The domain where Industry 4.0 has the most obvious impact is, of course, operations, as new technologies provide numerous opportunities for optimization. Still, many companies don’t have the level of connectivity and integration that is needed to take full advantage. Sensors, for example, have found their way into many factories, but there is often no systemic inclusion or proper integration. And while vertical integration of data capture across a manufacturing system has vastly improved, real-time visibility is still lacking.
So, while the organization of product data from a single source (the ERP in most cases) is good in most organizations, continued investments in robotization, sensor implementation and the integration of operational data with IT systems is required. This will enable predictive maintenance and quality and a truly adaptive manufacturing execution system (MES), which in turn will have a huge impact on operational excellence and thus productivity.