The Era of Digital Manufacturing, a New Business Model

The arrival of the Internet of Things means a new business model with high potential to change the life of any industry. According to figures from Ericsson’s Mobility Report, it is estimated that IoT will connect 28 billion objects to the Internet by 2020, from personal consumer goods such as smart watches, to automobiles, household equipment and industrial machinery and their processes.

For the industrial sector, this implies that the digital world is increasingly linked to the physical world through the areas of IT and communications, in order to work together to transform traditional industrial processes and modify the various productive areas, giving step to the concept of manufacturing 4.0.

In this context, the manufacturing industry is facing changes on several fronts as advances in terms of manufacturing processes, materials, intelligent and automated machines, as well as other technologies that lead to a new era of production.

The relationship between advanced manufacturing techniques and IT, data and analytics, is generating a new industrial revolution that invites industry leaders to combine technological innovations and operational technology to create value in new and different ways.

According to the World Economic Forum, companies use these new functionalities in manufacturing to increase their operational efficiency through predictive maintenance, as well as improving the overall efficiency of equipment (OEE).

It is no secret that manufacturing 4.0 means a new step in the productive chain, which requires a joint effort to transform traditional industrial processes into automated processes. This will make it possible to connect production technologies of integrated systems and intelligent manufacturing techniques in order to pave the way towards a new digital era that radically modifies industry and production in value chains.

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The new industrial revolution

The term manufacture 4.0 includes the promise of a new industrial revolution that transforms the history of production. The use of new technologies allows to make the productive chain more efficient, simulate virtually the manufacture of a product, prevent and repair faults remotely, as well as make production more flexible, all with lower operating costs.

The industrial production of the future is characterized by the strong personalization of the products under the conditions of a highly flexible manufacturing system and the extensive integration with customers and commercial allies, value-added processes, as well as the connection between manufacturing and high-quality services. quality for the creation of hybrid articles.

On the other hand, the advance in the digitization of production technologies will open the way to new opportunities to prepare the industries of the future. This will allow a sustainable participation in a global growth that foresees new production networks, where automation not only applies to the industry, but proposes solutions aimed at reducing costs and man-hours in all business processes.

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New challenges for the manufacturing industry

With the IIoT (industrial internet of things), the data and physical devices that house them, it creates a source of value and connectivity that makes it possible to build smarter supply chains, as well as manufacturing processes and precise ecosystems. In addition, these waves of change shape a competitive landscape, as manufacturers must decide how and where to invest in new technologies and identify what will lead to the greatest benefit for their organizations.

The manufacturing industry needs a clear articulation of its business objectives, knowing where to play within the emerging technology ecosystems, as well as identifying which are the physical and digital technologies that will help you to fulfill your objectives.

Despite expectations regarding digital and physical technologies, many are not well understood. Although, many stakeholders are clear about the value that connectivity represents for their companies and industry, many others ignore it and are not educated in the use of technological tools that are used in Industry 4.0.

In order to exploit the opportunities of domains present in manufacturing, it is crucial to integrate digital information from various sources to drive the physical act of manufacturing. In other words, integrate operations technology (OT) into the manufacturing floor of the plants to forge a stronger organization of manufacturing and information technologies.

This new industry format based on process automation to create the so-called “connected enterprise” will substantially increase the level of technological complexity. And to get to delineate the processes and their complexities, tools and software programs suitable to project and build functional systems and an infrastructure capable of covering these new demands will be necessary.

The discussion on the implementation of 4.0 technologies is long and covers several points that are not yet resolved. Although new technologies allow processes in productive chains to be more efficient, the level of technological complexity increases at the same time, so physical infrastructure is needed to support and meet the new demands that all this interconnection between machines requires.

The industrial automation of excellence begins with a physical infrastructure optimized and robust as the ethernet IP, so it is necessary to have professional services to support the demands of real-time control, data collection and configuration of devices .

Currently, 4.0 manufacturing is a reality and good foundations are needed to achieve a strategy that prepares us to take the greatest advantage of this trend that is becoming increasingly vital in companies. Having an adequate physical infrastructure and easy to administer will be putting us in the game to establish ourselves in more competitive markets. Organizations need to be at the forefront and dare to participate in a new industrial revolution, one that will take them to the new 4.0 world.