World Class Supply Chain

The Dawn of the Future of Industry and Digital Transformation – Industry 4.0

earth-sunIndustry 4.0 is the intellectual or process driven method of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses including the self-optimization, self-configuration and self-diagnosis of workers, work, machines and IT.

Industry 4.0 will transform Supply Chains including manufacturing into the next wave of Information technology. I’ve written that SAP is embracing this Supply Chain digital transformation with S/4 HANA Enterprise Management. Industry 4.0 is not a numbering system like Web 2.0. The naming has evolved from the German governments charge into the computerization of manufacturing.

The Industrial phases numbering system are described as;

Cyber-physical Systems

A mechanism controlled or monitored by computer-based algorithms, tightly integrated with the internet and its users. This includes robots, augmented (virtual) reality, mobile, advanced data analytics, simulations, 3D Printing

Internet of things

The internetworking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices“), buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data, with real time responses.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing and storage solutions provide users and companies the ability to store and process their data in third-party data centers that may be located far from the user and avoiding up-front infrastructure costs.  Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve unity and economy of scale, similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over an electricity network.

The design principals behind Industry 4.0 are;

  1. Connecting machines, devices, sensors, and people via the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Internet of People (IoP).
  2. Using sensor data to create a virtual copy of the physical world. Using this data in advanced analytics.
  3. Combining and visualizing information logically for making informed decisions and solving urgent problems
  4. The ability of cyber physical systems to make decisions on their own and to perform their tasks as independent as possible. Start with simple and repeatable tasks. More complicated responsibilities continue to be assigned to an advanced level until designable.

Some examples for Industry 4.0 are machines which can predict failures and trigger maintenance processes autonomously or self-organized logistics with data that reacts to unexpected changes in production. Google maps that uses real time information and aggregated driving data is also a prime example.

Multiple factories will be connected and be able to monitor current operating conditions and detecting faults and failures while gaining self-awareness and self-predicting.

Technology companies are working with multiple enterprises to further advance Industry 4.0.

Prepare to run your business from a Smart Phone or a Virtual plant soon!

References: Wiikpedia

Terry Vermeylen is hell bent on rapidly transforming your business into a World Class Operation by major transformation or by eliminating one bad habit at a time.

Terry Vermeylen brings 30+ years of experience in SAP and Supply Chain Process improvement. As an SAP professional and Supply Chain Architect he has worked and consulted for some of the world’s largest and most successful manufacturing companies focusing primarily on the Aerospace and Pharmaceutical industries as well as the US Military.

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