We are in the era of the application of new technologies within the production industry, this being the prelude to Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution.
We are talking about the implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) within the industrial model, which makes the integration of production processes viable. This allows the connection between machines and devices that connect to the network, making it possible to obtain relevant data and information.
This change enables the integration of intelligent infrastructures and the digitization of methodologies through the automation and intercommunication of systems and processes.
Production processes evolve to efficiency and autonomy. The innovative vision in this concept allows industrial processes to be more decentralized so that technological devices connect an entire production chain.
Some examples of the implementation of these technologies in smart industries are cyber-physical systems, artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, augmented reality (AR), the use of Big Data, cloud storage, among others.
Industry 4.0 is evolving towards the automation of processes, however, seven basic principles are established for its implementation:
Data collection in real time
The possibility of capturing data instantly (machinery, operations and production chain) will allow analysis of productivity and decision-making in real time.
Virtual monitoring systems (IoT)
Virtual systems are a proposal for virtual copying of the smart factory using various sensors scattered throughout the area. In this way, it is possible to remotely monitor and track all your systems and processes.
The ability to generate a virtual copy of the factory by collecting data and modeling industrial (physical) processes, obtaining virtual plant models and simulation models.
Decentralization is the idea that connected machines in factories are capable of making autonomous decisions. Within the electricity sector, a system can be implemented that allows the management of energy purchase and sale transactions without the need for the human factor through artificial intelligence. In addition, in the case of manufacturing, the machines will have the ability to assess the needs of the factory and provide information on its work cycle in real time.
It is a concept in which the softwares will be able to offer solutions as services connected to the entire industry, in the form of a service catalog that allows the interaction and creation of new applications. Basically this connection is oriented to a user experience outside the organization.
Basically, it means the interconnection between the elements of the intelligent factory (material and human), through the use of the Internet of Things (IoT). This in order to collect key information for Big Data, which will eventually allow companies to monitor operations in order to optimize key processes. The communication capacity of all the elements of the factory, cyber-physical systems, robots, corporate information systems, smart products and people, as well as third-party systems.
Modularity and scalability
Modularity allows for maximum flexibility in the smart factory for adding, replacing, or subtracting items and changing jobs. The flexibility and elasticity to adapt to the needs of the industry and the business at all times, with the facility to scale the technical capacity of the system according to the technical requirements that the evolution of business demand requires in each case.
The impacts of Industry 4.0
With smart factories, various changes will occur in the way products are manufactured, generating repercussions in various market sectors. The expectation is that the influence of Industry 4.0 in the industrial sector will be comparable to the Internet in electronic commerce. This change varies from the geographical location, since in certain sectors this evolution can end up affecting the work situation of many operators, technicians and people in charge of handling machinery.
One of the main impacts is the reduction of professionals in operational functions and the increase of professionals occupying strategic functions. With process automation, some tasks will be commissioned by machines, so new demands will arise for people. This type of innovation will lead to specialization in new types of technologies that will be adapted according to the needs of the industry.
Another thing to consider is the possibility of customizing products in smart factories, with better quality and lower cost. Many companies are already looking to integrate the needs and preferences of each client to the product, and automation makes this entire production process more efficient, resulting in a considerable cost reduction.
The situation in Latin America
The development of the digital ecosystem in Latin American countries is essential for us to advance in Industry 4.0. In addition, the incorporation of digital technologies may be the key to increasing productivity and competitiveness in the region.
According to research by the Center for Telecommunications Studies in Latin America, a 1% increase in the digitization index may result in a 0.32% increase in a country’s GDP.
Many specialists in the field believe that digitization is the necessary lever for the economic and social development of the region.
The countries in Latin America are still beginning in this sense of Industry 4.0. Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Chile, for example, are some that have already started to bet on optimization and operational efficiency in industrial production.
However, it is indisputable that there is a great opportunity for the growth of Industry 4.0 in Latin America, but there is still a long way to go!
The first step is to start implementing initiatives such as the development of a web identity, application and / or platform to provide an experience that is mainly focused on the user, whether internal or external. As this type of technology begins to be adopted, the industry will eventually find itself in need of innovation in order to adapt to a constantly changing technological world.
Marketing in Industry 4.0
Marketing within the digital ecosystem has become an essential communication channel for the industry, since it not only allows them to cover new market niches through the acquisition of potential customers (Leads), it also allows them to position themselves to open the way for new business opportunities.
A good online positioning not only allows establishing an effective communication flow with potential clients, it also opens the way for the loyalty of existing clients and building a good relationship with all those related to the company (suppliers).
Many companies in the industrial sector do not have a large presence on the web. Therefore, it is important to consider brand strengthening in digital media as the first step towards innovation.
What are the benefits of Industry 4.0?
- Greater productivity and better resource management.
- More efficient decision making based on real information.
- Optimal and integrated production processes.
- Increased flexibility to achieve massive and personalized production in real time.
- Direct communication between clients and organizations, which means that we will be able to better understand what clients need.
- Reduction of manufacturing time both in the design of new products and in the marketing of these.
- Reduction of the percentage of defects or decrease in the factories since it will be possible to test the prototypes in a virtual way and the assembly lines will be optimized.