Seems Big Data, IoT and blockchain were not enough to flame the next Industrial Revolution. Here comes Industry 4.0 that focuses purely on smart manufacturing. Bringing in interconnectivity, artificial intelligence, automation, and big data altogether, IIoT or Industry 4.0 as it is referred to, is evolving rapidly to transform the entire ecosystem of the manufacturing technology, stages of manufacturing, products and the end users.
This article focuses primarily on what IIoT is doing to Manufacturing Technologies. Before we dwell deeper let us create a general understanding of what are manufacturing technologies.
Product manufacturing in today’s world is a completely automated process. The automation is actually brought in by the manufacturing tools that are built using aspects of manufacturing technology. When we talk about the software tools of manufacturing technology, they range from Computer Aided Design (CAD) softwares, Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), to Programmable Logic Control (PLC).
Evolution of Manufacturing Technology with Fourth Industrial Evolution
Industry 4.0 combines powerful technology innovations into a single platform that offers manufacturing technologies a mature ecosystem to create tools in an insightful and smart manner. IIoT or Industry 4.0 is all set to reverse the process of manufacturing technology. Instead of making cookie cutter tools, the manufacturing technologies will have direct information about the kind of tools the industry requires.
While Big Data, IoT and AI render efficiency, speed and a user-centric approach to industries, optimization of these technologies were missing till IIoT came up. Modern technologies are actually all set to essentially transform manufacturing technologies. So what does it all mean?
Let us brief you on this:
From the perspective of a Manufacturing Technology team, the emphasis will shift more towards developing or improving an industry tool based on the real-time data from the industries as IIoT makes engineering tools talk for themselves.
For example, the equipment that drills holes into a machine part is design to drill over 100,000 holes after which the drill bit needs to be changed. If the drill bit didn’t reach the mark of 100,000 holes, Industry 4.0 analyses the real-time data coming in from the drill, the machine parts, the end user and the entire ecosystem to find of why did this happen.
Based on this analysis the manufacturing technology can fix the issue in the design based on stats rather than assumptions. It promises to bring in more time and operational efficiency.
Working with an integrated and systemic approach the machines and software’s can now support each other. The design software that has become a vital part of tool manufacturing system now can interact with the machines so that the feedback mechanism is coupled to deliver perfect designs and management.
The IIoT system is continuously working to record, share and analyze the data. This data becomes very vital for the software manufacturing technologies to help the designing tool evolve with the changes on the operational front.
The principle of connectivity of products and data acquisition drives IIoT. This analysis of this data is bound to evolve the hardware as well as the software adding value to the entire Industrial process. The integration with the industry tools will allow designers to leverage the data coming in from the field of work. Monitoring, managing, and control of the industry tools will improve. Enhancing the capabilities of building industry-specific manufacturing tools, the IIoT will create a new philosophy. The monitoring will be conditions-based and the maintenance will be based on predictions.
From a competitive perspective, the data is very sensitive for any industry. Integrating the most powerful technologies of the time, IIoT promises a secure stack of data collection, analysis, and transfer so that the partnership works.
Increasing design efficiency for the manufacturer
Industry 4.0 is the link that was missing between the designer and manufacturer. With so much advancement in the aspects of 3D designing and 3D printing, IIoT is proving to be a productive link to add an element of efficiency. Integrating CAD/CAM tools with the system makes sure the changes made to the part design are in sync with the field requirement.
This has been a challenge for every industry. With a lot of administrative baggage between the designer and manufacturer, chances of missing some vital aspects of design and performance are not unheard of. End to end integration allows the system to work in a unified manner as every data and information transfer is automated and coming in directly from the machines.
Elimination of Manual Intervention
Even in the age of digitization and automation a lot of tooling data needs to be manually entered to the CAD/CAM/CNC/PLC kinds of design tools. IIoT brings forward a fast-tracking solution to all the manual tasks. Connecting the entire ecosystem together, the design information will be input from the manufacturing end in a digitized and accurate manner.
Being agile is the only way the industries can survive. With the technologies like IIoT, a business can thrive as the customer demand and manufacturing technologies will always be in synchronization. IIoT offers its users a competitive edge and a mature model of operation.
Industry 4.0 or IIoT technology augments better management and optimization of the entire manufacturing processes. By laying hands on real-time data and insights the manufacturing technologies partner can make smarter and faster decisions to make the entire operation more profitable, quicker and overall transforms the entire stack of operations in any industry.