Industry 4.0: from sensors to business value

Industry 4.0 refers to the digitization and combination of automation and data exchange in modern manufacturing to create a ‘smart factory’.

Steam, electricity and mass production: the three major upheavals that shaped modern industry. Today, a fourth wave is flooding our factories: Industry 4.0. Here, automation and data exchange come together in entirely new ways, shaping production systems that enable smart, data-driven and decentralized decision-making and further minimizing human interaction with processes. As countless examples already show, the opportunities to improve efficiency, lower costs and even provide new services are enormous. But what can it mean for your business?

 

How we got to now

While individual ‘smart machines’ driven by PLCs have existed for many years, the emergence of cheap data storage, hardware, cloud technologies, interconnectivity and ever-increasing computing power has pushed manufacturing process digitization to new heights. The result is the ‘smart factory’, where physical systems and software solutions communicate with operators and each other and make data-driven decisions – sometimes without any human intervention at all.

A world of opportunities

By making decisions based on data and insights, Industry 4.0 opens up a world of opportunities for manufacturing:

  • Sensors help detect defects or abnormalities early on in the production process, making it possible to adjust settings quickly and change parameters to prevent these incidents in the future.
  • Predictive maintenance of machines allows businesses to schedule downtime more efficiently and prevent incidents or breakdowns.
  • Based on data and insights derived from manufacturing to delivery processes, the entire supply chain is managed much more efficiently.
  • Worker health and safety improves, as data and incident analysis assists in identifying and preventing hazardous situations. 
  • Changes to production lines are simulated virtually before they are physically implemented to adequately assess impact and reduce the chance of errors.
  • OEM manufacturers can provide a host of new services to clients – including predictive maintenance and quality control – by using sensor data.
  • Energy consumption can be optimized using advanced analytics.

Turning data into value

In other words, the essence of Industry 4.0 is the use of data-derived insights to make better decisions and thus create business value. The whole process, from sensors to value, looks like this:

 

Industry 4.0



Many large companies are familiar with Industry 4.0, but SMEs are discovering the benefits as well.

 

The SME of the future


While a lot of big companies are already familiar with the applications and advantages of Industry 4.0, SMEs are starting to discover the benefits as well. To meet the demand for personalized products and services and to be able to compete with big players, SMEs must also embrace the logic of data and insights to steer processes. But the best is yet to come for them: companies like SAP and Microsoft are pushing forward to make Industry 4.0 attainable for players of all industries and sizes. delaware is more than happy to guide you.


How we can help you

  • create awareness through workshops, business games and quick scans
  • define improvement programs and offer vision, strategy and a roadmap
  • execute transformation at your company
  • build your business process architecture, monitor it, and train your people

 

Why choose delaware?

  • We offer a structured approach
  • We recombine business and technology
  • We collaborate closely with your team
  • We have 15 years of experience in business transformation in numerous industries