With Industry 4.0, Simo provides the tool to make your factory a truly Smart Factory.
Historically, the world has experienced three major growth periods where disruptive technology has brought about huge productivity improvements in manufacturing. More specifically, the invention and implementation of the steam engine in the 1800s, Ford’s mass production model of the early 1900s and the first wave of automation with the birth of Information Technology (IT) in the 1970s.
Conceived in Germany, Industry 4.0 is being internationally hailed as the latest, or Fourth, Industrial Revolution.
Manufacturing has once again provided the growth impetus for this new phenomenon, with the merging of the virtual and physical worlds. Having trialed ideas like reduced labor costs and mega factories in the past few decades; the natural progression is the application of technology for the digital transformation of manufacturing.
Industry 4.0 is the common name used to describe the current trend towards a fully connected and automated manufacturing system, or Smart Factory. All production decisions are optimized based on real time information from a fully integrated and linked set of equipment and people.
Existing digital industry technologies encompassed by Industry 4.0 include:
This merging of IT with Operational Technology (OT) provides the potential for automation to facilitate massive process improvement and productivity optimization. The resulting innovation will eventually lead to the development of radical new business models and, eventually, alternate revenue sources, all of which have their foundations in Information and Services.
For most manufacturers, Industry 4.0 is currently only a vision to strive for, however, digital transformation of the industry is already underway with the use of advanced manufacturing robots and 3D printing, now impacting on the realms of both plastics and metals. Potential benefits and improvements are already being realized in production flexibility, quality, safety and speed. Equally, new challenges are arising, especially in the fields of information management, production scheduling and cyber security.
Already reaching beyond its original intended scope, Industry 4.0 is bringing about a new era in current lifetimes, with the ability to manufacture batches consisting of single items, or of thousands, each having the same lead times and costs. A huge macroeconomic shift is coming that will see smaller, more agile factories existing nearer the consumer to facilitate regional trade flows.
Since Industry 4.0 is applied to the entire product life cycle and value chain, it touches all stakeholders; however, its success depends entirely upon information flow throughout the system. This is where the benefits of Simio World Class Simulation and Scheduling Software become critically important for data collection, planning and scheduling.