When we talk of Industry 4.0, we mean the fourth industrial revolution that the world is witnessing today. It is associated with the emerging disruptive technologies that will bring the significant changes with respect to the manufacturing process. It allows manufacturer to maintain competitive edge in the rapidly changing work environment. Industry 4.0 is the current industrial transformation with work Automation, Data Exchanges, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Collaborative Robotics. Its basically interaction of people, new technology, and innovative advancement.
With changing market demand and new technologies there is a shift in industrial work setting. The focus of customers has now shifted towards customisation and industries have become flexible more than ever. New technologies have bought along complexities and in order to deal with them assistant systems and communication technologies have become very important.
There is a massive shift in technologies from mechanisation, electrification, automation to cyber physical systems. It is a mechanism that is controlled or monitored by Computer based Algorithms integrated with the internet and users. These technologies have help the organisations to cope up with the ever changing market demand.
The pace at which the manufacturing industry is changing is unprecedented. The influx of technology has led to automation in the small and mid-sized industries leading to increased productivity. We are witnessing huge demands for collaborative robots in the manufacturing industry all around the globe. Sensor network and communication technology are being used to connect designers to factory workers, with intelligent machines interacting independently through cloud and work facilities connected in real time to suppliers and customers Therefore, it is obvious that such a futuristic yet realistic scenario will bring great opportunities as well as impose substantial challenges to companies.
Whenever there is introduction of a new technology, there comes opportunities and challenges, and organisations constantly need to update themselves to stand strong in the market. New technologies are doing more than just intense manual labour work, drilling, churning, undermining underused data. These technologies have improved the man machine interface, eliminated human error leading to better quality of products, generation of real time report and thereby helping in better decision making, increase productivity and quality leading to high market share. With the advent of new technologies, there is a quick flow of information from machine, helping in quick decisions. It has led to smarter supply chain, smarter production, leading to smart factory.
Adopting Industry 4.0 is not going to be easy for the organisation and challenges and disadvantages are almost always inevitable. The first concern is the cyber security. Having everything linked to Internet of things (IOT) is going to monumentally increase the vulnerabilities in any network. Additionally, there will be challenge for the organisation to get qualified and experienced specialist to implement these systems. The shrinkage in the job market as machine are becoming more and more intelligent, and starting to replace human has high risk. Less human supervision and the loss of high paying jobs could become a barrier to the business to embrace Industry 4.0
It is true that Industry 4.0 has its fair share of challenges but by embracing them we have everything to gain.
By: INDIKA BHANU