INDUSTRY RESEARCH

Industry 4.0 design principles manufacturers should know

 by Ivana Mishikj

The era of the Internet is upon us, we are all connected, and the flow of information is faster than ever before. We have entered a new Industrial Revolution that is reshaping today’s cross-industry ecosystems. Industry 4.0 (I4.0) is offering a different perspective on how data flow can improve the automated manufacturing processes. The possibilities offered by I4.0 are endless.

With Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of things (IoT) by its side, it becomes a powerful wave that has the potential to cover every part of our planet, inspiring a wealth of new business models in the area of manufacturing and production, bioengineering, medicine, transportation and more. The concept will push global manufacturers to a new level of optimization and productivity. This fact requires companies to rethink and transform their current business model in order to stay ahead with the Industry 4.0 driven market environments.

Industry 4.0 Design principles allow manufacturers to investigate a potential transformation towards I4.0. Here are the six I4.0 Design principles manufacturers should know;

  • Interoperability and interconnection: Enabling objects, machines, and people to have ongoing communication through the Internet of Things (IoT) and Internet of People (IoP).
    The connectivity can be achieved with implementing industrial routers gateways, industrial wireless, embedded networking, industrial switches, machine wireless sensors inside the factory. A technical solution needs to be designed for the implementation of the new I4.0 technology.
  • Information transparency and virtualization: Use of Virtual Machines and Virtual management solution that can monitor, simulate and create a virtual copy (Digital Twin) of objects and machines in the real environment.
  • Decentralization and autonomous decisions: Creating a flexible environment for production where Cyber-Physical System’s (CPSs) work independently. If a problem occurs, then the issue is automatically transferred to a higher level until a solution is found.
  • Real-Time Capability: Ability to collect, store and analyze real-time data and do what-if analyses supporting the decision-making process. The data should be collected from all internal processes. Smart objects must be able to identify the defect on time and redelegate the task to other machines in the process chain. The manufacturing process should not be interrupted.
  • Technical assistance and service orientation: Customer-oriented production, where customers and smart ob-jects can connect over the Internet of Services (IoS), generating data that will enable the creation of products based on the customer’s satisfaction.
  • Modularity: Every segment of the production process should be independent so it can be used in different systems. This will give the company the ability to adapt fast and smoothly to any shifts and new trends in the market.

Technology is evolving, changes are happening very fast and the industry needs to get on board and embrace the change. There will be challenges along the way, but we should not forget that only by facing the challenges we learn and become more mature and stable.