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20 May 2015

Industry 4.0 – How Should Manufacturers Adapt?

Industry 4.0 – How Should Manufacturers Adapt?

Industry 4.0, which was first launched by Siemens at the Hannover Messe two years ago, refers to the computerisation of traditional industries like manufacturing and predicts a transition to intelligent factories.

Industry 4.0 is really about what manufacturers have been doing for years, continuously striving for leaner operations and delivering products that are admired across industries. The key is making a tactical investment that both makes a difference, and keeps you competitive as the market leader in your industry. 

The potential of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) has been a popular topic of discussion over the last few years, due to the potential of IoT to reduce waste and create a more efficient and leaner manufacturing process.

In our twenty one years’ of manufacturing bespoke membrane keyboards, graphic overlays and screen printed labels, we have transformed via large scale investment year on year into a larger leaner manufacturing operation. If we were to utilise IoT technology at Fascia Graphics®, it would be viewed as a tactical investment, with the goal of leading us to more efficient operational management. This investment will help us achieve our goal of producing bespoke products with shorter lead times through efficient design and printing processes. 

There are risks, however, that can come with utilising IoT technology, especially when more and more of the production line becomes ‘connected’.  For example, by connecting your production line to the internet, you can better control the manufacturing process remotely, however, by doing so you can also open up your business to unwanted eyes. The security of ‘connected’ devices is therefore critical.

When the correct security measures are implemented, IoT technology can provide numerous benefits to the manufacturing process, and in the end save you and your customers’ money.

Ways in which industry 4.0 could impact Fascia Graphics®?

To illustrate other ways in which we could see industry 4.0 impacting our business, there are three key areas where it will have a significant impact. These are:

         ·            Customer delivery schedules

         ·            Online ordering

         ·            Stock patterns via links to internal systems 

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