Advanced software has made its way to the manufacturing industry, giving birth to a new movement known as Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 integrates manufacturing automation and data exchange to create smart factories with connected equipment. Although manufacturers can invest in new machinery that can connect to the internet, they can also take their existing machines and optimize them to improve efficiency. They can achieve this by retrofitting their older equipment with new technology solutions such as sensors or software.
This movement is driving innovation in manufacturing much like the industrial revolution did back in the 1700s and 1800s. By utilizing connected machinery, manufacturers can automate most physical manufacturing processes. Below are several ways Industry 4.0 will affect manufacturing’s future.
Automation Creates New Jobs
Many workers in the manufacturing industry have looked upon automation with varying degrees of concern. While automation has convinced many that their jobs are on the chopping block, this is not the case. The workforce will definitely undergo some restructuring, but automation creates a plethora of new job opportunities including industrial mechanics as well as electrical and mechatronic engineers.
Connected Machines Provide New Benefits
Updating old machinery does more than bring it into the new industrial age; it provides new benefits. Upgraded equipment can predict maintenance needs, improve productivity, and more. Even if manufacturers cannot afford to buy all new equipment, upgrading their existing machinery can pay for itself in a year and a half.
Industry 4.0 Improves the Customer Experience
When a customer orders a personalized product, there is often a delay in delivery because of the extra steps involved. Instead of manufacturing and delivering a standard product, manufacturers have to send out for additional parts or perform extra steps (i.e. engraving) to complete the personalization. With connected technology, all relevant parties receive the customer’s specifications at the same time and can work in unison rather than as individual teams one after the other.
Industry 4.0 is shaping the future of modern manufacturing. It means improved product quality, workplace efficiency, and more. To keep up to date with the latest manufacturing innovations, contact the experts at MMA Florida.