INDUSTRY 4.0 EXPLAINED
Developed in Germany, I4.0, or the 4th Industrial Revolution, is a vision of decentralized, autonomous networks of smart products and automated equipment collaborating in smart supply chains. It is a concept based on cyber-physical systems and the merging of real and virtual worlds.
INDUSTRY 4.0 BENEFITS
Smart factories allow individual customer requirements to be met and mean that even one-off items can be manufactured profitably. In Industry 4.0, dynamic business and engineering processes enable last-minute changes to production and deliver the ability to respond flexibly to disruptions and failures on behalf of suppliers, for example”, The Industry 4.0 Final Report 2013.
Clear benefits of I4.0 include:
- Efficiency – Automation, fewer people, faster decisions, lower costs.
- Agility – High mix, short lead-time, built-in specs, responsiveness.
- Innovation – Full visibility, known capabilities, rapid experiments, fast NPI.
- Customer Experience – Full visibility, availability, quick resolution, service that works.
- Costs – fewer people, less wasted material, higher initial quality, lower operating costs.
- Revenues – larger markets, higher value products, profitable services, customer loyalty.
Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), also known as Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), sit at the critical intersection where revenue-generating products come into being, which is why they will continue to play an essential role in the manufacturing IT landscape. However, to deliver the highest business value, a new class of decentralized MES is required to cope with the new challenges created by Industry 4.0.
Once the transition has been made, MES becomes central in the journey to Industry 4.0:
see image No. 2
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PATH TO THE FUTURE
There are steps you can take now to prepare for your I4.0 enabled future; know Industry 4.0 back to front, get to know MES, set a vision, assess your position, envision your options, craft projects and then refine with constant learning.
“Industry 4.0 offers an unprecedented opportunity for transformational success, but companies must have plant floor software that is ready for that journey. The fact that Industry 4.0 is already predicted means companies can prepare themselves now”.
If there is one thing everyone in the manufacturing industry can agree on, it’s that Industry 4.0 is the direction we need to move in. However, can the MES systems currently in place manage this new environment successfully? To find out about MES/MOM for I4.0 in extensive detail, stay tuned for our new white paper ‘The New MES: Backbone of Industry 4.0’ which will be available to download in the next coming weeks.