which is defined by the digital revolution that has clouded the distinction between physical and digital lines. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Robotics, Augmented Reality, and IoT in manufacturing are making a noteworthy impact within the industry. These clusters of technologies are collaboratively helping enterprises improve their supply chain management, production planning, quality, and maintenance on the shop floor.

Note: According to PwC, out of 2000 manufacturing companies, 86% expect to secure simultaneous earnings from lower costs and extra revenue from their digitalization efforts in the next five years.

Challenges Faced By Manufacturers

Manufacturers are in dire need of getting a holistic picture of how their shopfloor must function to respond quickly and stay ahead of the competition. However, a lot of them still rely on conventional systems to capture data and document the processes, which automatically lead to numerous challenges.

Most shop floors aren’t equipped with the know-how or essential tools such as sensor-driven machines to extract data in real-time; this affects their ability to perform diagnostics and avoid downtime. Also, most devices operate in a standalone mode, which leads to unstructured communication on the shop floor. Further, delay in response time also makes the process unproductive and slow.

Digital Transformation in Manufacturing

There’s a constant awareness of modern technologies spreading out, and industries are shifting towards them. Manufacturers are embracing digital transformation by adopting clouds, analytics, and IoT to redefine the way they boost their operational profitability and efficiency. Modern technologies such as 3D Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Rapid Prototyping, IoT, and IIoT are radically revolutionizing the sector through automated processes that have the potential to improve shopfloor operations.

By leveraging sensors and IoT, data from machines are enriched, collated, assimilated, and analyzed on a real-time basis and then sent to the ERP systems to enable the operators to come up with smarter and precise decisions on the shop floor. IoT predictive maintenance assists in monitoring and assessing tools or equipment conditions based on the temperature, pressure, and other factors to alert the operator about the potential failure.

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