5 Ways Industry 4.0 Can Give Your Business a Competitive Edge

You don’t have to look very far to spot the signs of Industry 4.0, as we’re surrounded by news of innovation in everything from wearable gadgets and 3D printing to driverless cars, gene editing, artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

May 15, 2018 by By Peter McGurk, Stefanini’s Director of Field Services & Digital Workplace

So, instead of viewing this with trepidation, why not explore and embrace it? Change always brings challenges, as we’ve addressed elsewhere, but there is also the potential for the kind of game-changing growth and success that will put your business head-and-shoulders above your competition.

“There’s simply no getting around the fact that the fourth industrial revolution will have a huge impact on the manufacturing sector over the next five-to-ten years.”

 

Here are just five ways your business can benefit from Industry 4.0 – if you’re prepared to embrace it.

1. Increased productivity

Industry 4.0 makes real the ‘smart factory’, where cyber-physical systems monitor the processes of the factory and track production in real time. This means it’s possible to optimise equipment effectiveness and maintenance and even predict and prevent downtime for machines. It can also help you make sure your employees are as efficient as possible. With more detailed information available about people’s working times, production rates and quality stats, it will be much easier to identity who needs more training and the areas in which they need support.

2. Lower operating costs

In addition to the increase in productivity that Industry 4.0 can make possible, it can also help you to save on labour costs by increasing automation. Plus the use of 3-D printers will help make prototyping faster, reducing the engineering costs and accelerating time to market. So by embracing these new developments you’re not only potentially increasing your profits, you’re likely to be decreasing your outgoings.

3. Increased scalability

Factory automation will make it much easier to scale your work, as you can transition employees to areas of the business that add more value. This will set you up to expand your product and service offerings, or to take existing offerings to new markets.

4. Higher product quality

The data made available through smart-factory working means you can monitor production in much greater detail in real-time and at every point. This allows for much greater quality control, as it’s easier to spot mistakes and remove faulty products, ensuring that everything you send out meets agreed specifications.

5. Better customer relationships

At its heart, Industry 4.0 is about people. It’s about meeting the needs of society in new ways, and technology is just the vehicle. So the culmination of the four benefits above is that you’ll be better able to serve your customers – which is ultimately what keeps them coming back and keeps you ahead of your competitors. Industry 4.0 will allow you to reach consumers more directly, so you can better tailor your offering to what your customers actually want. Plus the responsiveness and the availability of deep information, including in-context data from MES, offers a quicker and more effective foundation for resolving any issues with your customers.

Ultimately we know that any time of significant change brings challenges. At Stefanini we want to help you put the right systems and support networks in place to allow you to focus on the future while still keeping a firm grasp on the present. So we’re hosting a two-day event in Brussels, on May 23rd and 24th, to help our partners understand the core drivers of the fourth revolution and how it will directly impact the manufacturing industry.

To find out more either talk to your Stefanini account manager or contact Tania.Herrezeel@stefanini.com for more information.

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