Understanding Industry 4.0: Overview
Bringing about a sea change in the manufacturing sector, Industry 4.0, even as an emerging concept, has offered productive benefits across industries. It has enabled enterprises to improve profitability, sales, production output, and quality. This article focuses on what Industry 4.0 is, the technologies behind its success, and its impact.
The technologies behind Industrial 4.0
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning: AI and ML enable enterprises to utilize the data acquired from the entire organization. AI and ML are contributing to the curation of valuable insights that can be leveraged to enhance predictability, automation, and visibility of business operations. Enterprises can perform predictive maintenance with the help of machine learning algorithms.  Predictive maintenance can further help organizations to improve their overall efficiency levels.
- Cloud computing: The foundation of Industry 4.0, cloud computing helps with the effective integration of service, production, supply chain, distribution, and sales.
- Edge computing: Real-time production necessitates analysis at the required moment, i.e., when the data was curated. Edge computing makes sure that the data stays near its source to alleviate any form of security risk. Furthermore, a large amount of data can be safely and economically stored for efficient processing in the future.
- Internet of Things (IoT): One of the crucial components of Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things allows all the industrial equipment to seamlessly communicate with various web-enabled devices. The integration of equipment on the factory floor makes it easy to ingest, exchange, and analyze heaps of data.
- Digital twin: The transformative power of Industry 4.0 enables industries to construct digital twins to enhance productivity and facilitate the development of new products. The digital twins will follow the same workflow and process, allowing manufacturers to test run any changes to the overall process to identify any discrepancies.
- Cybersecurity: The integration of all floor equipment exposes the entire manufacturing system vulnerable to malware and other malicious attacks. Therefore, cybersecurity is crucial when transforming any industry with a special focus on both OT and IT equipment.
Schneider Electric: Supporting the transition to Industry 4.0
A smart factory can generate data in every step of the value chain; however, this potential is directly proportional to the magnitude of automation and integration of sensors. Our exceptional proficiency in software and hardware has enabled us to construct an elaborative suite of solutions for Industry 4.0. Our patented end-to-end digital architecture platform known as EcoStruxure provides IoT-enabled solutions to various industries.
Our solutions can be deployed on the factory floor as well as the entire digital value chain to seamlessly transition to Industry 4.0. Our relentless efforts have allowed us to provide smart factory solutions to bring Industry 3.0 compliant industries as well as older manufacturing industries to Industry 4.0.
The open architecture of our EcoStruxure platform allows manufacturers to integrate IoT solutions despite having legacy components. Furthermore, it helps connect the floor equipment to the entire organization and supply chains. The open architecture potential of the EcoStruxure platform significantly reduces the overall cost of digital transformation for a variety of industries. Our transformational philosophy is fueled by acquisitions, outsourcing, and the utilization of commercially available technology.