What are the main challenges of Industry 4.0 for industrial companies?

The talk of Industry 4.0 began at the Hannover Fair for Industrial Technology in 2011. Why 4.0? Because this is the fourth industrial revolution. After the invention of steam engines, electrical networks, and finally the automation of the production system, the time has come for the connected factory, equipped with the latest technological tools, sharing its data through networks and the cloud. It is the meeting point between the modern factory and the new information and communication technologies. The objective is to engage the ultra-connected factory in a dematerialization of procedures, in order to allow operators to concentrate on high value-added tasks. The challenge is to increase productivity in order to provide the customer with an ever higher quality of service.

Industry 4.0: challenges and prospects of the factory of the future

Among the challenges of Industry 4.0, robots will be at the heart of the digital transformation. The latter will therefore require an effort from employees to adapt to a new interactivity with the machines. Being trained and developing new digital skills will become essential to maintain employability.

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The professional development of employees will be based on the mastery of big data and the spontaneous use of robots. These new processes are designed to reduce costs by automating certain tasks.

Industry 4.0 tools include:

  • smart sensors
  • augmented reality
  • the use of connected devices
  • the cloud
  • 3D printers
  • etc.

Digital transformation is expressed through highly innovative devices. The idea is to connect operators, machines or equipment together in order to adapt to customer demands and provide an immediate response to the slightest variation. The challenge is to customize an order despite mass production.

Environment and safety: for a better allocation of resources

In Industry 4.0, work is understood differently due to the implementation of combined processes between machines and operators. The challenges will be to train these employees in the new technologies as much as in the technical means themselves.

While employees can expect career development in parallel with productivity growth, efforts will also have to be made in the area of safety, such as:

  • data protection
  • anti-intrusion devices
  • the fight against cyber attacks
  • etc.

 

Resources will have to be divided equally between operator training, investment in machines and data protection.

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The purpose of Industry 4.0 affects all sectors of the company. The processes that govern the production system end up turning entirely to intelligent and communicating robotics. The aim is to increase productivity and the quality of service offered to customers.

Profits must logically follow the satisfaction of the consumer, to whom one must respond quickly enough, while offering him a personalized product. It is one of the levers that allows any company to differentiate itself from a competitor.

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