How Industry 4.0 Boosts Productivity and Profitability in Intelligent Factories

With such high expectations for Industry 4.0, it’s no surprise that 48% of manufacturing leaders report that their companies have strategies in place and implemented for applying Industry 4.0 technologies to plants and production processes.


The Factory of the Future is here today, GETTY

This was a key finding from the MPI 2020 Industry 4.0 Study. Other key findings include:

  • Manufacturing leaders are leveraging Industry 4.0 to increase productivity, revenues and profitability.”

  • 83% of manufacturing leaders say that “Industry 4.0 is “extremely or very important” to their companies

  • 56% indicate “Industry 4.0 will have a significant impact” on their business and industry in the next 5 years.

The “factory of the future” is here today

When it delved a little further, 50% reported that Industry 4.0 is a competitive differentiator today, and a further 42% said that it would be in the future.


They report that on average, their companies have incorporated smart devices or embedded intelligence into 41% of their production processes and equipment, and 88% expect that percentage to increase in the next two years.


And the leading companies are looking beyond the factory walls with approximately 48% saying that their organizations have a “significant company wide understanding” of Industry 4.0 and how to apply it to their businesses.


Intelligent Factories are more flexible, agile and responsive

When it comes to manufacturing, Industry 4.0 typically involves the application of equipment sensors, controls, and other digitally aware devices, which are then networked, sharing data to prompt automated changes within production — and to provide executives with insights for digital decision-making and analytics.


Organizations are gaining increased shop floor visibility, identifying process bottlenecks, and managing operations with greater agility. This, in turn, facilitates smart factory capabilities where rigid production lines are transformed into flexible manufacturing cells – making it possible to shift from mass production to mass customization.


Intelligence is often driven by device connectivity, the vertical integration of sensor /machine data into a horizontal business process. This IT/OT convergence allows to further automate manufacturing operations. Machine triggered demand signals are responded to by automatic guided vehicles to supply the right materials directly from the warehouse to each manufacturing station. In-line Visual quality inspections are automated based on artificial intelligence to help manufacturing companies identify defects early in the production process and at a lower cost, with reduced human errors to speed-up the inspection process.


The numbers speak for themselves

Most manufacturing leaders report that Industry 4.0 has or will:

  • Increase productivity (88%)

  • Increase profitability (74%)

  • Improve product quality (48%)

  • Increase customer satisfaction (43%)

  • Improve machine reliability/up time (42%)

  • Increase worker safety (41%)

The time for Industry 4.0 and the Intelligent Factory is now

The report shows that an intelligent factory is agile, adaptable, and ready to support different production scenarios. It’s also elastic and able to deal with varying production volumes and manufacturing technologies.


Source: www.forbes.com

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