Manufacturing is something that continues to evolve and transform over time. Industry 4.0 is the name that many experts apply to the latest movement. Some, in fact, refer to it as a whole new industrial revolution.
That is mostly thanks to the sheer amount of smart technology currently in use in manufacturing. Firms are regularly building products and fulfilling orders with IIoT technology, OEE systems, and more. An OEE system, in particular, will aid businesses in that they will monitor production processes automatically.
But what are some other specific ways that Industry 4.0 is changing the way that manufacturing works in this day and age?
Cloud Data Gives You Access to Data Anywhere
With so many smart systems and technologies working together, why rely on an old-fashion storage system? Just as cloud technology is helping office workers and those saving documents at home, it has a firm place on the factory floor.
Think about the tools and services you use, which require data storage. What if you need to retrieve information on system performance at short notice? With cloud technology, you can ensure that you always have the data you need to hand.
You can pool together marketing information and product specifics while you are in mid-production. You can save over data and cross-reference information, too, without having to waste too much time and effort.
Augmented Reality Helps You See End Products
It is all well and good to work from a spec sheet or a set of instructions. But what if you could actively ‘work into’ the end product? A smarter, faster way to build and manipulate products and assembly is, of course, through augmented reality.
Otherwise known as AR, augmented reality allows you to generate and project an image onto a real surface. In manufacturing, this image could be a system replication. It could show you where parts need to fix in place, and where you will need to repair specific elements.
Crucially, AR is helping manufacturers stay on track when it comes to adhering to product designs. It’s helping to make building and repairing more efficient, on the whole, and more beneficial for everyone.
Building Prototypes Earlier
Another great way that Industry 4.0 is helping to change manufacturing for the better is through prototype design. Modern technology allows factories and engineers to create product prototypes from simple plans and designs and 3D printing. By taking away development stages, which would typically take weeks to fully complete, prototypes emerge quicker.
This process also allows for a smoother, more bespoke approach to product design and control. That cuts down waiting times, cuts down on costs, and boosts customer satisfaction. Everyone stands to benefit!
The IIoT, or Industrial Internet of Things, continues to develop and expand. It’s likely Industry 4.0 will continue to propel us forward for time to come. As factory lines and engineering standards grow more efficient, customer expectations will evolve, also. Are we all ready for the next revolution, whenever that will be?