The digital transformation in the manufacturing sector: the future factory 4.0
The industrial internet is developing at a fast pace. The next industrial revolution is a combination of hardware and software, big iron and big data, minds and machines, connectivity and intelligence; it’s Industry 4.0.
The Industry 4.0 advanced the automation through digitization and networked production with cyber-physical systems and cloud computing which created the Smart Factory.
- The evolution of Industry 4.0
Technology trends such as advanced analytics, machine learning, IoT, cloud computing and human-machine interfaces have been changing the industry. The Smart Factory employees must be empowered with the technological solutions to execute their tasks efficiently such as ERP, CRM, Customer Experience Mapping. Machine learning has been solving a lot of issues in the manufacturing sector and is the reason of the development of Smart Factory. IoT alongside with Machine Learning can save manufacturers millions of euros per year. The live product performance will enable companies to enhance their products in an efficient way. The products can be tested via Augmented Reality before they reach the assembly line to save money and time.
- Impact of Industry 4.0 on SME in the manufacturing sector
Nowadays, Consumers constantly want more personalised products and services to get a unique experience. To accomplish a personalised production, more complicated processes, higher skills and flexibility at the factories must be implicated. The production and supply chain become agile to meet clients demands. New technologies such as IoT, Big data, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Cloud computing impact enormously on the development of Smart Factory. The digital transformation helps the development and the growth of SME. Companies of all sizes and sectors can benefit from the industrial applications and the technology at low cost to compete in the competitive globalised market. 86% of surveyed manufacturers expect cost reductions and revenue gains from their digitization efforts over 5 years, according to a report by PWC.
- Industry 4.0 effects on the economy & the society
Offshoring has failed in a long term perspective, because of high transportation costs and the increase of salaries in Asia. The reshoring is the current tendency due to the positive outcomes of digital transformation. Offshore factories are unable to deliver a personalised experience in a short duration for its clients. Consequently, the industry 4.0 contributes into reshoring and production development. Industry 4.0 rebuilds the industrial ecosystem that will lead to the development of the industrial rural areas’ infrastructure.
- Industry 4.0 in the French context
The manufacturing sector allowed France to develop its world-renowned know-how. Since 1970, the manufacturing sector has been in decline due to the offshoring of a lot of its factories that led to unemployment and social tensions. The digital economy offers a multitude of technologies that contribute in increasing the productivity and the quality of manufactured products. We must face the fear of change by communicating and explaining to the unions that the digital transformation has a mutual benefit to the company and to the worker, as he will be able to increase his skills. The French ministry of economy has created the French Fab which has the mission to promote French industries around the world and to enhance their competitiveness via the digital transformation.
The digital transformation is essential for enterprises, and Industry 4.0 is the only way to guarantee them a future in the industry. Industry 5.0 is at the door steps. It’ll encourage the cooperation between man and machine as well as the reduction of industrial waste.