It’s no big secret that Industry 4.0 is on the rise. Manufacturing industries are adopting technologies that promote automation, as well as other key features of the “smart factory”. As the cost of these developments go down and scalability increases, more businesses are making the switch.
Earlier we wrote about the key features of Industry 4.0 and the benefits of cloud computing which is the leading technology currently being adopted by asset-intensive companies. However, there are other notable technologies that companies are integrating into their operations. Here is a list of the key features of Industry 4.0 that are taking asset-intensive businesses by storm.
Inventory Organization and Network Efficiency:
Next to cloud computing, optimizing your network and organizing your inventory creates the foundation for full autonomy. Having a reliable system of data collection and distribution is paramount to ensuring other processes can perform at peak capacity. This all starts with having good asset data quality. Since so many of these emerging technologies rely on the information you’ve collected, any errors can cause them to fail right from the start. If you are unsure about the status of your electronic information, a service such as NRX AssetHub can help provide a reality check.
Improving the efficiency of these processes will make it easier to make more significant changes in the future. Whether it is self-driving cars for delivery or robots for manufacturing, making investments in your network now will save you from spending money to catch up in the future.
Robots have been around factories and plants for a while now. They automate tasks which allow employees to concentrate their work on other complicated issues. They are quite popular in the automotive and manufacturing industry, as many of these industries are centred around assembly line production. This makes it easier to automate the machines used to produce goods.
When it comes to other asset-intensive industries, such as oil and gas and railway, there is still potential to see robotic autonomy. The challenge is that existing, affordable robots are usually stationary on the plant floor, which means that facilities need to be built with the integration of this technology earlier on. When it comes to existing plants, the cost to renovate or retrofit them for robotics is simply too high.
Furthermore, not every part of the operation can be automated. It can be difficult to figure out whether the infrastructure you have is suitable for the technology you plan to integrate. You may also need to find the right people who are qualified to use these systems. This may work in your favour as it is likely the next generation of the workforce will likely be well-versed in these systems.
Preventive maintenance is currently the ideal goal of how operations should be conducted in asset-intensive companies. Being proactive in anticipation of possible accidents is essential when it comes the safety of workers and equipment maintenance. Predictive analytics can be a useful tool in this situation.
The idea is that data amassed from a company’s infrastructure can be used to foresee possible issues down the production line, as well as improving the ability to forecast expected complications in the future. This would reduce costs associated with the relevant event, and aid in allocating the necessary resources in preparation, rather than in reaction.
The next step for this type of technology is the concept of prescriptive analysis, which would not only analyze issues but suggest the best solution to workers based on previous data. Adopting technology like this will help your company build a strong, safe digital infrastructure for the future.
How Can We Help?
These emerging technologies have one thing in common: a solid foundation of data is required to make them work. NRX AssetHub is an EAM software solution that helps asset-intensive companies organize, cleanse and migrate their data. We work with leading EAM and CMMS solutions such as IBM Maximo and SAP PM and MM, and Oracle EAM to ensure that our clients can rest easy with high-quality asset data. If you want to know how we can help prepare you for the next generation of manufacturing technology, book a demo or contact us.
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