As Industry 4.0 is poised to disrupt all sectors of the global economy, companies must stay innovative by investigating the trend and ways they can integrate with it. In Australia, efforts to bring manufacturing into this new era are being driven by the government through partnerships with Germany; a leader in Industry 4.0. Clearly this trend is being recognised for its importance to the future of industry. If you wish to future-proof your company in the face of Industry 4.0, follow these four steps:
1. Assess your company’s needs
Do you need to manufacture more product in less time? Is your business being slowed down by the need to communicate between each stage of your production cycle? As we enter the era of Industry 4.0, identifying areas of improvement is the first step to accessing the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution.
2. Identify how smart factory technology could better meet those needs
If you’re part of an SME, you probably feel as though Industry 4.0 can’t meet your organisation’s needs. But before you reject the future, consider the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution:
- Responsive shipping and manufacturing driven by real-time cloud data
- Real-time information on all stages of product development delivered by the Internet of Things
- Predictive optimisation of business operation through machine learning
If you’ve ever had to put your business on hold while waiting for a vital shipment, or wanted advice tailored to your everyday operations, you should consider integrating with Industry 4.0.
3. Create a five-year plan for meeting those needs through new technology
By the mid 2020’s, many major industrialised nations will have adapted the mass market to Industry 4.0 technology. For instance, the Chinese government is investing more than $1.5 billion into such sectors as the Internet ofThings as part of its “Made in China 2025” strategy. This gives Australian companies roughly five years to ensure they’ll be caught up.
You must begin approaching local technology firms and formulating plans to integrate these new solutions. As you do, ensure you remain aware of developments related to international standards regarding Industry 4.0 technology. In addition, insist on modular technological solutions to remain open to new developments during this exciting period of innovation.
4. Begin educating your workforce in the operation of this new technology
For each phase of integration, ensure employees across your organisation are educated in the operations of new technology. This will ensure a smooth transition while reducing the anxiety and Luddism that accompanies every new era of industry.
At SAP, we believe collaboration is key to success in Industry 4.0. If you’d like to know more, investigate how your industry could benefit from Industry 4.0 solutions.