|Productivity. Industry 4.0 tools allow facilities to optimize daily processes, maintenance schedules, and more. With smart manufacturing, the same equipment and materials can be more productive thanks to data-driven resource utilization.
Cost-efficiency. Smart factories derive cost savings from faster production speeds, better resource use, and lower defect rates.
Collaboration. Industry 4.0 relies on data sharing within and between departments, promoting a more collaborative environment. Combining IIoT with cloud computing makes data immediately available to company decision-makers.
Growth. Industry 4.0’s emphasis on data gives managers a wealth of insights, including data trends, to proactively drive efficiency, profitability and, ultimately, growth.
Together, these benefits put smart factories at a major competitive advantage compared to those running 3.0 technology.
|Upfront investment. Smart manufacturing requires a robust infrastructure, including modern equipment and reliable cloud storage. Depending on a facility’s current capabilities, upgrading typically requires a significant upfront investment.
Training & skill requirements. Simply having the right equipment means nothing if employees don’t know how to use it.Adopting Industry 4.0 requires retraining employees, rewriting protocols, and accepting a slowdown as technicians adapt to new processes.
Data growth. The strength of Industry 4.0 lies in its use of data. However, the initial influx of data can be overwhelming if companies are not prepared. It’s important to develop a robust data management strategy that can handle many streams of input while still flagging what’s most important.
Cybersecurity & data sensitivity. While high interconnectivity is critical for data sharing and Industry 4.0 automation, it also means that a single cyberattack could impact an entire facility, which is particularly worrisome for supply chains within industrial sectors like aerospace, automotive, military, and medical. New cybersecurity strategies are necessary to protect physical equipment and stored data.
While manufacturers don’t realize benefits until they’ve made significant investments in both equipment and training, the advantages of smart manufacturing outweigh the costs for many, and also highlight the importance of having talented teams and thorough transition plans.