Five Benefits of Embracing Manufacturing


Five Benefits of Embracing Manufacturing 4.0

Ramya Kannan |

Manufacturing has entered into the fourth industrial revolution, otherwise known as Manufacturing or Industry 4.0.

Ramya Kannan

Ramya spearheads the delivery of business and technology solutions for Industry 4.0 across multiple verticals. While collaborating with customers and partners, Ramya strives to be the catalyst for change by facilitating a shift in perspectives and approaches. 'People' are her priority, with the firm belief in enabling growth through learning and skill development.

Whereas the first industrial revolution introduced machines, the second introduced the assembly line, and the third introduced computers, the fourth generation revolution is one of digitization.

On the one hand, while COVID forced manufacturers to digitize their factories, the disruptions in the supply chain have proved to be significant in managing productivity and balancing demand-supply relationships. As pressures mount on manufacturing businesses, they need to seamlessly connect to a digitized supply chain to benefit from their digital factory investments. A 2022 PWC survey on Digital factory Transformation found that “64% of their respondents are beginners in their digital transformation journeys and have a long way to go to scale their digital initiatives.”

Industry 4.0’s influence is not limited to manufacturing; we predict it will have cascading effects on IT security & governance, sales & marketing, and skill development. But for this blog post, we will discuss the five ways it will reinvent manufacturing.

Subscription-based Services: Imagine Manufacturing-as-a-Service (MaaS) where suppliers and producers can tap into resources as needed versus a static order delivery. The hallmarks of MaaS are subscription-based and product- and platform-based approaches.

Industrial IoT(IIoT): By now , consumers have had ample introduction to IoT devices, such as smart refrigerators that can automatically control temperature, watches that can monitor users' vitals, and lights they can control controlled remotely. Increasingly manufacturers are run by interconnected, IIoT devices like wind turbines, propellers, and switches.

Self-Repairing Machines: No longer the domain of science fiction, computer-aided manufacturing can build internal monitoring systems and perform maintenance on itself. IIoT is a massive enabler of preventive and predictive maintenance to resolve problems immediately and, in some cases, before they occur.

Data: Production planning, scheduling, identification of defects, and prevention of failures in machinery and processes requires real-time insights to be effective. Connected machines are capable of both producing and analyzing data and can communicate with each other and their human operators, identifying inefficiencies and/or opportunities for more intelligent processes. No progress comes without challenges. The more machines generate and transmit data, the more opportunities for corporate espionage or malicious actors to attempt hacks. It also requires investments in training, as employees will need to understand and process data beyond their responsibilities in previous iterations of revolutions.

5G: Many of the above advancements require high-speed and high-capacity data. While 5G rollout has been delayed and will be unevenly distributed even by the end of 2021, manufacturers should take every advantage to be among the first to have pristine 5G connectivity in their plants.

As you can see above, preparing for Manufacturing 4.0 requires digital transformation to stay competitive. The changes are as much cultural and people-oriented as they are technological. If you are interested in learning more about how UST can help facilitate your organizations’ transition to 4.0, click here.

This blog post was updated and adapted from a post I wrote for SiliconIndia.