Digital Transformation
min of reading
October 4, 2022

Industry 4.0: understand the impact on the manufacturing sector

Hecktor Colombo
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Marketing analyst. Specialist in content creation for blog, social networks, websites and journalistic text producer. Majoring in Marketing and Journalism at Estácio de Sá, in Rio de Janeiro
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Have you ever stopped to think that day after day a new technology is announced?

This is because today we are going through a new moment of digital and social transformation, which brings advances in the implementation of the main technological innovations in the fields of automation, data control and sustainability. The use of these new technologies characterises the period called Industry 4.0 and can be applied to the processes of one of the most important sectors of society: manufacturing

From the integration of different technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, internet of things (IoT) and cloud computing, production processes tend to become increasingly efficient, autonomous and customisable.

And considering that we are in an era of transition between Industry 3.0 and 4.0, it is natural that doubts arise about how to implement these new technologies, integrating them with the older ones already in operation and how they can be beneficial to the business.

We have prepared this article to help you understand Industry 4.0 for the manufacturing sector. Happy reading!

Impact of Industry 4.0 on legacy modernisation and new integration ecosystems

In addition to the impacts that Industry 4.0 has directly on business models, production and profitability, another focal point of this new era is in the social sphere: sustainability. This factor is essential and predominant in discussions about the future of technology and the role of digital transformation in manufacturing companies.

The impacts of Industry 4.0 also interfere with new technologies that can contribute to making production more efficient, reducing the use of natural resources, waste generation and energy consumption. Points that, when well attended, connect directly to the business factors indicated at the beginning of this topic.

Make use of more sustainable technologies such as modernisation of legacy systems, APIs to integrate cloud applications with on-premises systems, IoT, among others, it provides greater knowledge about data and information, such as:

  • Machine availability;
  • Parts produced per minute;
  • Number of reworked parts;
  • Number of hours a machine was idle without producing.

Such data, updated in real time, makes any company more dynamic and productive.

To reinforce this point, in April 2022, the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) carried out a survey that considered 18 types of technologies, such as automation (with and without sensors), integrated systems for product manufacturing, 3D printing, production with the aid of artificial intelligence and analysis of virtual models for projects. 

Among the main benefits recognised by the industry with the adoption of digital technologies are increased productivity (72%), improved quality of products or services (61%) and reduced production costs (60%).

The first steps to enter Industry 4.0

Some concepts are important for those who want to organise their business with the aim of making it increasingly digital, connected and open. In this sense, for manufacturing companies, the important thing is to take one step at a time, that is, organise their internal systems.

In this way, in addition to optimising processes, having greater control over “in-house” integrations is essential to reach a higher level of maturity, in order to connect securely and quickly with other companies. For this, we use the concept of interoperability.

Making your platforms interoperable means standardising and modernising your processes, through APIs and Microservices, facilitating connections between all areas of your business. With this well-defined stage, more opportunities for profit are opened up for companies, as they allow for investment and more advanced technology resources.

With the interoperability strategy in place, it will be possible to enable the so-called Smart Factory, a concept that means having an ecosystem of interconnected networks of machines with communication mechanisms. Smart Factory is a practice that uses advanced technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence) and Machine Learning to analyse data and drive automated processes.

The focus on this digital development, initially provided by the APIs, allows greater possibilities of systems integration, migration to the cloud and greater agility in the sales process - order closing, tracking and delivery of products - and also modernises the sales model including a service channel by message, via WhatsApp and Chatbot. This increases the speed of digital delivery of products and the ability to quickly scale them.

This intelligent reality, by reducing production costs, optimising working time, improving customer experience and consolidating the company's positioning as a digital success case, is what characterises Industry 4.0.

The importance of having a partner for this journey

Going through the digital transformation journey is not a simple task and requires, above all, a medium and long-term vision of the level of maturity that your business can reach. And for that, it is essential to work with partners that help to have this look and be a reference in the market.

Also according to the CNI survey, 33% of manufacturing companies are finding it difficult to identify technologies and partners. In addition to the fact that 29% of customers and suppliers are still not prepared for its incorporation.

This is the role of Sensedia, a company recognised by Forrester as a leader in API Management and with a team of experts prepared to provide the manufacturing market with the best strategy in APIs and integration.

This is what will lead companies to be increasingly ready for the Industry 4.0 format.

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