The term Industry 4.0 refers to a significant shift in the way industrial processes are organized to result in higher operating efficiencies and better customer experiences. The shift is powered by the rapid maturation of digital technologies and their ability to be applied to the mainstream industrial processes. The earlier eras of Industrial advancement were powered by revolutions in Mechanical engineering in the 19th century, then by Electrical engineering in the early 20th century and then followed by Electronics & Information technology in the 1970s. The Industry 4.0 era will be powered by the convergence of Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), Big Data and Integrated Data networks that link up everything. There is a set of additional technologies like Blockchain, Robotics, Multi-purpose Machines and Augmented Reality, each of which could provide an additional boost in the journey to Industry 4.0.
How it is relevant to MFG:
For Manufacturing Companies, the implications of Industry 4.0 are profound. The technologies underpinning Industry 4.0 are expected to give three broad benefit areas for Manufacturers.
- Smarter Supply Chains: Industry 4.0 technologies enable the real-time flow of information regarding goods or raw materials across the entire supply chain and this allows better management of inventory and assets, and better orchestration between Planning and Production functions.
- Smarter Manufacturing process: The data captured from sensors deployed on Factory machinery allows for real-time, Visual monitoring of Production volumes over a complex layout with clear alerting of expected disruptions, and also automated the detection of defects. This reduces the complexity involved in handling mass custom production and increased production yields.
- Intelligent Products: Companies that manufacture devices (or equipment) can embed connected IIOT sensors that enable better servicing of the devices upon their deployment and through their life cycle. In the medium term, this opens up the possibility for continuous innovation of the devices, as well as for newer business models combining the devices and services.
Oracle is a key provider of Enterprise applications and Cloud platforms. Oracle’s Enterprise applications are used by thousands of Manufacturers to manage Supply chain business processes, Manufacturing planning and execution processes, as well as Equipment servicing and Depot repair logistics processes. These processes span from the customer touchpoint all the way to the back end operations. Oracle’s IOT Cloud platform helps to collect the data from IIOT sensors and channel them into Oracle’s Enterprise applications. Oracle’s IOT Cloud platform provides strong Visualized monitoring of supply chains, production lines, and asset maintenance, and also has inbuilt Machine Learning capabilities that can analyze data patterns and alert in advance of any imminent breakdowns.
In this way, Manufacturers can leverage Oracle’s Cloud Platform and Enterprise applications to accelerate their march into the Industry 4.0 era.