How Industry 4.0 is shaping innovation in manufacturing

May 29, 2020

Industry 4.0 is quickly revolutionising the way factories operate, utilising IoT technology, automation, AI and cloud computing in new and innovative ways. As technologies continue to improve, manufacturing will see heightened connectivity across factory floors, allowing for more visibility into product innovation and value chain visibility.

There are several areas in manufacturing where IoT can be game-changing. Firstly, it can allow a manufacturer to track the different segments of a product’s lifecycle – from the various parts that are manufactured to the end-customer’s feedback. This can provide factories with key data, leading to improvements and optimisation and potentially highlighting new market opportunities.

Furthermore, by collecting data from all stages of the manufacturing process, businesses can ensure availability of products or manage issues – such as unexpected necessary repairs – immediately as they arise. This ensures a more predictable output and ensures that the process can be streamlined. As data is collected, it can be analysed from a granular level – from a single machine or one factory – to a higher level, such as regionally or globally, allowing for a more flexible supply chain. For example, if one factory is experiencing issues, output can be redirected from another location. Using AI and machine learning, these systems will soon make these decisions with less oversight from people, further optimising the process.

Finally, IoT technologies will allow businesses and their factories to have clear insights into their own value chain, from the levels of availability to cost to other logistics. Again, this can go a long way in streamlining manufacturing and ensuring smooth business operations.

IoT technologies, though incredibly advantageous, also represent a major cyber security concern in the manufacturing space. The number of entry points into the system can grow exponentially, and extreme risks can include hackers purposely making faulty products or shutting down factories completely. That’s why it’s essential for organisations to make their cybersecurity a priority, ensuring that the devices that run their machinery, collect data and collate this information – all of which must communicate with each other – are secure. Angoka’s solutions are directly applicable to this, serving as the final line of defence against costly cyberattacks. For more information on how we help industrial systems, click here.

Industry 4.0 is changing the face of manufacturing – make sure your organisation is not only ready for these changes, but is able to use them to your advantage!

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