What is Industry 4.0?
We already introduced Industry 4.0 in one of our latest articles: Industry 4.0 – a new, intelligent work environment. Shortly, it’s a concept of building smart, fully digital companies and factories where all infrastructure components are interconnected. Industry 4.0 uses modern technologies such as:
IoT (Internet of Things)
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
ML (Machine Learning)
and more. Thanks to this, companies operating within Industry 4.0 are able to effectively process even huge amounts of data. This strongly supports their analytical work and provides them with advanced and automated business monitoring and planning tools.
Challenges of Industry 4.0
Although Industry 4.0 creates a number of opportunities, there are also some risks that have to be considered. Let’s catch a glimpse of 7 major challenges of Industry 4.0.
First of all, interconnected systems and tools bear security-related risks. This is why data protection is one of the main challenges for all Industry 4.0 enthusiasts. Investing in data protection is simply a must – not only in order to prevent cyberattacks, but also leaks caused by employees errors. Although it’s particularly crucial for state organizations, in fact it concerns every single company.
2. Changes in management
Industry 4.0 usually requires some management-related changes which might turn out to be revolutionary. It commonly happens that implementing new technology solutions influence staff and resources allocation. It means that most of companies entering Industry 4.0 will be forced to rethink their processes or even to develop brand new business models. To ensure the right efficiency, employees need to be carefully relocated to new job positions. This requires well understanding of business needs and agile HR and project management.
3. Talent gaps
Implementing Industry 4.0 means that skills-related requirements for workforce are rapidly evolving. At the moment there is already a shortage of qualified employees able to effectively operate on interconnected systems. It’s also challenging to provide proper trainings to newly hired employees. Luckily, we can observe some progress regarding global investments in technology education, so some improvement can be expected in the upcoming years.
4. Legislation requirements
It’s not a surprise that every factory, also digital one, must comply with legal regulations which already became quite strict. As AI algorithms use data, security is a must – not only in terms of technology, but also law. There are also some environmental-related rules that need to be obeyed. Moreover, if the factory is going to operate globally, regulations in the target states need to be considered.
5. Implementation issues
Entering Industry 4.0 requires some adaptations. Implementing modern technologies is usually done in existing factories, however, sometimes it may require building a new factory from scratch. It’s difficult to estimate which solution might be less time and resources-consuming. It means that it must be carefully analyzed and all the costs and potential downtimes need to be considered. As the company is going to be fully digitalized and integrated, Implementation must also come with comprehensive testing to make sure that all interconnections will work well.
6. Long pay-off period
Although implementing Industry 4.0 comes with a number of benefits, they can’t be expected to appear instantly. Such a major technology change requires significant investments, and it can take even years for them to pay-off. This is why Industry 4.0 is now a common choice mostly for companies having large budgets at their disposal and considering technology growth as their priority. All in all, for all organizations considering entering Industry 4.0 there’s no other option but to set up changes as soon as possible not to waste time.
Using AI and comprehensive, advanced analytical tools means one crucial thing: that the system is going to generate and process more and more data. So, companies implementing Industry 4.0 technology have to predict future volumes and make sure that they will be able to process it at a satisfying pace.
Benefits of Industry 4.0
Is there any point of implementing Industry 4.0 then? Of course! Building a smart factory might be quite challenging, but significantly profitable as well. Thanks to the 4th industrial revolution companies can easily and automatically:
Improve their efficiency and productivity
Optimize supply chain and demand planning
Process and analyze huge amounts of various business data in real-time
Produce higher quality products thanks to IoT
Personalize their offer and increase consumer satisfaction by using AI.
To sum up, Industry 4.0 is one of the ways to evolve with the times and gain competitive advantage. To learn more about its components, feel free to contact us or simply follow our blog for the upcoming updates.