Industry Trends

How Industry 4.0 will affect the manufacturing industry

By December 15, 2021
Two engineers looking at monitors

Have you heard of Industry 4.0, or “the Fourth Industrial Revolution?” The Industry 4.0 market has been expanding for years, but it’s seen explosive growth recently due to the coronavirus pandemic and the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. In fact, the global Industry 4.0 market is expected to grow to $165.5 billion by 2026. What exactly is Industry 4.0? How will it impact the future of manufacturing? This article will touch on the basics and business benefits for the manufacturing industry.

What is Industry 4.0?

“Industry 4.0” refers to the latest major change in industrial development — automation, data exchange, and virtualization through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other smart technologies. Industry 4.0 is constantly evolving and new technologies are developed every day, but there are four primary technologies that make up Industry 4.0 as we know it:

The business benefits of Industry 4.0 in manufacturing

Industry 4.0 is already revolutionizing manufacturing, particularly when it comes to predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance is a manufacturing best practice based on a theoretical rate of asset failure. Instead of waiting for something to break, manufacturers use predictive maintenance to preemptively replace parts or tools to reduce downtime. Using regular, data-driven maintenance schedules keeps the unused lifespan of a given part to a minimum. Downtime can result in extensive financial losses, something preventative maintenance can help to avoid. The increased long-term reliability of processes leads to greater output capacity, increased part quality, and long-term cost savings.

Though new devices, tools, and techniques can initially seem like an investment, the cost of using older tools in a rapidly innovating technological field can quickly stack up. Today, smart factories outfitted with sensors connected with resource planning software can detect when inventory levels are low and automatically reorder parts or materials to avoid production disruptions. This capability helps manufacturers build better parts faster and for less, while also helping them get the most out of their machinery.

manufacturing factory

Industry 4.0 also empowers manufacturers to take full advantage of automation in their factories. Automated machines outfitted with smart sensors can take on the routine, laborious, and potentially unsafe tasks that operators would normally be responsible for, which frees these workers up for more high-value tasks and improves safety on the factory floor. From an administrative standpoint, smart automation can also increase the reliability of routine data entry and report generation so manufacturers can maximize efficiency and optimize internal processes.

Start leveraging the benefits of Industry 4.0 today

Smart technologies powered by Industry 4.0 lead to increased productivity, increased part quality, reduced costs, reduced employee downtime, and improved resource utilization. It’s clear that manufacturers should take advantage of this trend to stay ahead of the competition and optimize processes, but that’s easier said than done for many companies. A cutting-edge manufacturing partner makes taking advantage of Industry 4.0 benefits easy.

At Fast Radius, our world-class engineers and manufacturing professionals stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends — including Industry 4.0. Embracing new developments in manufacturing is key to maximizing and delivering value, and our team has the solutions and tools to help you take your projects to the next level. Contact us to get started.

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