Industry 4.0 refers to a combination of several key innovations in digital technology that are maturing and are set to transform the energy and manufacturing sectors.
The idea is that these technologies – robotics, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), data capture and analytics, smartphones and mobile devices, to name a few – will connect to become powerful systems that are able to process huge data sets and quickly translate this information into intelligent courses of action.
While these technologies are often considered separately, when combined they integrate the physical and virtual worlds. This change enables a powerful new way of organising global operations.
For the packaging sector, Industry 4.0 can increase packaging speeds, making the manufacture of more individualised products effective, while also enabling scalable production and high variations in control of production processes. Industry 4.0 is basically where information technology, the internet, and the physical world of manufacturing machines align to become one.
Smart equipment will interconnect to communicate and collaborate – independent of human involvement. The advantage is a seamless, automated manufacturing system that significantly increases speed and scale, leading to higher profit margins.
To remain competitive, companies must think like a disruptor and invest in innovations that sustain their businesses and create new revenue streams that can mitigate threats from competitors.
For some companies, this could mean an intrepid new leadership style to avoid the disruption of new technologies. Others may need to minimise costs and adopt lean, integrated manufacturing practices.
However, sustaining innovations and fostering foresight alone may not be enough. While this demands strong leadership and possibly transforming an organisation’s core operations, disruptive product innovations are often cheaper and new business models achieve popularity and rapid market share.
To say ahead of the game, companies need to consider how fast start-ups can get to market. To counter this, organisations need to remain agile and constantly focus on leaner manufacturing processes that speed up production and keep products in line with market needs.
For more information about how Pyrotec can help you achieve operational efficiency, visit www.pyrotec.co.za.