The digital age has impacted every industry, and for the manufacturing sector, in particular, this digital revolution has been labelled ‘Industry 4.0’. Starting with the industry 4.0 definition, we analyse the benefits that digitisation introduces to enterprises in logistics, supply chain, automotive, and beyond.
When looking for an industry 4.0 definition, the title represents the fourth evolution that is currently taking place, and the effects it is having within the manufacturing industry. If individuals first learn to embrace the changes, enterprise businesses can utilise these shifts in processes and see the benefits that digitalisation has on an existing company’s infrastructure.
To gain a stronger understanding of the positives of this digital revolution and why you should take the necessary steps to incorporate digitalisation practices into the running of your enterprise, continue reading.
Robots and Additive Manufacturing
In terms of hands-on responsibilities within the manufacturing industry, automated robots and 3D printers are fast replacing human processes. Robots and additive manufacturing have now seen jobs completed from conceptualisation to end result with very minimal human involvement. This has resulted in a considerable increase in the mass production of products and a consistent lowering of costs without a human workforce slowing down the process.
Consumers’ expectations and requirements for customisation are also being met through the use of robots. Drones checking inventory and collaborative robots are just some of the ways these digital solutions are quickly and safely transforming the manufacturing business. With automated processes, you can streamline your business results of up to 5x cut in operating costs.
Digitalisation within different industries
Through digital transformation strategy, the way you can collate, analyse and act on data can be drastically improved. The information that can be digitally collected and stored is incredibly valuable to your enterprise. Through revolutionary technology, those within the supply chain sector will be able to establish data patterns and trends and organise and share essential performance data. These insights can shine a light on the following:
- Manufacturing lead times
- Costs of various raw materials
- Product availability data for suppliers
- Shipping/logistics estimates
- Demand forecasts
Digitalisation can quicken this process for a more collaborative, streamlined and efficient supply chain. It creates a chain which is connected and works as one to provide the best results for your consumers.
Growing advancements in digitalisation can give customers a high-quality personalised service when it comes to researching, purchasing and operating vehicles. Digitalisation within automotive manufacturing specifically can lead to increased productivity, greater flexibility and a more individualised service and vehicle for the customer.
Vehicle manufacturers and suppliers can benefit too because, with thanks to digitalisation, the parts inventory is reduced by up to 30%. Further, with a calculated £2.6 billion of benefit to suppliers, it is easy to see why those within the car manufacturing industry should use digitalisation to their advantage.
Autonomous vehicle technology could soon also impact the manufacturing industry further, with driverless upgrades expected industry-wide within the next few years, all in order to meet the consumers’ ever-growing need for more efficient delivery of the product you are selling.
Logistics and transportation
Businesses in logistics have had to seriously assess how to carry out their roles within the manufacturing sector due to the real-time economy. Although those within the logistics industry have embraced digitalisation at a slower pace than other industries, digital adoption is still on their radar and should be on yours.
When managed right, it can allow smaller companies to have a more global reach and compete with sector giants. Speed and timing are critical to the logistics industry, and these transformations have seen rapid evolution in how logistics are managed. Drones can be used to find more efficient ways to deliver shipments, and the manufacturing process can be aided by 3D printing. Shared warehouse and transport capabilities can see utilisation of assets increase.
What’s more, digitally enabled logistics services will support trade growth, as logistics manufacturers will be able to provide customers with faster same day deliveries. Digital platforms can see an increase in outreach and trade growth increasing the supply and demand for products.
As the relationship between human and automated processes evolves, and we rely more and more on automotive technology and robotic AI systems to complete and carry out jobs from start to finish, enterprises must embrace these advancements if you hope to keep up. Failing to do so could see your company fall behind the wayside in a competitive market.
For more information and advice on how you can best digitalise your enterprise, feel free to contact us.
Originally published at eleks.com on November 8, 2018.