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When the first industrial revolution started in the 18th century, the goods were being manufactured by hand. From tools to clothing, everything was prepared using manual labor. In the 18th century, manufacturing processes first evolved and this journey never stopped. This article will discuss the industrial revolution and its impact on the manufacturing industry and supply chain management.
At the time of Industry 1.0,which was around the late 18th century, mechanical production machines were developed to allow mass productions of products like clothes and tools. This was the starting era of industry culture that delivered efficiency, equality, and scaling ability. This was the time when small businesses started using tools to grow and become large organizations.
In the 20th century, the second industrial revolution began. This was the start of an era where electrically powered machines were created. By the beginning of the 20th century, we were already using electrical energy to generate power. Therefore, electrically powered machines became a feasible and efficient source for industries. These machines were also time and cost-effective, and perfectly capable of mass production.
During Industry 3.0, the entire focus was on making electronic devices more efficient, speedy, and accurate. This meant we were inventing automated and feasible machines that were completely capable of replacing human agents. At this time, manufacturing IT solutions came into the picture.
The integration of manufacturing systems and electronic hardware increased the need for software systems. As a result, software systems were used for managing the hardware as well inventory management, enterprise resource planning, shipping logistics, etc.
Since Industry 3.0, the software systems and automation processes have only evolved. We are only focusing on reducing costs and improving efficiency further. Let’s see how Industry 4.0 plays a major role in this type of supply chain management in the manufacturing industry.
What Are Revolution 4.0 and Industry 4.0?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution started at the onset of telecommunication and the internet in the manufacturing industry. The idea here was to revolutionize information exchange and connect several manufacturing units.
Ideally, we are focusing on diminishing the boundaries of the virtual and the physical world in Revolution 4.0. This means that through the power of Cyber-physical Systems (CSPs), machines are becoming smarter, they are communicating with each other without geographical barriers. These smart and intelligent machines are able to detect, monitor, and predict preventive measures, suggest remedial actions, and help us reduce downtime. This is beneficial in production scheduling, quality control, efficiency-boosting, and capacity utilization.
Simply put, Industry 4.0 is here to steepen the technology curve and lead us towards lower costs and an efficient industrial ecosystem.
More About Industry 4.0
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is known for the use of communication and information technology. It grows on the developments and advancements of the Third Industrial Revolution. This means that production systems equipped with computer tech are now expanded using a network connection; creating a digital lookalike of the same. With the help of this connection, communication between facilities is made simpler and information exchange is made quick and easy.
Here, we are moving one step ahead for production automation, where networking every system creates a cyber-physical network of production systems. Due to this, we get smart factories including smart production systems, people, and components that communicate using a network and manufacturing in an almost autonomous manner.
Combining all these advancements, Industry 4.0 is a true enabler of manufacturing efficiency. For example, using machines that have the power to predict its failure or indicate its maintenance needs or self-powered logistics informing you of production glitches.
The power of this digitization helps us improvise the manufacturing environment such that we are able to offer the right data to the correct authority at the correct time.
Industry 4.0 is the era of change for the manufacturing industry and supply chain management. It revolutionizes the way we make, distribute, and deliver products.
Challenges Faced In The Manufacturing Industry Due To Revolution 4.0
When you are using smart manufacturing for your company, don’t forget to keep a check on these challenges.
1. Tech Skills Gap
With an increase in adoption of the manufacturing IT solutions, the skills gap is also widening. This means we need more employees who are technically and digitally sound. The only solution is to find applicants who understand digital tools as well as manufacturing processes well.
2. Data Sensitivity
With an increase in data on the internet, data privacy, IP privacy, data management, and data ownership are an issue. We need data governance policies to manage and share this data according to set guidelines and laws, such as GDPR. While data has a strong influence in our manufacturing today, it needs to be used efficiently and with care.
3. Data Security and Management
The digital industries are currently facing a major challenge of cyberattacks. Therefore, even smart factories find it hard to secure data across various devices and machines connected to different networks. There are so many vulnerabilities and cyberthreats present in the way we use equipment, share data, and store information. To combat these security threats, we need technological advancements, like cloud, and security architecture to loop out risks.
4. Poor Interoperability
When companies are not able to separate products, protocols, components, and systems from one another, they face issues. These interoperability issues restrict changing one vendor and replacing it with another. You are not able to upgrade and innovate. While implementing technology, we need proper consulting and support to take care of the interoperability of various components.
Some technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Big Data in manufacturing is one of the best inventions, as it helps process traditional data and use it in the best way possible. Data from disparate sources collected in a manufacturing firm can be cleaned and processed using big data. This means we can draw trends, insights, and make data-driven decisions.
Quantum Computing is a part of Industry 4.0 because it allows making advanced manufacturing products, such as high-performance batteries. For example, quantum computers can help solve the logistics phase of the supply chain, as it has the ability to compute huge amounts of data.
AI makes our devices intelligent and efficient. This means with AI, we move towards smart manufacturing that enables real-time monitoring and high machine performance. Using AI, we can predict efficient operations and improve every step from sourcing to shipment.
Internet of Things
IoT is the tech behind the connection between our machines and complex networks. IoT is the reason our machines, systems, and every process inside the supply chain (and manufacturing process) are able to communicate with each other. This helps us reduce time to market, improve communication, and enhance personalization.
Industry 4.0 has created an ecosystem full of opportunities for the manufacturing industry. If you wish to grab these opportunities and use Salesforce for the manufacturing industry, we can help you. AIMDek Technologies is a software development company offering Salesforce consulting and personalized solutions. We have already catered to the digitization needs of a range of customers spread across the globe. We have helped manufacturing businesses improve productivity, ROI, and efficiency. Connect with us to get a quote today!