At this point, there is no doubt that Industry 4.0 can offer significant advantages to businesses in various sectors that adopt the technologies commonly associated with it. Not only can these systems lead to notable process improvements and increases in efficiency, but they may also ultimately help bring about significant cost savings, particularly if certain specific solutions and practices within the Industry 4.0 framework are adopted. If your business is considering the implementation of this methodology, it will be critical to understand which tools can have the most value, both right now and in the years to come.
Advanced cellular networking
High-speed cellular internet networks such as 4G and LTE have become all but ubiquitous in business and everyday life – so much so that it can be easy to take them for granted. But recent research has shown that they may have specific value in the context of Industry 4.0. According to a July 2020 study by Ericsson, Industry 4.0 solutions that include a dedicated cellular network (whether alongside or in lieu of Wi-Fi infrastructure) can return on their investment by a factor of 10 to 20 times within just five years of their deployment.
It should be noted that Ericsson, as a cellular telecommunications provider, has a vested interest in the success of such technologies. But the telecom industry in general is moving toward large-scale implementation of 5G networks, which are projected to greatly outpace LTE in speed and performance: Gartner projected that worldwide 5G spending will likely double in 2020, reaching about $8.1 billion. Ericsson cited asset tracking, augmented reality, mobile robots and condition-based monitoring as notable IIoT functions cellular networking can support.
Smart factory operations
Advanced sensor technologies are critical to the industrial internet of things, a key component of the broader Industry 4.0 framework. While the IIoT is often cited for how it links operational technology within factories and other industrial settings to these facilities' IT infrastructure, SME noted that the value of the technology on the factory floor itself is an equally important factor to consider. A combination of high-powered sensors and algorithms can make machinery more efficient and much safer to operate.
The ability to oversee industrial operations with greater clarity and scope is among Industry 4.0's major value propositions. But if this visibility doesn't include the ability to examine various facility processes in real time and remediate them as needed, it isn't nearly as effective. Forbes pointed out that real-time analytics are particularly important for monitoring the efficiency and overall effectiveness of industrial equipment, and solutions that facilitate these steps are thus immensely valuable.
Keep in mind that none of these tools will be as advantageous unless they're being used by experienced and ingenious staff – whom the Recruitment Consultants at YES Partners can help you find. To see some of the roles that we have already successfully placed, click here.
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