Industry 4.0 is the new buzzword in industry and enterprise nowadays. It represents a new trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. This creates a connected ecosystem for manufacturing, integrating computing, networking and physical processes. Read on to find out 5 things in a nutshell about the Industry 4.0 movement in Singapore!
1. Real-Time Control
The Industry 4.0 transformation involves the entire process. With demand coming from global and regional markets in today’s fast-moving, complex and interconnected supply chains, Singapore manufacturers expanding overseas should embrace this transformation to stay relevant. On the production floor, each machine, robot, component, and the final product itself has a digital model, connected through data that is shared on cloud. This allows for real–time monitoring, control and optimisation.
Beyond the factory manufacturing process, product design and engineering could go entirely digital with the help of advanced simulations, allowing teams in different geographical locations to collaborate and share resources. Spare parts can be ordered automatically and delivered with improved logistics providers. Even the product itself can be programmed to communicate with the manufacturer after being delivered to the clients, who can monitor the operating status and predict maintenance requirements. Such data can be utilised to optimise designs of future models.
2. Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a giant network of devices and objects with the ability to transfer data over a network in real time, without the need for interaction with humans or computer interfaces! By harnessing existing and emerging technology for sensing, networking, and robotics, IoT systems allow users to achieve deeper automation, analysis, and integration within a system. Industrial IoT is set to be one of the driving forces of Industry 4.0, helping organisations and businesses to stay connected even across remote distances, monitor assets remotely to obtain insights, optimise processes across the entire value chain in a split second, and even innovate new business models with all the data obtained without the need for human intervention.
3. Big Data and Analytics
Manufacturing AI startup Oqton Inc’s CEO, Dr Samir Hanna, has rightly pointed out that: “Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around forever but data has changed the game”. Combining big data and AI provides businesses with new and exciting opportunities by evolving the way they do things, enabling them to serve customers in more responsive and customised ways that were previously not possible. To fully maximise this resource, organisations will first need talented data engineers who are capable of developing, constructing, optimising, and managing both data storage architecture and data distribution. This requires comprehensive knowledge in data structures and algorithms, data modelling, as well as data mining or warehousing. Data engineers who are adept in data analysis and visualisation are also essential to communicate data trends to other departments and stakeholders where necessary.
4. Robotics and Automation
Besides possessing the cool factor, robotics are the in-thing nowadays because they help to save manpower, reduce costs and increase productivity efforts! All these help to ease the tight labour market, reduce error rates, and free up time for workers to innovate and focus on strategic work, helping to accelerate digital transformation in the process. Singapore has placed enormous emphasis on automation, with one excellent example being the automated baggage handling system at Changi Airport Terminal 4! Deployed by BEUMER Group, a global supplier of automated baggage handling systems, the system reportedly enables airport staff to process 5400 bags per hour, which in turn allows the airport to manage an additional 16 million passengers per year.
5. Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)
The benefits of 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, are vast for both manufacturers and consumers alike: it not only allows for more complicated designs but also reduces the amount of raw materials required. 3D printing also lowers labour costs and increases the potential for customised designs in small batches! As 3D printing becomes more mainstream and viable for use in mass production, additive manufacturing processes are set to become a key technology aiding future intelligent manufacturing. Incredible breakthroughs, as the discovery of a revolutionary reversible 4D printing process, make knowledge in this field more relevant and appealing to engineers than ever!
Have we succeeded in piquing your curiosity to explore the novel ground of Industry 4.0? If you aspire to be a successful engineer with a sound understanding of Industry 4.0 concepts, you may wish to consider furthering your knowledge in this respect! TUM Asia’s wide offerings combine German engineering with Asian relevance and will definitely provide you with a solid grounding in the latest developments. There is up to 90% of SkillsFuture funding available for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. You are also able to use your SkillsFuture credits to offset the remaining fees.
We wish you success as you begin to embark on your unique Industry 4.0 journey!