The Impact of Industry 4.0 on Manufacturing

November 18, 2020

Digitization is affecting just about every area of our lives, including the way we manufacture products. Companies in industries ranging from telecommunications and agriculture to hospitality and military/defense are taking advantage of Industry 4.0 to transform and optimize their manufacturing processes.

What Is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 manufacturing is a term that describes the growing trend of digitizing various production processes. The “4.0” is a reference to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The preceding three revolutions that have transformed manufacturing throughout history are mechanization via water and steam power, mass production/assembly lines and the introduction of computerization and automation.

Industry 4.0 Manufacturing Principles

Industry 4.0 is essentially an extension of Industry 3.0, which began after World War II and eventually contributed to the movement toward digitization in manufacturing. The core 4.0 principles and concepts are:

  • Interconnection: Using the internet to facilitate connections between people, devices, machines and sensors in various manufacturing applications.
  • Information transparency: Relying on advanced technologies to provide transparent information and allow manufacturing managers to make more educated decisions.
  • Technical assistance: Utilizing technology to assist in problem-solving and decision-making and help workers perform challenging or potentially hazardous tasks.
  • Decentralization: Implementing cyber-physical systems to make autonomous decisions in standard manufacturing processes. Humans will still make decisions regarding complex activities or those that involve exceptions to routine procedures, conflicting goals or interference.

Industry 4.0 Benefits in Manufacturing

Implementing 4.0 concepts provides numerous benefits for manufacturing entities:

  • Increased productivity: Industry 4.0 enables manufacturing operations across industries to produce more in less time via a more efficient and cost-effective allocation of available resources.
  • Enhanced efficiency: Examples of the many ways that 4.0 can make manufacturing more efficient include less machine and equipment downtime, quicker batch changeovers and the automation of tracing, tracking and reporting processes.
  • Improved collaboration: Digital manufacturing Industry 4.0 facilitates the sharing of knowledge and information, contributing to a more collaborative environment. It also minimizes the silo effect that inhibits teamwork.
  • More flexibility: Following Industry 4.0 concepts increases manufacturing agility. It’s faster and easier to ramp production up or down to accommodate changes in demand. It also facilitates the manufacturing of new goods and the altering of the product mix.
  • Better customer service: Industry 4.0 increases the competitiveness of industrial manufacturing operations by enhancing the customer experience. Manufacturers can reduce the occurrence of issues such as limited product availability, inferior quality and a lack of choices. The automated tracking and tracing capabilities make resolving problems faster and more efficient.
  • Lower manufacturing costs: While investing in Industry 4.0 technologies generates upfront expenses for an organization, it typically delivers significant long-term cost savings. Key cost reduction areas include more efficient utilization of resources, fewer quality issues and reduced machine and production line downtime.

Contact Fairlawn Tool to Learn More

At Fairlawn Tool, Inc., we’re committed to using the most advanced technologies when performing contract manufacturing work for our diverse customer baseContact us for more information about how Fairlawn Tool can benefit your production processes.

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