Productivity rates can soar by 300% with the deployment of Industry 4.0 technologies such as autonomous guided vehicles, according to The Straits Times.
This is the power of Industry 4.0.
The benefits of the fourth industrial revolution is countless: fostering industrial growth, increasing productivity and saving costs.
However, the fourth industrial revolution goes beyond manufacturing and revolutionises numerous industries from education to healthcare.
What Is Industry 4.0?
Did you know that the term 'Industry 4.0' was first coined in Germany?
Germany is renowned for being market leaders in various technology and engineering industries. The German manufacturing industry in particular has created new solutions for the industry’s challenges. They are thus embracing and leading the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies.
Wikipedia defines 'Industry 4.0' as the trend towards automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies and processes which include cyber-physical systems (CPS), the internet of things (IoT), industrial internet of things (IIOT), cloud computing, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence.
Industry 4.0 involves the enhancement of smart and autonomous systems fueled by data and machine learning. Computers become increasingly connected such that they communicate with one another and ultimately make decisions without human involvement. A combination of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Systems make Industry 4.0 possible and the smart factory a reality. As a result, machines become smarter, more efficient, and are digitally connected with each another, constantly creating and sharing information.
Smart Factory: The Future Of Manufacturing
Let's imagine how the Industry 4.0 factory of the future or the cyber connected factory will look like.
With Industry 4.0, the internet and factories will be fused together, allowing them to be interlinked at every step of the way. Gathering and transferring of data will thus be essential and efficient. A centralised computer will play a crucial role in organising the intelligent networking of the subsystems into cyber-physical systems. Humans, however, will still retain control where they define the requirements and specifics while the processes occurs autonomously with the machines.
Industry 4.0 brings the human-machine relationship to the next level. Where humans and machines can now collaborate together.
Misconceptions Of Fourth Industrial Revolution
Everyone is talking about Industrial Revolution 4.0 and how it's shaping the world. Yet, there are several misconceptions of this smart manufacturing. In an interview, Prof. Birgit Vogel-Heuser of the Institute of Automation and Information Systems at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) sheds light on these misconceptions.
1. Industry 4.0 can be simply defined in one sentence.
There are countless definitions for the term 'Industry 4.0' but no single definition is generally accepted. In fact, definitions are kept so general that they don't really mean anything.
As Prof. Vogel-Heuser says, "Industry 4.0 is actually a concept with many different facets. It’s just not possible to summarise them all in a single sentence."
2. Industry 4.0 is a solution that you can buy.
Industry 4.0 is not something that you can buy off the shelf. It's just impossible.
Trade fair booths often advertise with 'We have an Industry 4.0 PC' banners. "Utter nonsense," says Prof. Vogel-Heuser, "There’s no way a PC as such can be Industry 4.0, it’s just a device with software."
Industry 4.0 transforms your processes, people and the way your products are manufactured. Changing the way you work requires a radical change, including a shift in thinking and learning of new skills. Therefore, the road to Industry 4.0 will be long and implementation should be done in phases.
3. There is an all-encompassing Industry 4.0 solution.
Prof. Vogel-Heuser often hears things like 'Tell me how Industry 4.0 will work at my company' at training events. However, there's no general answer for this. Every company has to figure out what parts of this plethora of Industry 4.0 components is crucial for the company, its business and its customers.
Technologies & Impact Of Industry 4.0
One key step in embracing Industry 4.0 is to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies. There are 9 technology trends that form the building blocks of Industry 4.0 and transform industrial production (source: Boston Consulting Group).
Big Data, Analytics & Industrial Internet of Things
During a training session, Prof. Vogel-Heuser came to know a company which was still using manual processes. The company had an urgent problem: a large core machine that often broke down and thus, affected productivity. As a result, the company joined hands with a competitor that also used this type of machine. Together, they’ve launched an Industry 4.0 project with the machine manufacturer to identify causes and minimise breakdowns.
This is an example of utilising Industry 4.0 technologies, including big data, analytics and industrial internet of things. By collecting data from the machine and communicating this data to relevant employees, companies can now receive real-time information, analyse the data and improve the decision-making process.
Horizontal & Vertical System Integration
In another case, a major company with many different departments needed to optimise communication and cooperation between the departments in order to improve engineering and data evaluation.
With Industry 4.0, integrated systems are the backbone of smart factory. Departments and functions across a company will become increasingly cohesive and hence, improving cross-company universal data-integration networks and enabling truly automated value chains.
Prepare For Industry 4.0 With Relevant Courses
Singapore's manufacturing industry is losing its advantage of cost and quality due to competition from surrounding countries and global trends. However, it can transform itself into a data-driven manufacturing powerhouse with Industry 4.0.
Thus, there is a growing need for organisations to upskill their employees so that they stay relevant and keep pace with the ever-evolving landscape.
Designed for professionals seeking to understand core elements of Industry 4.0 and their applications, the Specialist Diploma In Advanced Digital Manufacturing (ADM) at TUM Asia is Singapore’s 1st Industry 4.0 specialist diploma. Under the direct guidance of German experts, the programme equips participants with relevant Industry 4.0 knowledge and skills as well as hands-on experience with Industry 4.0 training equipment.
As Germany's #1 University with an Asian campus in Singapore, TUM Asia combines the best experts from Germany and Singapore. TUM Asia has partnered with Festo Didactic, the world-leading provider of equipment and solutions for technical education, so that participants will get to use FESTO Industry 4.0 training equipment for project implementation.
Industry 4.0 is revolutionising the way businesses work, especially for manufacturing where smart factory is now the new frontier.
How has Industry 4.0 transformed the way you work? How do you prepare yourself in this changing landscape?
Combining German engineering with Asian relevance, the Specialist Diploma In Advanced Digital Manufacturing helps you keep pace with the ever-evolving landscape. With up to 90% SkillsFuture Singapore funding available, speak to our course consultants today to find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org or 6777 7407.
Watch how Singapore’s 1st Industry 4.0 Specialist Diploma in Advanced Digital Manufacturing (ADM) equips participants with relevant Industry 4.0 knowledge and skills for today's changing workforce.