Gearing up for the evolution of Industry 4.0
Dr. Keshab Panda, CEO and Managing Director, L&T Technology Services
Industry 4.0 has assumed a critical consideration in the overall scheme of things of the business ecosystem in general and industrial as well as the manufacturing domain in particular. What started as connecting the unconnected i.e. the physical components transformed into a digital ecosystem through the use of IIoT, has now evolved to reach a scale that goes well beyond the first generation of Industry 4.0.
For instance, business demands or rather expectations from Industry 4.0 encompass aspects such as work environment safety, industrial analytics, optimum supply chain management, pre-empting cyber-attacks, and enabling smart factories to cite a few. Thus Industry 4.0 is now expected to possess capabilities that not only enhance operations but also institutionalize business excellence.
The evolved version of Industry 4.0 includes under its purview use of new-age concepts such as 3D printing that have the capability to score high on not only operational aspects but also strategic objectives such as go-to-market. This proves that Industry 4.0 has advanced to assist product launches at optimum cost reduction ratios. The purview of Industry 4.0 now extends beyond support to assume a consultative role to the extent that businesses are able to redefine their revenue modules altogether.
Additionally, with change being the only constant, the requirement of businesses has evolved as well with parameters such as scalability challenges, diminishing role of humans, and uncertain return on investments faced by manufacturing players assuming high priority. These are being addressed by Industry 4.0, by adopting a solution-based, human-centric scalable approach to smart factories.
The next generation of Industry 4.0 involves an approach that is more human-centric and RoI-driven including making it possible to scale digital even in a factory setup. The evolved version of Industry 4.0 puts focus on Digital Manufacturing Solutions integrating Product Lifecycle Management, Manufacturing Operations, Manufacturing Engineering, Asset Management and Product Information Management thereby creating a value-based digital transformation roadmap.