Industry 4.0
Technology / February, 08 2022

Industry 4.0 and Digital Factory – A Data-driven Transformation

As manufacturing organizations adapt to digital tools of any kind – manufacturing plants generate gigabytes of data in a data. During the pandemic, the shift in working environments and digitization efforts made enterprises data-intensive. The Digital Factory now replaces traditional manufacturing unit’. Most of the manufacturing production is now digital. If the factory is digitized, then the raw material is the new structured and unstructured data from the digital factory. This raw material needs to be turned into a finished product that defines the course of action in manufacturing operations.

While Digital Factory is about transforming production facilities with digital tools to operate the communications and processes, Industry 4.0 is more about machine-to-machine interactions driven by the latest technologies like IIoT, Robotics, AI and ML, automation, and cognitive computing. Let us see how data is being leveraged in the new-age smart manufacturing.

Car Manufacturer Tesla relies on real-time data to design better and safer cars. Connected cars with automated functionality are the new trend, and helping vehicles react to external conditions requires analyzing terabytes of video data. With the increasing demand for IoT, Global Industry 4.0 market is expected to reach USD 337.1 bn in 2028 at a CAGR of 16.4% during 2021-28.

Industry 4.0 – Key Value Drivers

What do you think are the main levers in Industry 4.0? With all the digital efforts, flexible production, efficient equipment utilization, supply chain effectiveness, and automating process seem to be the strategic business priorities. Focus on these areas will allow manufacturers to predict demand accurately, plan production react faster to changes, and accelerate their time to market. But if you look at all these areas, communication between all the systems seems to be the main ingredient to achieve any small success. This can be imbibed with machine-to-machine interactions and utilizing Machine Learning, AI, and predictive analytics. Let us now look at more details about these value drivers.

  1. Resource and Process Optimization – Enhancing processes for more speed or yield and optimizing material and equipment utilization is a win-win for manufacturers. More product output and increased revenue by utilizing digital tools enhance the competitive edge in most industries. Typical real-time process optimization for manufacturers can improve productivity by around 5%.
  2. Equipment Utilization – As the asset-heavy industries utilize expensive machinery, downtime and machine life are crucial in managing the overall costs. Every minute the machine stays idle results in revenue and capital expenditure loss. Predictive maintenance capabilities leveraging Industry 4.0 technologies can reduce unplanned downtimes and propose proactive maintenance schedules. Experts believe that predictive maintenance can reduce equipment downtime by between 20-50%.
  3. Workforce planning and Utilization – With more data from demand forecasting and various sensors across the digital factory, decision-makers can do workforce planning more effectively. Collaborative robots address labor-intensive and complex tasks, reducing wait times and improving workforce productivity.
  4. Product Quality – Rework and scrap seem to be another significant cost burden for manufacturers. With more control systems and sensors, real-time data analysis can reduce the rework and scrap in manufacturing operations. Technologies like Advanced Process Control and performance management solutions create more value and improve product quality.
  5. Supply chain and Inventory – Holding excessive inventory levels may increase the costs between 20-50%, primarily dependent on the industry and demand. Can we optimize supply chain and inventory levels? Leveraging multiple data sources and advanced AI and ML algorithms, solutions like demand forecasting, logistics management, and real-time supply chain optimization can reduce these high costs and capital.
  6. Equipment Maintenance – Equipment service costs seem to be another considerable overhead for manufacturers that drives the operational cost. Remote and Predictive maintenance solutions powered by IoT and sensors data can reduce maintenance costs between 10-40%.

As per Mc Kinsey, most manufacturers were stuck in the pilot trap for Industry 4.0 before the pandemic. Around 94% of the manufacturers now believe that Industry 4.0 helped them continue their operations and improve flexibility during the crisis. Data is the key, and being data-driven remains key in harnessing the potential of all the digital technologies through Industry 4.0.

The New Frontier of Digital Technologies for Smart Manufacturing

Smart manufacturing in Industry 4.0 is more about connected equipment, cognitive computing, data, and insights about people, machines, and materials. It relies heavily on automation, machine learning, real-time data analysis, and collaborative communication. Also, it is more about changing how goods are produced and supplied to the customers. Let me walk through the details about the technologies that enable continuous improvement initiatives:

  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – Digital Factory is now a hub of sensors that collects data in real-time and facilitates rapid insights. The sensors and hardware are not limited to just machines but to people, processes, and other assets. Asset management, maintenance, remote monitoring, advanced process control, etc., are a few use cases among many with IoT.
  • Big Data – When the data volumes are high from different sources like the customer, production, equipment, and process data, big data and analytics need to be leveraged to process and derive insights rapidly.
  • Predictive Analytics – The most powerful aspect of the digital factory is to predict the future related to equipment maintenance, workforce planning, resource planning, and inventory optimization. Most of the data collected from various sources remain orphaned without predictive analytics.
  • AI and ML – When we already spoke about predictive analytics, do we need to discuss AI and ML in detail? Understanding the customer is no longer left at the value chain’s end. A lot of unstructured data need to be analyzed for various use cases to provide better insights for decision-makers. Demand forecasting, customer analysis, and service feedback are a few among many that Machine Learning algorithms can address.
  • Automation – Industrial automation is slightly different to process automation in other sectors. As manufacturers utilize labor for many activities, many complex tasks are replaced by Robotics. Investments in automating labor-intensive tasks are also significant over the past future. All this does not imply that manufacturers are not concerned about workflow automation. RPA has its use cases in invoice processing, sales orders, purchase orders, and more.
  • Cloud Computing – With data volumes growing massively, accessibility and storage issues need to be addressed. Cloud technology offers manufacturers with on-demand storage capacities and faster access to the data when required.

What else?

  • Paperless – Every process in the digital factory will be digitized, eliminating manual data entry and enabling a digital data-driven culture.
  • Connected enterprise systems – Nonetheless, when volumes of data are generated, it is on the onus of manufacturers to eliminate silos in the processes. The data from the ERP systems, shop floor locations, and SCADA systems must be integrated, and a single source of truth is required.
  • Real-time Insights – To enhance efficiency everywhere, manufacturers need to access data in real-time and derive insights from them to make more informed decisions.

The apparent reason for manufacturers to adapt to Industry 4.0 technologies is to enhance efficiencies everywhere. But with the pandemic, this perception has changed. Manufacturers are now looking for more flexibility and being resilient to external changes. The agility and innovation bought in by all these changes can prompt an uptick in customer satisfaction. As new challenges emerge, manufacturers need to look out for continuous improvement initiatives.

Do you want to know more about implementing these latest technologies in manufacturing? Please reach out to our experts for more information.

Get in Touch


Stay up-to-date with our latest news, updates, and promotions by subscribing to our newsletter.

Copyright © 2008-2023 Saxon. All rights reserved | Privacy Policy

Address: 1320 Greenway Drive Suite # 660, Irving, TX 75038

We Help Enterprises Achieve Their Transformation Goals

Request a callback

Saxon AI

Address:  1320 Greenway Drive Suite # 660, Irving, TX 75038 United States.
Phone: +1 972 550 9346

Sija Kuttan

Sija Kuttan

Vice President - Sales

Sija.V. K is a distinguished sales leader with a remarkable journey that spans over 15 years across diverse industries. Her expertise is a fusion of capital expenditure (CAPEX) machinery sales and the intricacies of cybersecurity.

Currently serving as the Vice President of Sales at Saxon AI, Sija adeptly navigates market dynamics, client acquisition, and channel management. Her distinguished track record of nurturing strong relationships, leading diverse teams, and driving growth underscores her as an adaptable and seasoned sales professional.

Gopi Kandukuri

Gopi Kandukuri

Chief Executive Officer

Gopi is the President and CEO of Saxon Inc since its inception and is responsible for the overall leadership, strategy, and management of the Company. As a true visionary, Gopi is quick to spot the next-generation technology trends and navigate the organization to build centers of excellence.

As a digital leader responsible for driving company growth and ROI, he believes in a business strategy built upon continuous innovation, investment in core capabilities, and a unique partner ecosystem. Gopi has served as founding member and 2018 President of ITServe, a non-profit organization of all mid-sized IT Services organization in US.

Vineesha Karri

Vineesha Karri

Associate Director - Marketing

Meet Vineesha Karri, the driving force behind our marketing endeavors. With over 12+ years of experience and a robust background in the B2B landscape across the US, EMEA, and APAC regions, she is pivotal in setting up high-performance marketing teams that drive business growth through a transformation based on new-age marketing practice.

Beyond her extensive experience driving business success across Digital, Data, AI, and Automation technologies, Vineesha’s diverse skill set shines as she collaborates with varied stakeholders across hierarchies, cultivating a harmonious and results-driven workspace.

Sridevi Edupuganti

Sridevi Edupuganti

Vice President – Cloud Solutions

Sridevi Edupuganti is an innovative leader known for strategically enhancing business opportunities through technology planning, orchestrating roadmaps, and guiding technology architecture choices. With a rich career spanning over two decades as a Senior Business and Technology Executive, she has driven teams to empower customers for digital transformation.

Her leadership fosters democratized digital experiences across enterprises. She has successfully expanded service portfolios globally, including major roles at Microsoft, NTT Data, Tech Mahindra. Proficient in diverse database technologies and Cloud platforms (AWS, Azure), she excels in operational excellence. Beyond her professional achievements, Sridevi also serves as a Health & Wellness coach, impacting IT professionals positively through engaging sessions.

Joel Jolly

Joel Jolly

Vice President – Technology

Joel has over 18 years of diverse global experience and multiple leadership assignments across Big 4 consulting, IT services and product engineering. He has distinguished himself by providing strategic vision and leadership for solving common industry problems on cutting-edge technologies.

As a leader surfacing and operationalizing next-generation ideas, he was responsible for exploring new technology directions, articulating a long-term technical vision, developing effective engineering processes, partnering with key stakeholders to build a strong internal and external brand and recruiting, mentoring, and growing great talent.

Haricharan Mylaraiah

Haricharan Mylaraiah

Senior Vice President - Strategy, Offerings & Sales Enablement

Hari is a Digital Marketer and Digital transformation specialist. He is adept at cultivating strong executive and customer relationships, utilizing data across all interactions (customers, employees, services, products) to lead cross-functionally as a strategic thought partner to install discipline, process, and methodology into a scalable company-wide customer-centric model.

He has 18+ years experience in Customer Acquisition, Product Strategy, Sales & Pre-Sales Management, Customer Success, Operations Management He is a Mechanical Engineering Graduate with MBA in International Business and Information Technology.