How Can Manufacturers Redefine Marketing Strategies in the Age of COVID?

ANUSREE BHATTACHARYA | April 27, 2021 | 680 views
What do you need to create a killer B2B marketing plan or scale it to support a new marketing business in the age of COVID-19? Many manufacturing companies struggled when the coronavirus started. Some of them paused all marketing activities, waited for the lockdown to end, and then made up for potential losses.

Looking at this situation, where does your business stand when it comes to marketing planning in 2021?

Simply copying and pasting the old calendar, changing dates and campaign names will be far from being sufficient for the years ahead. Instead, establishing steady and tangible SMART B2B manufacturing marketing goals, which are specific, measurable, relevant, time-bound, and flexible, is crucial for marketers. And such goals should be made every quarter and bucketed under a planned manufacturing marketing strategy.

Aren't you sure what to include in your B2B manufacturing marketing plan? Read on the following ideas that will help you do marketing in the age of COVID-19.

Redefine your Budget Season

As marketers in industrial manufacturing face planning failures such as inevitable spreadsheets, board meetings, sales, and client handling that accompany for an entire year, they're also facing dwindling budgets. So, redefining your manufacturing marketing budget in 2021 will be one of the most important aspects of marketing for manufacturers.

Digital Marketing

AMA's latest CMO Survey found that manufacturing marketers anticipate an 8.4% rise in digital marketing spending throughout 2021.

What is your digital marketing goal in 2021?
  • Generate double-digit leads for products and services?
  • Promote or launch a new product or service?
  • Expanding reach by ranking in Google's first search engine result page (SERP)?

Creating a proper digital marketing plan will leverage to know beyond its tip of the ice. The digital platform will keep your marketing activities on track and in one place, and you will see what's working and what doesn't. This way, you can create a solid budget to implement digital marketing in your marketing business.

Customer Experience

A survey found that customer experience expenditure surged 10% from past years after companies started marketing budgeting. This prominently included A CRM (customer relationship management) platform. So, including a CRM will benefit your business to track and manage contacts present in your marketing pipeline.

Social Media Platforms

Interestingly, social media expenditure has soared by 74% since February 2021, and the investment by other manufacturers has paid off. Manufacturers report that social media has contributed to the company's performance 24% more after the pandemic.

In general, 62% of marketers report that the importance of social media marketing for manufacturing has grown during the pandemic due to its critical role in reaching customers digitally. It's clear that companies that already implemented digital marketing see the value of budgeting for social media, which increased the positive results of marketing. So, when you set up a new budget, include social media to grow your business.

5 Things to Consider while Marketing your Business

A Lead Scoring Model

One of the most important aspects of marketing in manufacturing is implementing a lead scoring model. Investing in it will allow you to see through the valuable metric of your leads that will make you determine which ones are qualified.

Metrics include your ideal customer's demographics such as company size, revenue, industry, and main pain points. Also, these have a number of website visits, specific page views, content downloads, contact forms, emails unlocked, engagement with social posts, and more.

Regularly evaluate your lead scoring model and update to ensure your metrics are closely related to your ideal prospect. It would lead both sales and marketing for manufacturers to identify valuable leads in your database easily.

 Invest in A Video Marketing Strategy

Video Marketing is a great deal. As per Cisco's research, by 2021, videos will account for 80% of all internet traffic. In addition, being one of the internet’s traffic sources, it’s practical and reasonable. Video marketing for manufacturers has been profitable by 83%. From creating more leads per year to a rise in sales, 80% say that video marketing has aided their business significantly.

If you haven't invested in video marketing yet, or if you've only dipped your toes in the water, 2021 is the year to dive in completely. As per HubSpot's 2020 State of Marketing report, video beats content forms like blogging, email, and infographics. Also, video is the most-used marketing content type for manufacturers.

So, there are many tools and resources that make it easy to get started with video marketing. Videos help to sell industrial manufacturing products and create a brand story. So, think about it and include this when budgeting your marketing plan.

 Move Beyond Basic Marketing Analytics

Through digital marketing, manufacturing marketers have been trying to determine the ROI of their efforts. But do you know that most of them have been doing a lousy job? That's because they, and the tools they use, tend to focus on things that don't matter. These include views, clicks, etc.

More than 600 manufacturers and industrial companies in the U.S. have learned that their marketing and sales are going wrong. Out of which, 35% of manufacturers are not using an analytics tool like Google Analytics. So, it is advisable to move beyond basic marketing analytics to track how much traffic is coming to your website.

The latest tools can identify companies visiting and allow salespeople to engage them in their research phase.  It will result in creating and maintaining promising relationships with clients.

Content Isn't Optional

A rock-hard content marketing plan is the core of your online business's success. Keep in mind; a few blogs are not sufficient to get accurate results!

Creating content helps (by answering) your potential buyer's queries in their research process and throughout their buying journey. A survey found an online search or a blog acts as a key source for finding answers to questions.

As most sales are happening online now, Hubspot suggests that manufacturing businesses' sales will surge incredibly in 2021. An average B2B manufacturing marketing has involved 68% of stakeholders. Prospects are now making more decisions by reaching out to a company than ever before because they want your website and social channels to educate them completely. If they can't find the information on your owned channels, they might turn to your competitor's website instead.

This makes content the most important aspect of marketing. When it comes to steady and consistent lead generation for b2b manufacturers, content is at the front and center of all the B2B manufacturing marketing trends. So, take content seriously instead of keeping it just as an alternative.

What's Important for 2021?

Plan in quarters

Many companies create full-year planning calendars in November and December. The pandemic in 2020 has taught us that to plan too ahead in advance can get your business to flow in the wrong direction. Because who knows whether those plans or events would fall digitally or be back to in-person. Will your target audience be as approachable as to emails and webinars or not?

So, plan your marketing things quarterly from annual to ensure your business leads in the right way.

Audit Constantly

It's not advisable to keep an eye on one particular marketing metric, for example, tracking traffic to your website. Instead, it's the whole picture that matters.

2021 is the year to evaluate every goal, every channel, and every message related to your business. With this, think about creating a big picture as well—company positioning and values, competitive research, and even business goals.

Here are some standard audit actions recommended:

1. Conversion rates
  • Visitors converting to leads
  • Leads converting to customers
2. Email engagement
  • Number of sent emails
  • Deliverability metrics
  • Subscriptions/unsubscribing
3. Revenue attribution audits
  • How much revenue can be credited to marketing campaigns?
4. Campaign success
  • How did all of the individual elements of your campaign perform? That includes:
  • The site and landing pages
  • Email marketing
  • Paid ads and PPC
  • Social messages
  • How did the campaign perform against other campaigns?
5. Social media audit
  • Engagement by channel
  • Overall reach and growth
6. Funnel audit
  • How effectively contacts are moving through the funnel

In addition, conduct an audit and analysis vertical to ensure all the automation is taking place or running appropriately. Doing it will help your marketing team keep a constant check on all the processes and cater to you with exact marketing activities. Keep this activity active throughout the year.

Continue Shifting Budgets—Don't Be Afraid

Much of 2020 has been experimental in marketing for manufacturers. Many manufacturing companies moved away from in-person events to a webinar, shifted expensive prospect meetings to internet meetings, trade events to PPC, website, and content creation. In these cases, you might have to shift your budgeting when needed. Consider revising the budget to create advertorials, creative virtual events, and strategic lead generation tools if you plan in quarters.

Along with these, 2021 brought a good time to invest even in intent data, ABM, SEO, and other automated technologically advanced digital initiatives. According to a recent study, manufacturing companies are now 21% more likely to invest in automation and technology. As they are now inclined towards the use of webinars & virtual events (20%), search & social media (14%), and website (12%). All of these increased in light of COVID-19. So, start planning for what's sure to have a better year ahead with your marketing strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of marketing in the manufacturing industry?

Marketing plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing industry. Through marketing, customers are well informed about products or services a company offers. Also, marketing helps in building the brand name, awareness, and visibility of a company. 

How to use social media marketing in manufacturing?

Social media marketing in manufacturing can be ideally used in these ways:
  • Choose right platform
  • Share useful content
  • Create advertisements
  • Create creative posts
  • Connect with in-market participants
  • Encourage engagement
  • Create videos and share
  • Address problems and provide solutions through content

What are the important aspects of marketing for the manufacturing industry?

Being the crucial part of any company in the manufacturing industry, essential aspects of marketing are:
  • Website
  • Brand name
  • Platform
  • Promotion
  • SEO
  • Sales

How can Email Marketing help to market in the manufacturing industry?

Email marketing in the manufacturing industry can help by creating informational content. Start from offering subscription options to potential customers, clients, and visitors. Send updates, information, an overview of the company's services and products to aware the reader and convert them into loyal customers.



Sinochem’s core businesses span over energy, agriculture, chemicals, real estate and financial service. It is one of China’s four state oil companies, China’s biggest agricultural input company (fertilizer, seed and pesticide), China’s leading chemical service company. It also exerts strong influence in real estate and non-banking financial service sector. As a global conglomerate with market orientation, Sinochem’s quality product and service is relevant to many aspects of mass economy and people’s well being. Its brand enjoys high reputation and acknowledgement around the world.

Industrial 4.0, IoT

Harnessing IIoT Power for Device Interconnectivity in Industry 4.0

Article | July 21, 2023

Embracing IIoT & device interconnectivity offers enhanced operational efficiency, predictive maintenance, data-driven insights, improved quality, optimized supply chains, enhanced safety, & security. Contents 1. Introduction to IIoT and Device Interconnectivity in Industry 4.0 2. Advanced Sensing and Data Collection 2.1. Industrial Sensors and IoT-enabled Devices 2.2. Real-time Data Collection and Analysis 2.3. Edge Computing for Faster Decision-Making 3. Connectivity Technologies for Device Interconnectivity 3.1. Wireless Technologies: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Cellular Networks 3.2. Low-Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) 3.3. Industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus Protocols 4. Benefits of Efficient Device Interconnectivity 4.1. Enhanced Operational Efficiency 4.2. Real-time Monitoring and Control 4.3. Predictive Maintenance 4.4. Data-driven Insights 4.5. Supply Chain Optimization 5. Embracing IIoT for Device Interconnectivity in Industry 4.0 1. Introduction to IIoT and Device Interconnectivity in Industry 4.0 The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a network of interconnected devices, sensors, and systems that collect and exchange data in industrial settings. IIoT industry 4.0 enables real-time data monitoring, analysis, and control, leading to improved operational efficiency, reduced costs, and increased productivity in industrial processes. It utilizes technologies such as IoT sensors, embedded systems, cloud computing, big data analytics, and machine learning to facilitate seamless connectivity and data exchange. Device interconnectivity in Industry 4.0 is the integration and communication between different devices, machines, and systems across the industrial value chain. Device interconnectivity enables data sharing and interoperability, facilitating automation, predictive maintenance, optimized resource allocation, and enhanced decision-making in industrial IoT operations. IIoT and device interconnectivity generate vast amounts of data that can be analyzed to gain valuable insights into production processes, supply chains, customer behavior, and market trends. The increased interconnectivity of devices in Industry 4.0 raises concerns about data security and privacy. Robust cybersecurity measures and data protection protocols are necessary to mitigate risks. This creates new business opportunities, including innovative service models, predictive maintenance solutions, remote monitoring, and data-driven decision support systems, with applications in various industries such as smart manufacturing, energy, transportation, agriculture, healthcare, and smart cities. 2. Advanced Sensing and Data Collection 2.1. Industrial Sensors and IoT-enabled Devices Industrial sensors are sophisticated devices that employ cutting-edge technologies to detect and measure various physical parameters in industrial environments. They utilize advanced sensing technologies such as optical, acoustic, thermal, and chemical sensors to capture precise and accurate data. Whereas, IoT-enabled devices, integrated with industrial sensors, leverage the power of connectivity and advanced communication protocols to enable seamless data collection and exchange. These devices have embedded software, wireless connectivity, and data processing capabilities, transforming them into intelligent nodes within the Industrial Internet of Things ecosystem. These empower businesses to capture real-time data at a granular level. This provides organizations to gain comprehensive insights into their assets, processes, and environments' performance, health, and condition. Such data-driven intelligence forms the foundation for advanced analytics, predictive maintenance, and operational optimization. 2.2. Real-time Data Collection and Analysis With integrating IIoT sensors, businesses can collect data in real time from diverse sources within their industrial ecosystem. This includes sensor readings, machine parameters, environmental conditions, production metrics, and supply chain information. This allows businesses to continuously monitor their operations, providing immediate awareness of critical events and performance indicators. By capturing data in real-time, organizations can swiftly identify anomalies, deviations, or opportunities for improvement, for agile decision-making, operational responsiveness, and proactive interventions. Real-time data collected from industrial sensors and IoT-enabled devices can be subjected to advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms. These sophisticated analysis techniques reveal hidden patterns, correlations, and predictive models within the data. The resulting insights enable organizations to uncover optimization opportunities, identify root causes of issues, and develop data-driven strategies for operational excellence. 2.3. Edge Computing for Faster Decision-Making Edge computing is an advanced paradigm that brings data processing, analytics, and decision-making closer to the data source at the network's edge. By decentralizing computational capabilities, edge computing reduces latency, minimizes bandwidth requirements, and enables faster, localized decision-making. It enhances the efficiency and responsiveness of data-driven decision-making in industrial settings. Businesses can achieve near real-time insights and rapid response times by processing and analyzing data locally, at or near the edge IoT devices. This is particularly critical for time-sensitive applications like autonomous systems, predictive maintenance, and adaptive control mechanisms. Edge computing empowers businesses to make faster decisions based on real-time data analysis. Edge computing enables localized processing and immediate responses by reducing the need for data transmission to a centralized cloud or data centers. This allows organizations to take swift actions, optimize processes on the fly, and mitigate risks in real time. 3. Connectivity Technologies for Device Interconnectivity 3.1. Wireless Technologies: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Cellular Networks Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular networks widely use wireless connectivity technologies that enable device interconnectivity in various industrial settings. Wi-Fi provides high-speed wireless connectivity over short to medium distances. Wi-Fi offers flexibility and compatibility with various devices, making it a popular choice for interconnecting devices within industrial environments. Bluetooth technology is commonly used for short-range wireless connections between devices, for personal area networks (PANs) and device-to-device communication applications. Cellular networks, such as 4G LTE and emerging 5G technology, provide wide-area coverage and reliable connectivity over large distances. They are suitable for IoT applications that require remote monitoring, asset tracking, and connectivity in remote or mobile industrial environments. 3.2. Low-Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) LPWAN technologies are designed to provide long-range wireless connectivity while consuming minimal power. These networks are well-suited for applications involving low data rates, long battery life, and cost-effective deployment. NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) is a cellular-based LPWAN technology that operates on licensed spectrum, providing wide-area coverage with low power consumption, while Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN ) is a low-power, long-range wireless technology that operates on unlicensed spectrum and enables efficient connectivity for devices spread across large areas, making it suitable for IoT applications such as smart agriculture, logistics, and smart cities. 3.3. Industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus Protocols Industrial Ethernet refers to the use of Ethernet-based communication protocols within industrial environments. It provides high-speed, reliable, and deterministic connectivity for industrial devices, such as programmable logic controllers, human-machine interfaces, and sensors. Industrial Ethernet protocols like Ethernet/IP, PROFINET, and Modbus TCP enable real-time data exchange, control, and monitoring, facilitating efficient device interconnectivity in industrial automation systems. Fieldbus protocols have been widely used in industrial automation for device interconnectivity. It enables data communication between field devices, controllers, and other industrial equipment. These protocols are known for their robustness, determinism, and support for various devices, making them suitable for applications in process control, IIoT manufacturing, and distributed control systems. 4. Benefits of Efficient Device Interconnectivity 4.1. Enhanced Operational Efficiency Efficient device interconnectivity revolutionizes industrial processes by facilitating seamless communication and collaboration among interconnected devices, machines, and systems. This integration optimizes workflows, reduces bottlenecks, and maximizes operational efficiency, ultimately improving productivity and profitability. 4.2. Real-time Monitoring and Control The efficient interconnection of devices gives businesses real-time visibility into their operations. By continuously monitoring and controlling key parameters such as machine performance, energy consumption, and production metrics, organizations can proactively make data-driven decisions to optimize performance, minimize downtime, and ensure optimal resource allocation. 4.3. Predictive Maintenance Efficient device interconnectivity enables the collection and analysis of real-time data from interconnected devices. Businesses can detect patterns and anomalies by leveraging advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms, allowing for predictive maintenance strategies. Proactively addressing maintenance needs and potential equipment failures reduces unplanned downtime, enhances equipment lifespan, and lowers maintenance costs. 4.4. Data-driven Insights Efficient device interconnectivity generates abundant data that holds valuable insights. Organizations can extract actionable insights from the collected data through sophisticated data analytics techniques, including artificial intelligence and big data analytics. These insights empower businesses to optimize processes, uncover hidden patterns, identify market trends, and make informed strategic decisions. 4.5. Supply Chain Optimization Device interconnectivity facilitates seamless data exchange and collaboration across the supply chain. This enables end-to-end visibility, efficient coordination, and streamlined operations. With real-time data on demand, inventory levels, and market demand, businesses can optimize their supply chain processes, minimize lead times, reduce stockouts, and enhance overall supply chain efficiency in IIoT Industry 4.0. 5. Embracing IIoT for Device Interconnectivity in Industry 4.0 In the era of Industry 4.0, businesses are embracing the integration of the IIoT industry 4.0 and device interconnectivity to unlock new levels of efficiency, productivity, and agility. This is made possible through various connectivity technologies, including wireless technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular networks, as well as LPWAN and industrial Ethernet and fieldbus protocols. These technologies enable seamless data exchange, real-time monitoring, and intelligent control within the industrial ecosystem. Additionally, embracing IIoT and device interconnectivity offers numerous advantages, such as enhanced operational efficiency, predictive maintenance, data-driven insights, improved product quality, optimized supply chains, enhanced safety, and security. By leveraging these advancements, businesses can drive sustainable growth and gain a competitive edge in the digital age of Industry 4.0.

Read More
Industrial 4.0

The Transforming Landscape: Trends in Industry 4.0

Article | July 19, 2023

Unveil the game-changing trends in Industry 4.0 & redefine business operations. Stay ahead with current industry trends of the evolving digitalization and analyze the market trends’ insights. Contents 1. Introduction 2. How do the Trends in Industry 4.0 Benefit Businesses? 3. Factors Causing the Emergence of Industry 4.0 3.1. Technological Advancements 3.2. Increasing Digitalization 3.3. Changing Market Demands 3.4. Globalization and Competitive Pressures 3.5. Need for Operational Efficiency 3.6. Sustainability and Environmental Concerns 3.7. Workforce Challenges 4. Top Trends in Industry 4.0 4.1. Green Technology 4.2. Digitalization of Data 4.3. Predictive Analytics 4.4. Optimal Energy Usage 4.5. 3D Printing 4.6. Smart Manufacturing 4.7. Next-Gen Manufacturing ERP 4.8. Supply Chain Disruption 4.9. Extreme Automation capabilities 4.10. Increased Visibility 5. Final Thoughts 1. Introduction Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, has brought about transformative changes across sectors, revolutionizing the way businesses operate and interact with technology. As we navigate this rapidly evolving landscape, staying informed about the latest trends shaping Industry 4.0 is essential. From artificial intelligence and robotics to blockchain and edge computing, these trends redefine processes, drive innovation, and create new opportunities for organizations. In this article, explore 10 key current industry trends in Industry 4.0 and their implications for businesses in this transforming landscape. 2. How do the Trends in Industry 4.0 Benefit Businesses? The trends in Industry 4.0 offer numerous benefits for businesses across various aspects of operations. Firstly, integrating automation, IoT, and data analytics drives increased efficiency and productivity. By streamlining processes and minimizing downtime, businesses can achieve higher productivity levels and faster time-to-market, ultimately reducing costs. Additionally, the availability of real-time data and advanced analytics enables businesses to make informed decisions, optimize resource allocation, and respond swiftly to market changes. Secondly, Industry 4.0 enhances flexibility and customization capabilities. With the ability to reconfigure production lines, adjust processes in real-time, and offer personalized products or services, businesses can meet customers' evolving demands and gain a competitive edge. Moreover, predictive maintenance facilitated by IoT sensors and data analytics enables companies to proactively monitor equipment health, reduce unplanned downtime, and optimize maintenance costs, improving operational efficiency and extending asset lifespan. Lastly, the trends in Industry 4.0 contribute to enhanced customer experience and sustainability goals. Businesses can improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention by leveraging customer data and implementing personalized offerings, targeted marketing campaigns, and better customer support. Additionally, Industry 4.0 technologies enable companies to optimize energy consumption, reduce waste, and enhance resource efficiency, aligning with sustainability initiatives and bolstering brand reputation. 3. Factors Causing the Emergence of Industry 4.0 The factors causing the emergence of Industry 4.0 can be attributed to several key drivers: 3.1.Technological Advancements Rapid advancements in technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data analytics, and robotics have provided the foundation for Industry 4.0. These technologies have become more accessible, affordable, and capable, enabling widespread adoption in the industrial sector. 3.2.Increasing Digitalization Digitalizing processes, systems, and data has been a significant driver of Industry 4.0. As businesses realize the value of digitizing their operations, there is a growing demand for technologies that can seamlessly integrate and process vast amounts of data for improved decision-making and efficiency. 3.3.Changing Market Demands Evolving customer expectations, such as personalized products, shorter lead times, and flexible production, have pushed businesses to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies. Companies are embracing automation, connectivity, and data-driven approaches to remain competitive and meet these demands to enhance their agility and responsiveness. 3.4.Globalization and Competitive Pressures In an increasingly interconnected global economy, businesses face intense competition and the need to optimize their operations. Industry 4.0 offers opportunities for businesses to improve productivity, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge by leveraging advanced technologies and data-driven insights. 3.5. Need for Operational Efficiency With rising production costs and the need to optimize resource utilization, businesses are turning to Industry 4.0 to enhance operational efficiency. Automation, predictive maintenance, and real-time monitoring enable enterprises to streamline processes, minimize downtime, and achieve higher productivity. 3.6. Sustainability and Environmental Concerns Industry 4.0 technologies allow businesses to adopt more sustainable practices. Companies can align with environmental goals and meet regulatory requirements by optimizing energy consumption, reducing waste, and improving resource efficiency. 3.7.Workforce Challenges The changing nature of work and the need to address labor shortages and skill gaps have also contributed to adopting Industry 4.0 technologies. Automation and robotics can augment human capabilities, improve workplace safety, and free up workers for more value-added tasks. 4. Top Trends in Industry 4.0 4.1. Green Technology Green technology is a prominent trend in Industry 4.0 manufacturing, aiming to incorporate sustainable practices and environmentally friendly solutions. This trend involves adopting renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Manufacturers also focus on energy efficiency using advanced monitoring systems and IoT devices to optimize energy consumption. Additionally, the concept of a circular economy is gaining momentum, encouraging waste reduction, resource utilization, and recycling. Manufacturers are developing eco-friendly materials and processes while collaborating with sustainability organizations to drive innovation in green technology. By integrating green technology, manufacturers can reduce their environmental footprint, comply with regulations, and meet consumer demands for sustainable products. Green technology is transforming the manufacturing sector in Industry 4.0, promoting sustainable practices and environmental consciousness. Manufacturers are embracing renewable energy, optimizing energy efficiency, and adopting circular economy principles. Developing eco-friendly materials and collaborations with sustainability organizations are also key aspects of this trend. By incorporating green technology into their operations, manufacturers can achieve ecological and economic benefits, positioning themselves as leaders in a greener and more sustainable future. 4.2. Digitalization of Data Digitalizing of manufacturing operations of data is a prominent trend in Industry 4.0 manufacturing, where companies are leveraging advanced technologies to transform data collection, industry trends analysis, and utilization. Manufacturers capture real-time data on various aspects of their operations by integrating IoT devices and sensors. This digital data provides valuable insights into machine performance, energy consumption, and product quality, allowing manufacturers to identify bottlenecks, optimize workflows, and enhance productivity. Digitalizing data enables manufacturers to employ advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms to uncover patterns and trends, enabling predictive maintenance, process optimization, and cost savings. An essential component of digitalizing data is the concept of digital twins. Manufacturers are creating virtual replicas of their physical products or production lines continuously updated with real-time data. This digital representation also enables remote monitoring and control, facilitating proactive maintenance and reducing downtime. By embracing the digitalization of data, manufacturers can unlock new levels of efficiency, productivity, and innovation, driving their success in the Industry 4.0 era. 4.3. Predictive Analytics Predictive analytics is a prominent trend within Industry 4.0 manufacturing, revolutionizing the way companies make decisions and optimize their operations. By leveraging advanced analytics techniques and machine learning algorithms, manufacturers can analyze vast amounts of data to forecast future outcomes and make proactive decisions. One key aspect of this trend is the application of predictive maintenance. Manufacturers can identify patterns and anomalies that indicate potential equipment failures by collecting and analyzing real-time data from sensors embedded in machinery. Predictive analytics allows manufacturers to optimize their production processes. Manufacturers can optimize parameters such as machine settings, material usage, and workflow sequences to achieve optimal production outcomes. Another crucial aspect of predictive analytics in Industry 4.0 manufacturing is demand forecasting. By analyzing historical data, machine learning algorithms can identify patterns and correlations that improve process efficiency, reduce waste, and enhance product quality. 4.4. Optimal Energy Usage Optimal energy usage is a significant trend within Industry 4.0 manufacturing, where companies are increasingly focused on optimizing energy consumption to enhance sustainability, reduce costs, and improve operational efficiency. Manufacturers aim to achieve optimal energy usage through advanced technologies and data-driven approaches throughout their production processes. One key aspect of this trend is the integration of smart sensors and Internet of Things devices to monitor energy usage in real-time. These devices collect data on energy consumption at various stages of production, allowing manufacturers to identify energy-intensive areas and potential inefficiencies. Machine learning algorithms can identify patterns and correlations between energy usage and other process variables, facilitating the development of energy-efficient strategies and optimizing production parameters. Moreover, integrating renewable energy sources is another crucial aspect of optimal energy usage in Industry 4.0 manufacturing. Companies can mitigate their carbon footprint and achieve long-term cost savings by reducing reliance on traditional fossil fuel-based energy sources. Integration with renewable energy sources also provides energy storage and demand response systems opportunities, further optimizing energy usage and supporting grid stability. 4.5. 3D Printing 3D printing is a significant trend within Industry 4.0 manufacturing, transforming how products are designed, prototyped, and manufactured. Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing allows companies to create three-dimensional objects by layering materials based on digital models. This trend offers numerous benefits, including faster production cycles, increased design flexibility, and cost-effective customization. One key aspect of the 3D printing trend is its ability to accelerate product development and prototyping. Manufacturers can convert digital designs into physical prototypes, allowing for rapid iterations and design improvements. Traditional manufacturing methods often impose limitations on design due to the constraints of molds, tooling, and assembly processes. 3D printing contributes to sustainability in manufacturing. It minimizes material waste by only using the necessary amount of materials, reducing energy consumption compared to traditional manufacturing methods. The ability to print components on-site or locally also lowers transportation costs and associated carbon emissions. Additionally, using recycled or bio-based materials in 3D printing further enhances its eco-friendly potential. 4.6. Smart Manufacturing Smart manufacturing is a prominent trend within Industry 4.0, revolutionizing the manufacturing sector by integrating advanced technologies to create more efficient, agile, and connected production systems. Smart manufacturing involves using Internet of Things devices, automation, artificial intelligence, and data analytics to optimize operations, enhance productivity, and drive innovation. One key aspect of smart manufacturing is the implementation of IoT devices and sensors throughout the production process. These devices collect real-time data on parameters such as machine performance, energy usage, and product quality. Smart manufacturing leverages automation and AI technologies to streamline production and improve efficiency. By automating repetitive tasks and integrating intelligent algorithms, manufacturers can optimize workflows, reduce human error, and achieve higher productivity levels. Moreover, smart manufacturing relies on data analytics and connectivity to enable seamless collaboration across the manufacturing ecosystem. Manufacturers can share real-time data with suppliers, partners, and customers, facilitating efficient supply chain management and enhanced coordination. 4.7. Next-Gen Manufacturing ERP Next-Generation Manufacturing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are a significant trend within Industry 4.0 manufacturing, transforming the way companies manage their operations and resources. These advanced ERP systems incorporate cutting-edge technologies, such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and data analytics, to provide manufacturers with real-time visibility, enhanced decision-making capabilities, and seamless integration across the entire value chain. One key aspect of this trend is the adoption of cloud-based ERP solutions. By moving their ERP systems to the cloud, manufacturers can benefit from scalable and flexible infrastructure, reduced IT costs, and improved accessibility. Cloud-based ERP systems enable real-time data sharing and collaboration across departments, locations, and even with external partners. This fosters seamless integration of supply chain management, production planning, inventory control, and customer relationship management, enabling companies to make informed decisions, respond quickly to market changes, and optimize resource allocation. The next-gen Manufacturing ERP systems leverage artificial intelligence and data analytics to provide advanced insights and automation capabilities. 4.8. Supply Chain Disruption Supply chain disruption and the role of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are significant trends within Industry 4.0 manufacturing. With the increasing complexity and globalization of supply chains, manufacturers face challenges such as natural disasters, geopolitical factors, and unexpected disruptions. In response, integrating ERP systems with supply chain management aims to enhance visibility, agility, and resilience in the face of disruptions. A vital aspect of this trend is using ERP systems to improve supply chain visibility. Manufacturers can quickly identify potential disruptions, assess their impact, and take necessary actions to minimize the effect on production and customer satisfaction. The ERP systems are increasingly equipped with advanced analytics capabilities to analyze supply chain data. Manufacturers can identify patterns, trends, and potential risks by leveraging AI and machine learning algorithms. Blockchain technology enables secure and transparent tracking of goods, ensuring traceability and reducing the risk of counterfeit products. These technologies, integrated with ERP systems, enhance supply chain visibility, accuracy, and trustworthiness. 4.9. Extreme Automation capabilities Extreme automation, also known as hyper-automation, is a prominent trend within Industry 4.0 manufacturing. This trend aims to maximize automation capabilities by pushing towards the hypothetical limit of 100% autonomy on the production floor, where operators and machines run fully automated processes. Manufacturers can achieve higher productivity and faster time-to-market by eliminating production delays and streamlining processes. Automation reduces errors and rework, improving product quality and customer satisfaction. Moreover, extreme automation frees the existing workforce from repetitive and mundane tasks, allowing employees to focus on higher-value activities and increasing overall throughput. According to data from Plataine's customer base, incorporating extreme automation in manufacturing significantly impacts cost reduction and production increase. Industrialization leads to lower operating costs by reducing labor requirements and minimizing errors that could result in waste. Additionally, by streamlining processes and optimizing resource allocation, extreme automation enables manufacturers to achieve higher production volumes and meet increasing market demands efficiently. 4.10. Increased Visibility Increased visibility capabilities are a significant trend within Industry 4.0 manufacturing, enabled by technologies like the Industrial Internet of Things. In the past, more visibility could have helped organizations comprehensively understand their operations, including the whereabouts of assets and the movement of resources. However, with the adoption of IIoT, manufacturers now have unprecedented visibility over their entire operations, providing real-time data and a 360-degree view of their organization. This heightened visibility empowers operational managers to monitor production processes in real time, identify manufacturing errors, and evaluate machine performance. With consolidated data reports, operational managers can make informed decisions to resolve issues causing delays and optimize production efficiency. By leveraging increased visibility, organizations can proactively address issues, minimize downtime, and stay ahead of the competition. The availability of real-time data and operational insights allows manufacturers to make agile and informed decisions, leading to improved productivity and customer satisfaction. 5. Final Thoughts The landscape of Industry 4.0 is undergoing a profound transformation, driven by emerging trends reshaping industries and revolutionizing business operations. The industry 4.0 trends 2023, discussed in this article, from artificial intelligence and robotics to blockchain and edge computing, are set to redefine the way organizations operate, innovate, and compete in the digital age. By embracing these trends, businesses can unlock new opportunities, enhance operational efficiency, and deliver better experiences to customers. As we move forward, staying abreast of these trends and proactively adopting them will be crucial for organizations to remain competitive and thrive in the ever-changing landscape of Industry 4.0. By leveraging the transformative power of these trends, organizations can position themselves at the forefront of innovation and create a sustainable advantage in this era of unprecedented technological advancement.

Read More
Innovation, Industrial 4.0

Optimize Value Chain: Embrace Collaborative Platforms in Industry 4.0

Article | July 17, 2023

The curated list of platforms and industry 4.0 tools above, delves into simplification and enhancing of digitalized manufacturing processes. These value chain tools enhance the user experience. The advent of Industry 4.0 has revolutionized the way businesses operate, with technologies such as IoT, AI, and automation driving digital transformation across the entire value chain. In this dynamic landscape, collaborative platforms have emerged as powerful tools that enable organizations to optimize their value chain, fostering seamless collaboration and integration among stakeholders. In this article, know the significance of collaborative industry 4.0 software and the benefits they offer in optimizing the value chain. 1. PARCview PARCview is a powerful real-time manufacturing analytics software that empowers data-driven decision-making in manufacturing environment. It is a central hub for aggregating data from various sources such as machines, ERP, MES, and quality systems, providing valuable insights for continuous improvement. With flexible integration capabilities, it supports connectivity via multiple protocols. PARCview enables operators, engineers, and subject matter experts to troubleshoot process issues, visualize historical and real-time data, diagnose equipment problems, and predict process issues for proactive action. Its high-performance archive engine allows for fast retrieval of short-term and long-term data, ensuring efficient troubleshooting. The software also offers customizable dashboards and displays to monitor real-time equipment status and production KPIs. PARCview's Asset Hub also enables users to add context to raw data by creating digital assets and organizing tags by asset, facilitating quick information retrieval and resource comparison. 2. aPriori Digital Manufacturing Simulation Software One of the value chain tools, Digital Factories by aPriori enable manufacturers to identify and overcome obstacles in their production processes, ensuring smooth operations and avoiding delays. This software provides manufacturability analysis and directional costing, incentivizing design teams and engineers to incorporate manufacturing considerations early on, reducing engineering change orders and enabling timely product launches. With digital factories, sourcing teams can compare manufacturing environments based on various criteria, evaluate fully burdened manufacturing costs, and make informed site selection decisions. By leveraging extensive libraries of materials, machines, labor, and overhead costs, digital factories offer comprehensive simulations, process cycle time calculations, and manufacturability analysis, empowering companies to optimize their manufacturing practices. 3. Factbird Factbird is a revolutionary manufacturing intelligence solution simplifies data gathering and analysis for all manufacturers. With its comprehensive cloud-based application and edge devices, sensors, and cameras, Factbird streamlines data collection and converts it into actionable insights. Key features include built-in OEE calculations, production monitoring, video capture, historical data analytics, process and quality performance management, maintenance support, and utility consumption tracking. Factbird stands out from competitors' non-intrusive integration, rapid installation, real-time data access, scalability, and advanced data security. It offers pricing plans for different levels of functionality. Factbird empowers businesses to enhance their operations with data-driven insights, ensuring competitiveness in the Industry 4.0 landscape. 4. Fishbowl Fishbowl is one among industrial revolution tools, manufacturing software designed for growing apparel companies that need a complete solution integrating all aspects of their business. It offers full-featured on-premise or cloud-based options. Fishbowl seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks, providing secure and cost-effective inventory management to manufacturers. It is known for its user-friendly interface, ease of use, and excellent customer service through value chain optimization techniques. With Fishbowl, businesses can streamline their production processes, manage inventory efficiently, and benefit from robust integration capabilities. 5. FactoryLogix FactoryLogix: Digital Manufacturing Engineering is a powerful solution that enables faster time-to-market by providing greater flexibility, control, and simplicity in production design. With this software, manufacturers can quickly transform CAD and bills of materials into interactive visual work instructions, process routes, inspection plans, and more. The features and benefits of FactoryLogix include accelerating and simplifying production launches, driving new business opportunities, standardizing and automating best practices, improving customer value and satisfaction, avoiding unexpected costs, eliminating manual errors and waste, as well as consistently meeting product launch dates. 6. MachineMetrics One of the industrial revolution tools, MachineMetrics is an industrial IoT platform explicitly designed for manufacturing businesses. It offers universal machine connectivity, cloud data infrastructure, and communication workflows to optimize machine operation. With the ability to connect machines both in the cloud and at the edge, MachineMetrics enables manufacturers to digitize their legacy processes and enhance profitability. Numerous manufacturers have adopted the platform worldwide, with thousands of machines already connected. By delivering timely and relevant information, MachineMetrics helps improve machine performance, productivity, and capacity utilization. Ultimately, it empowers manufacturers to stay competitive and win more business in the global market. 7. Siemens Opcenter Siemens Opcenter is a comprehensive Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) solution that facilitates the digitalization of manufacturing operations. By offering end-to-end visibility into production, Opcenter empowers decision-makers to identify areas for improvement in product design and manufacturing processes. This enables operational adjustments for smoother and more efficient production. Opcenter encompasses various modules, including Opcenter APS for production planning and scheduling, Opcenter Intelligence for data aggregation and analysis, and Opcenter Execution Discrete for shop floor visibility. With Opcenter, businesses can achieve improved efficiency, reduced time-to-market, enhanced quality management, better planning, and flexible integration capabilities. It supports the realization of innovation in the digital enterprise. Wrap Up The industry 4.0 software and industry 4.0 tools listed above allows seamless collaboration and integration among stakeholders, leading to enhanced operational efficiency, accelerated innovation, and improved customer experiences. By embracing collaborative platforms, businesses can unlock the full potential of Industry 4.0, creating agile, interconnected ecosystems that drive growth and competitive advantage. As the Industry 4.0 revolution unfolds, organizations that proactively adopt and leverage collaborative platforms will be well-positioned to thrive in this era of unprecedented connectivity and digital transformation.

Read More
Industrial 4.0

Addressing Industry 4.0 Challenges for Connected Future in Smart Cities

Article | July 14, 2023

Navigating the challenges of Industry 4.0: Strategies for building connected smart cities that prioritize cybersecurity, scalability and data privacy in the pursuit of a sustainable urban future. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Overcoming Challenges Faced in Smart Cities 2.1 System Reliability and Downtime 2.2 Integration Issues in Legacy Systems 2.3 Complex Data Analytics and Real-Time Insights 2.4 Digital Divide and Accessibility 2.5 Vendor Lock-In and Interoperability Standards 2.6 Resistance to Change 2.7 Increased Cost and poor ROI 3. Final Thoughts 1. Introduction Smart cities are urban areas that utilize advanced technologies and data-driven solutions to improve efficiency, sustainability, and quality of life. These cities integrate various aspects of the manufacturing industry into their infrastructure and operations to drive innovation and optimize resource utilization. Data analytics and AI play a vital role in smart cities. Manufacturers gain valuable insights from the vast amount of data generated within the manufacturing sector by harnessing big data analytics and AI technologies. This enables them to optimize production processes, predict maintenance needs, identify patterns, and make data-driven decisions to improve efficiency and quality. Connectivity and communication infrastructure are crucial in smart cities. These cities establish robust network and communication systems to facilitate seamless data transfer and real-time collaboration across the manufacturing ecosystem, providing benefits of industry 4.0. This supports efficient supply chain management, remote monitoring, and the integration of manufacturing processes. Sustainable manufacturing practices are also prioritized in smart cities. They incorporate energy-efficient technologies, waste reduction measures, recycling programs, and renewable energy sources. Collaboration is emphasized in the smart city manufacturing ecosystem. Various stakeholders, including manufacturers, suppliers, researchers, and policymakers, work together to foster knowledge sharing, innovation, and the development of industry standards. As the concept of Industry 4.0 continues to shape the future, smart cities are emerging as powerful entities that leverage technology to enhance urban living. However, with the integration of various interconnected systems and devices, challenges of smart cities are a concern. This article will explore the industry 4.0 challenges & solutions and discuss strategies to address these challenges for a sustainable and efficient urban future. 2. Overcoming Challenges Faced in Smart Cities 2.1 System Reliability and Downtime One among industry 4.0 challenges, system reliability and downtime are critical concerns in the realm of smart manufacturing. As manufacturing operations become increasingly interconnected, they become more susceptible to system failures and production interruptions. Ensuring high system reliability is paramount, requiring meticulous planning, rigorous testing, and continuous monitoring. Robust backup and recovery mechanisms are essential to mitigate the impact of disruptions and swiftly restore operations. Implementing redundant systems, backup power sources, and data backup strategies are key components of a comprehensive reliability strategy. Minimizing downtime and swiftly addressing system failures is crucial for maintaining productivity and meeting customer demands in a competitive business environment. 2.2 Integration Issues in Legacy Systems Integrating legacy systems with modern smart manufacturing solutions poses a significant challenge for many manufacturing facilities. Legacy systems often lack compatibility with the latest technologies, making seamless integration complex and time-consuming. Overcoming this challenge requires careful planning, identifying suitable integration approaches, and allocating resources for necessary upgrades or replacements. The process involves mapping data flows, establishing interfaces, and ensuring smooth communication between the legacy systems and new smart manufacturing components. It may also involve retrofitting or implementing middleware solutions to bridge the technology gap. Successful integration of legacy systems enables the leveraging of existing infrastructure and maximizes the benefits of smart manufacturing in a cost-effective manner. 2.3 Complex Data Analytics and Real-Time Insights One of the challenges of smart cities, extracting valuable insights from the vast data connected manufacturing systems generates presents a significant challenge. Data's sheer volume and complexity make it difficult to identify meaningful patterns and extract actionable insights. To address this, businesses must implement advanced data analytics tools and algorithms capable of processing and analyzing data in real-time. These tools enable manufacturers to gain real-time visibility into their operations, optimize production processes, enhance product quality, and make informed decisions. By harnessing the power of data analytics, manufacturers can uncover hidden opportunities for improvement, increase operational efficiency, and gain a competitive edge in the market. 2.4 Digital Divide and Accessibility The transition to a connected future in manufacturing brings the risk of exacerbating the digital divide, particularly in regions or industries with limited access to technology or adequate infrastructure. This challenge requires ensuring equitable access to smart manufacturing technologies, bridging the gap between those with advanced connectivity and those lacking access. Promoting initiatives providing affordable technology solutions, fostering public-private partnerships, and advocating for infrastructure development are crucial. By addressing the digital divide, businesses can encourage inclusivity, empower underserved communities, and unlock the economic potential of all stakeholders in the manufacturing sector. Closing the gap will lead to a more balanced and sustainable, connected future. 2.5 Vendor Lock-In and Interoperability Standards The risk of vendor lock-in is a significant concern when adopting smart manufacturing technologies. It occurs when manufacturers rely heavily on a specific technology provider's ecosystem, limiting flexibility and options. It is essential to prioritize interoperability between different vendors' systems to mitigate this risk. By establishing industry-wide standards and protocols, manufacturers can ensure that their systems can seamlessly communicate and integrate with technologies from multiple vendors. This fosters healthy competition and prevents monopolistic control, enabling manufacturers to choose the best solutions for their specific needs. Emphasizing interoperability and avoiding vendor lock-in promotes flexibility, innovation, and the ability to adapt to changing market dynamics in the connected future of manufacturing. 2.6 Resistance to Change Among the industry 4.0 challenges, is implementing new technologies and processes in manufacturing often encounters resistance from employees, management, and other stakeholders. Overcoming this resistance is a critical challenge that requires effective change management strategies. It involves fostering a culture of innovation and creating a compelling case for the benefits of connected manufacturing. Transparent communication, stakeholder engagement, and addressing concerns through training and support are essential. Providing clear goals, and demonstrating the positive impact on productivity, efficiency, and job satisfaction can help alleviate resistance. By involving employees in the transition, recognizing their contributions, and highlighting the long-term advantages, organizations can create a positive environment that embraces change and maximizes the potential of a connected future in manufacturing. 2.7 Increased Cost and poor ROI Implementing connected manufacturing systems entails substantial initial costs, posing a challenge regarding cost considerations and return on investment (ROI). While these systems offer significant benefits, such as improved productivity and efficiency, organizations must carefully assess and justify the expenses. Ensuring a positive ROI requires comprehensive planning, accurate cost estimation, and effective resource allocation. It involves identifying areas where connected technologies can deliver tangible value and aligning investments with strategic objectives. Balancing cost concerns with long-term advantages is crucial, as organizations must make informed decisions that maximize ROI while fostering innovation and competitiveness. Businesses can navigate this challenge and achieve sustainable growth through connected manufacturing by conducting thorough cost-benefit analyses and leveraging available financial models. 3. Final Thoughts As smart cities embrace the possibilities of Industry 4.0, it is crucial to address the challenges of creating a connected urban environment. By focusing on collaboration among stakeholders, implementing robust cybersecurity measures, fostering data privacy, ensuring infrastructure scalability, and empowering citizens through digital inclusion, smart cities can overcome the challenges of Industry 4.0 and build a sustainable, efficient, inclusive, connected future. By actively addressing these challenges, smart cities can leverage the transformative power of technology to create a thriving urban ecosystem that benefits residents and contributes to a better quality of life. Industry 4.0 presents unique challenges and opportunities for developing connected smart cities. By proactively addressing these challenges through collaborative efforts, cybersecurity measures, data privacy considerations, infrastructure scalability, and digital inclusion, smart cities can pave the way for a connected future that embraces the benefits of technology while ensuring the well-being and satisfaction of its residents.

Read More



Sinochem’s core businesses span over energy, agriculture, chemicals, real estate and financial service. It is one of China’s four state oil companies, China’s biggest agricultural input company (fertilizer, seed and pesticide), China’s leading chemical service company. It also exerts strong influence in real estate and non-banking financial service sector. As a global conglomerate with market orientation, Sinochem’s quality product and service is relevant to many aspects of mass economy and people’s well being. Its brand enjoys high reputation and acknowledgement around the world.

Related News

Automated production cell brings 24/7 manufacturing capability to wheelbarrow manufacturing

April 07, 2016

The engineering design consultancy Ingenium Integration has developed a multifunction automated production cell for H & E Knowles, the UK-based wheelbarrow manufacturer. The innovative cell will speed the production of wheelbarrow full and part frames by eliminating many labour-intensive aspects of production. It is scheduled to be commissioned in Q2 2016. According to Dave Ashworth, Ingenium Integration’s MD, “We have developed automated production cells for a number of production processes involving tube bending. The system under construction is the most integrated system we have designed to date – fully automating most of the stages of wheelbarrow frame production, including tube bending, hole punching, swaging and cut-to-length – and is designed for unattended 24/7 operation.” Ingenium Integration bases many of its automated production cell designs around all-electric tube benders from Unison – its parent company. In this instance, the system being built for H & E Knowles is a 38 mm (1.5-inch) twin head model from Unison’s all-electric Breeze range. It features a left and right head on the same carriage that facilitates precision symmetrical bending to reduce cycle times with an off-set facility to enable asymmetrical bending of the final tight bend at the wheel end of wheelbarrow frames, while avoiding collision with machine architecture during the process.

Read More

Automated production cell brings 24/7 manufacturing capability to wheelbarrow manufacturing

April 07, 2016

The engineering design consultancy Ingenium Integration has developed a multifunction automated production cell for H & E Knowles, the UK-based wheelbarrow manufacturer. The innovative cell will speed the production of wheelbarrow full and part frames by eliminating many labour-intensive aspects of production. It is scheduled to be commissioned in Q2 2016. According to Dave Ashworth, Ingenium Integration’s MD, “We have developed automated production cells for a number of production processes involving tube bending. The system under construction is the most integrated system we have designed to date – fully automating most of the stages of wheelbarrow frame production, including tube bending, hole punching, swaging and cut-to-length – and is designed for unattended 24/7 operation.” Ingenium Integration bases many of its automated production cell designs around all-electric tube benders from Unison – its parent company. In this instance, the system being built for H & E Knowles is a 38 mm (1.5-inch) twin head model from Unison’s all-electric Breeze range. It features a left and right head on the same carriage that facilitates precision symmetrical bending to reduce cycle times with an off-set facility to enable asymmetrical bending of the final tight bend at the wheel end of wheelbarrow frames, while avoiding collision with machine architecture during the process.

Read More