Industry 4.0 is the name given by experts to the fourth major industrial revolution. This revolution, which we are currently experiencing, is being driven by major innovations in technology. These new technologies build on the introduction of computers and automation that came with Industry 3.0. Industry 4.0 integrates the virtual and physical worlds through a network of digitally connected machines that communicate with one another autonomously, resulting in radical changes in how we do business, live, work, and communicate with each other. Examples of these transformative technologies include:
The Internet of Things – a system of interconnected devices, machines, and everyday objects that communicate via the internet without the need for human interaction.
Big data – today’s advanced technologies have resulted in the collection of vast sums of data that can be analyzed to detect patterns, trends, opportunities, and potential pitfalls. The analysis and interpretation of this data through advanced analytics is a critical component of leveraging Industry 4.0.
Robotics and automation – robots have been employed in manufacturing for years, but new technologies have increased their use and made them more available to companies of all sizes. Autonomous robots can streamline warehouse processes and reduce costs.
3D printing and simulations – the ability to virtually test options and components has sped up the manufacturing process and saved money. And 3D printing gives companies the capability to produce customized, complex products more quickly and cost-effectively than ever before.
Industry 4.0 advancements have applications in a variety of manufacturing areas. Here are just a few:
Optimize and streamline supply chains
Industry 4.0 technology gives you greater data visibility, control, and insight across your entire supply chain. A connected supply chain means you can eliminate redundancies and manual tasks, allowing you to deliver your products to your customers more quickly and at a lower cost. And optimized supply chains can be quickly adjusted when challenges arise or opportunities are discovered.
Connected equipment generates valuable information regarding performance and maintenance. Rather than relying on a manual maintenance process that occurs on a set timetable, you can use real-time performance information to identify patterns and address maintenance issues before they cause problems that impact your production. Predictive analytics allow you to shift your focus from wondering what happened to figuring out what might happen – and how to prevent it.
Make better decisions
The vast quantities of data provided by the Internet of Things and other cutting-edge technologies, along with robust analytics, offer businesses the opportunity to make more strategic decisions. Access to real-time data means that you can rely on data-driven insights and make informed decisions based on the numbers rather than gut feelings. Big data, paired with advanced analytics, can inform decisions on everything from product development and testing to production, marketing, and sales.
The technologies of Industry 4.0 allow organizations to eliminate mundane tasks through automation, freeing up employees to focus on higher-value strategic efforts – leading to increases in efficiency and productivity. At MicroAccounting, we offer a broad range of cloud-based accounting and ERP solutions, including Sage 100, that can help you make the most of the opportunities provided by Industry 4.0. Call us today at 855-876-3773 or email us at email@example.com to find out more.