Even as the overall global economy faces its share of uncertainties right now due to the new coronavirus and its pandemic, progress continues to march on in various sectors – particularly manufacturing and heavy industry. As we noted in our April blog post, the advantages of Industry 4.0 deserve no small amount of credit for this movement in positive directions.
Although Industry 4.0 – or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, depending on your choice of phrase – can be viewed as a rising tide that lifts all boats in terms of its benefits to the sector, there are certain areas to which it's bringing specifically notable advantages of late. Let's take a look:
More efficient automated assembly
One of the chief concerns regarding automation, in general, centers around its potential displacement of jobs for human workers. However, as manufacturing industry consultant Rebecca Morgan said in an interview with Chief Executive magazine, replacing people is not the main goal of Industry 4.0.
"[There] will be a lot more data collection … and a heavy push to automate," Morgan told the news provider. "The good CEOs won't be automating just to replace people but also looking at Industry 4.0 as a way to support the speed of change."
Greater efficiency in automated assembly represents a major area of success for Industry 4.0 initiatives and the advanced tech tools and methods such frameworks entail. For example, according to Assembly Magazine, cutting-edge data analytics and enterprise resource planning software easily link to assembly machinery and allow for real-time inventory updates, analysis of raw material and original equipment consumption, projected production yields and much more.
Along similar lines, sensors connected to a manufacturer's network via the internet of things can monitor the status of the facility's machines, systems and even individual components. This way, workers and their supervisors will see if a part or process is malfunctioning immediately and begin working toward rectifying the issue right away. It's also possible to anticipate when equipment will wear out well in advance, leading to more timely replacement.
Additionally, Electronic Design magazine pointed out that the more streamlined communication possibilities realized through Industry 4.0 allow for better safety oversight and power management. Worker safety is always incredibly important, and comprehensive monitoring of systems means that potential hazards will be discovered faster than ever before, which helps reduce the likelihood of accidents. Regarding the latter priority, using the IoT allows organizations to keep an eye on power usage on a second-by-second basis while also monitoring environmental factors that are important to optimal function, including temperature, relative humidity and so on.
If you're ready to make the leap to Industry 4.0 but don't have leadership with the experience and foresight essential for such a project, YES Partners' recruitment consultants can help you discover candidates ideal for tackling such initiatives. To see some of the roles that we have already successfully placed, click here.
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