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Why Manufacturers Should Invest in Industry 4.0 Technology for Process Improvement

Thursday, 29 August, 2019 Written by Joe Vinciquerra

industry_4.0_techWith the rapid introduction of Industry 4.0 tools and technologies, manufacturers are under pressure to boost the productivity and profitability of their operations.

Industry 4.0 isn’t just about investing in technology to streamline efficiencies—it’s about revolutionizing manufacturing-related processes and systems to achieve dramatic improvements in every area of an organization.

Below, explore why manufacturers should invest in top technologies, plus tips for introducing them into your plant.

1. Improve Efficiencies

Today’s technology is capable of capturing and applying a wide range of data to improve efficiencies.

For example, analytics are used in a number of ways, including real-time predictive maintenance, which helps manufacturers avoid production interruption from unplanned machine failures on the plant floor.

By analyzing historical data, manufacturers can forecast when a machine is likely to fail, limit the time it is out of service, and identify the root cause of the problem. In this case, they’re able to determine if the machine needs repaired, replaced, or retrofitted.

With this insight, manufacturers have a pulse on production to ensure efficient operation and increased throughput.

2. Augment Employee Work

According to our 2019 State of Northeast Ohio Manufacturing Report, 47% of Northeast Ohio manufacturers currently use automation to augment worker productivity.

This doesn’t mean replacing and/or removing roles. Augmentation simply refers to the use of assistive technologies to help manufacturers do their jobs better, faster, and more safely.

For instance, in plants where workers operate complex production lines, there may be no assembly documentation. If there is, it’s typically paper-based, and when products have multiple pieces and parts, user error is bound to ensue.

Using Industry 4.0 tools and technologies, manufacturers can provide plant workers with interactive assembly instructions through the use of images and videos. This sort of interactive, technology-based training helps workers complete tasks more efficiently and with less error—ultimately improving processes across the plant.

3. Sustain Revenue

Industry 4.0 technology helps manufacturers collect real-time information across the entire supply chain to make smarter decisions about business.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a core driver in helping companies break down communication and collaboration siloes. With the sheer amount of data exchanged between systems and sensors, manufacturers can monitor inventory levels and transportation routes, predicting potential bottlenecks.

This systems collaboration results in greater productivity and increased visibility into your company’s planning, processes, and profits.  

Attend MAGNET’s Manufacturing Symposium to Implement Process Innovation at Your Plant

To learn more about technology-based process innovation at your manufacturing plant, I encourage you to attend our annual Northeast Ohio manufacturing symposium, Future Factories: A Symposium of Manufacturing Talent, Technology and Tactics, on Thursday, September 26. With various breakout sessions, including How to Make Technology Work in Your Shop, you won’t want to miss out on this exciting opportunity to learn from industry experts.

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Categories: Process Innovation