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The Fourth Industrial Revolution, better recognized as Industry 4.0, has transformed modern-day Manufacturing. Industry 4.0 has fostered significant advancements to manufacturing including Automation and Digitalization. These two components have generated a technology wave across the manufacturing space. Are you ready to learn more about Industry 4.0 and the technology behind it?

WHAT IS INDUSTRY 4.0

Before we look at the technology, we need to understand what Industry 4.0 is. According to Tech Radar, “Industry 4.0 is the label given to the gradual combination of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices with the increasingly technological world around us.” Essentially, it’s common day manufacturing companies investing time and money by incorporating the digital world around them. One crucial part of this is automation. Automation provides manufacturers the ability to utilize digital versions of old practices. This includes transforming scheduling calendars, handwritten on whiteboards, to digital schedules that can be seen and updated in real-time. Being able to see production in real-time is a huge benefit for manufacturing companies. Below we will discuss two of the biggest components that contribute to Industry 4.0 in a significant way.

BIG DATA

Big Data fulfills a significant role in Industry 4.0 technology because it is essentially the information needed to improve operations. According to SAS, “Big Data is a term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis…Big Data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves.” Big Data, for example, uses data pulled from sensors connected to machines and past experience to suggest way to improve manufacturing processes. Since its inception, companies have been learning how to accurately analyze and interpret this large amount of information. As Industry 4.0 technology continues to evolve; manufacturers must learn how to utilize this data.

MANUFACTURING SOFTWARE

How does a company promote growth while making those strategic business moves? Manufacturing Software. It is the key to interpreting Big Data and yielding it into operational results.

Manufacturing Software remains a game changer for Industry 4.0. It has provided companies the opportunity to accurately analyze Big Data information and automate significant areas of Production. The most popular forms of this software are Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software. It’s important for companies to understand how these two systems work together.

Most manufacturing companies already have some type of Manufacturing Software in place, most commonly Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. ERP’s are great for streamlining key processes across an organization. Oracle describes an ERP as, “…the systems and software packages used by organizations to manage day-to-day business activities, such as accounting, procurement, project management, and manufacturing.” Think of an ERP as the backbone of Manufacturing Technology.

Many manufacturing companies have added Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) to their software arsenal in order to improve Shop Floor Control. MES provides management an “in real-time” tool that helps them increase uptime, reduce scrap and rework, improve traceability, reduce working capital tied up in inventory and improve customer service. Integrating these two software solutions can easily transform your company and take it to the next level.  You can find out more information about integrating an MES with an ERP by clicking here.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has taken over the manufacturing space in recent years because of these technologies. Companies are transforming themselves into Smart Factories as a result of Industry 4.0 technology. This technology presents Manufacturers an opportunity to produce more products, reduce costs, and increase profitability like never before. Looking forward, business leaders are asking this question: What does the future hold?

Be sure to follow our virtual assistant “Emily” on LinkedIn as she will covering the conversation of “Industry 5.0” in October.  

For more information about automating your Shop Floor with IMCO Software please click here

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