Scaling, Optimizing & Pivoting with Smart Manufacturing Industry 4.0

Bhagyashri Kambale | January 20, 2022
SCALING, OPTIMIZING & PIVOTING
A smart factory that leverages Industry 4.0 concepts to elevate its operations has long been a model for other industries that are still figuring out how to travel the digital manufacturing route. Smart manufacturing technology is all you need to know if you're looking to cash in on this trend.

“Industry 4.0 is not really a revolution. It’s more of an evolution.”

– Christian Kubis

In this article, we'll look at the advantages that many smart factory pioneers are getting from their smart factories. In addition, we will look at the top smart factory examples and understand how they applied the Industry 4.0 idea and excelled in their smart manufacturing adoption.

Industry 4.0 Technology Benefits

Manufacturing Industry 4.0 has several benefits that can alter the operations of manufacturers. Beyond optimization and automation, smart manufacturing Industry 4.0 aims to uncover new business prospects and models by increasing the efficiency, speed, and customer focus of manufacturing and associated industries.

Key benefits of Manufacturing Industry 4.0 in production include:
  • Improved productivity and efficiency
  • Increased collaboration and knowledge sharing
  • Better agility and adaptability
  • Facilitates compliance
  • Improved customer experience
  • Reduced costs and increased profitability
  • Creates opportunities for innovation
  • Increased revenues

World Smart Factory Case Studies and Lessons to Be Learned


Schneider Electric, France SAS

Schneider Electric's le Vaudreuil plant is a prime example of a smart factory Industry 4.0, having been regarded as one of the most modern manufacturing facilities in the world, utilizing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies on a large scale. The factory has included cutting-edge digital technology, such as the EcoStruxureTM Augmented Operator Advisor, which enables operators to use augmented reality to accelerate operation and maintenance, resulting in a 2–7% increase in productivity. EcoStruxureTM Resource Advisor's initial deployment saves up to 30% on energy and contributes to long-term improvement.

Johnson & Johnson DePuy Synthes, Ireland

DePuy Synthes' medical device manufacturing plant, which started in 1997, just underwent a multimillion-dollar makeover to better integrate digitalization and Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing. Johnson & Johnson made a big investment in the Internet of Things. By linking equipment, the factory used IoT technology to create digital representations of physical assets (referred to as “digital twins”). These digital twins resulted in sophisticated machine insights. As a result of these insights, the company was able to reduce operating expenditures while simultaneously reducing machine downtime.

Bosch, China

Bosch's Wuxi factory's digital transformation uses IIoT and big data. The company integrates its systems to keep track of the whole production process at its facilities. Embedding sensors in production machinery collects data on machine status and cycle time. When data is collected, complicated data analytics tools analyze it in real-time and alert workers to production bottlenecks. This strategy helps forecast equipment failures and allows the organization to arrange maintenance ahead of time. As a consequence, the manufacturer's equipment may run for longer.

The Tesla Gigafactory, Germany

According to Tesla, the Berlin Gigafactory is the world's most advanced high-volume electric vehicle production plant. On a 300-hectare facility in Grünheide, it produces batteries, powertrains, and cars, starting with the Model Y and Model 3. For Tesla, the goal is not merely to make a smart car, but also to construct a smart factory. The plant's photographs reveal an Industry 4.0 smart factory with solar panels on the roof, resulting in a more sustainable production method. On its official website, Tesla claimed to use cutting-edge casting methods and a highly efficient body shop to improve car safety. Tesla's relentless pursuit of manufacturing efficiency has allowed them to revolutionize the car industry.

Haier, China

The SmartFactoryKL was established to pave the way for the future's "intelligent factory." It is the world's first manufacturer-independent Industry 4.0 production facility, demonstrating the value of high-quality, flexible manufacturing and the effectiveness with which it can be deployed. The last four years, SmartFactoryKL has been guided by particular strategic objectives that drive innovation; the aim is to see artificial intelligence integrated into production. Two instances of AI-driven transformations include an "order-to-make' mass customization platform and a remote AI-enabled, intelligent service cloud platform that anticipates maintenance needs before they occur.

Final Words

Enabling smart manufacturing means using the latest technology to improve processes and products. The aforementioned smart factory examples are industry leaders and are thriving by implementing Industry 4.0 technology. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may use these smart factory examples to learn about the adoption process, challenges, and solutions. Industry 4.0 is aimed at improving enterprises and minimizing human effort in general. So adopt the smart factory concept and be productive.

FAQ


What is the difference between a smart factory and a digital factory?

The digital factory enables the planning of factories using virtual reality and models, whereas the smart factory enables the operation and optimization of factories in real time.

Where does Industry 4.0 come from?

The term "Industry 4.0" was coined in Germany to represent data-driven, AI-powered, networked "smart factories" as the fourth industrial revolution's forerunner.

Spotlight

Amperex Technology Limited ATL

In 1999, Amperex Technology Limited (ATL) was founded in Hong Kong. Its Global R&D and Operation Center is located in Ningde, Fujian Province, meanwhile, the other branches are based respectively in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Dongguan, Xining, Munich and Silicon Valley, etc.

OTHER ARTICLES

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Article | December 14, 2021

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Predictive Maintenance in Manufacturing: What, Why, and How?

Article | March 14, 2022

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Predictive maintenance saves money on labor and materials, whereas preventive maintenance is less expensive to undertake. Moreover, preventive maintenance is scheduled on a regular basis, whereas predictive maintenance is scheduled on an as-needed basis, depending on asset conditions. What is TPM? TPM, i.e., Total Productive Maintenance is a team-based method that focuses on proactive and preventative techniques to increase plant and equipment reliability.

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Cost Optimization in Manufacturing with Digital twin

Article | May 5, 2022

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Product end-of-life As far as product lifecycle management is concerned, digital twins can assist manufacturers in determining what to do with products that have reached the end of their expected life and require final processing, whether through recycling or other means. They can figure out which product materials can be gathered with the help of digital twins. Cost Optimization in Manufacturing using Digital twin Transportation Cost Optimization Digital twins are commonly employed in high-value rolling commodities like trains to improve fuel efficiency and competitiveness (i.e., predictable repairs). However, in the case of passenger automobiles, cost savings have been recorded (for example, improving security maintenance at passenger doors and train wheels). When switching from conventional to state-based prevention in stock care, the rail transport operator claimed an average 10% savings. Oil and Gas Cost Optimization Companies frequently utilize digital twins to simulate and analyze functions like oil metals, pipelines, and processing plants. Among the business objectives supported by forecasting adjustments, machine learning, and other analyses are an increase in automated excavation or processing processes, a reduction in off-peak hours (FTE), and downtime, and the extension of the life of high-value assets. The oil and gas businesses claimed that historical data forecasts for building repairs had been discovered near a substantial portion of their offshore oil production. This gave them time to lead security operations. They saved a week of unplanned unemployment and production expenditures. In less than a year, their digital investment has returned twice as much as before. Supply Chain Cost Optimization Businesses are increasing their investment in IoT and supply chain monitoring. Utilizing modern supply chain characteristics such as digital twins can assist businesses in achieving enhanced business results. Monitoring the location and condition of high-value assets can assist in identifying anomalies that suggest an increased risk of theft. Additionally, this technology can be utilized to determine the location of assets for the purpose of recovery. While digital twins in many of these circumstances are straightforward – simply a location – in others, the supervised data may include natural characteristics such as the temperature inside the frozen container, generator fuel levels, or ways of detecting asset depletion or interruption. Final Word Is a digital twin necessary for your business? Yes, most certainly. By creating a comprehensive virtual picture of a company's processes, digital twins remove the element of uncertainty from decision-making. According to Gartner, 13% of organizations utilizing IoT already have digital twins in place, while 62% are either implementing or planning to do so. Hence, do not hesitate to deploy a digital twin in your organization, as it is worthwhile to invest in a digital twin that will help you lower overall production costs in the long run. FAQ Why is a digital twin necessary? Digital twins are becoming vital in business. By making a digital copy of the physical assets of a product or service in an industry, digital twins help with data analysis and give people a way to check how things work before they happen. This way, they can develop a solution to any problem before it happens. What data should be in the digital twin model? The concept of the digital twin is based on three unique components: the physical product, the digital/virtual product, and the connections between the two. How much does a digital twin cost? 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Multi-Channel Inventory Management: A Guide to Assured High Returns

Article | May 18, 2022

Multi-channel selling is a significant component of manufacturing. Modern buyers expect more from their buying experience, and one of them is being able to access different touchpoints to make a purchase. It is a challenge that modern businesses must address. And it all starts with prudent warehouse inventory management. But how can businesses stay ahead of the curve with a complex web of retail, wholesale, ecommerce, and logistics? This is precisely where multi-channel inventory management comes in. Multi-channel inventory management is the process of managing and keeping track of inventory sold from multiple locations through various selling channels. In this article, we will talk about how smart inventory management for a business with multiple sales channel can increase profits when done right. How C-Suites Can Unravel the Complex Web of Multi-Channel Selling When it comes to optimizing and addressing challenges in inventory management, warehouse management software is known to do wonders. But, when a business uses multiple channels to reach out to more consumers, generate more sales, and increase brand awareness, it also merits a holistic strategy. Management at the inventory level is key to fully unlock its revenue potential in a multi-channel marketplace. When C-levels are looking for ways to optimize operations, inventory management presents a massive opportunity. It is possible to solve many bottlenecks using proven strategies and established information and automation best practices. “Continuous process improvement by definition is ongoing. A static value proposition is hackneyed in no time.” Thomas R. Cutler, President and CEO, TR Cutler, Inc. Loss from Overstocking and Phantom Stocks Unoptimized inventory allocation is one of the costliest and most common challenges faced by multi-channel businesses. According to research commissioned by OrderDynamics, businesses worldwide lose over $471 billion from overstocking and $634 billion from out-of-stock orders. As a multi-channel seller, you must ensure that each channel has the corresponding inventory. Not doing so can lead to order cancellations or delays, or unsold stock. All of these can significantly reduce your profit margin. The Solution: Real-time Inventory Visibility Giving your warehouse managers the clarity they need in manufacturing inventory management can tackle the problem of overstocking. In addition, inventory management tools update inventory levels in real-time, so they don’t have to keep a close eye on inventory at every channel. Additionally, a synchronized inventory storage system can also help boost productivity and improve customer experience. Whether you use a periodic or continuous inventory management system, adding automation and integration with other tools will only help in providing clarity and flexibility. Slowdown in Logistics Due to Unoptimized Warehouse Space Distributed inventory is another aspect of multi-channel inventory management that can be used to create more traction and profit. Warehouse space is valuable for multi-channel businesses. With scattered locations and fluctuating demands, it can be difficult to forecast the optimal distribution of inventory across all channels as well as warehouse locations. According to manufacturing.net, about 20 to 30% of the inventory in a warehouse is obsolete. This clearly indicates the need to fully utilize storage and eliminate hurdles in warehouse inventory management. The Solution: Supply Chain Forecasting A combination of automation technologies can be used to build a multi-channel inventory management stack. The first is using demand sensing, an automation technology that uses real-time data to identify and anticipate short-term demand patterns. Sporting apparel giant, Nike has used demand sensing to effectively cut down on lead times by weeks. Another technology to consider in optimizing your warehouse space is Multi-Echelon Inventory Management, or MEIO. It has a holistic approach where it performs planning, optimization and forecasting across the supply chain. MEIO is also the answer to the scalability of modern multi-channel inventory management that offers comprehensive visibility and efficient rebalancing of inventory in real-time. Considering that 51% of sellers still lack forecasting software, as per a Zentail survey, the opportunity for C-levels is immense. Final Thoughts: Getting Impressively High Returns When done right, optimizing all aspects of multi-channel order management can yield impressive returns. The use of technology in automation and data analytics makes it easier to decode the complexities of a multi-channel operation. A storage and inventory management system may not have all the answers to the profitability puzzle. It is assured to lead to reduced inventory costs, improved performance of the supply chain network, and better responsiveness. This inevitably creates a powerful revenue generating multi-channel business. Frequently Asked Questions Can my existing ERP work as multichannel inventory management software? ERPs like SAP, Netsuite, or Oracle are designed to manage back-office processes and lack the specialization required to manage ecommerce and wholesale processes. Although they come with integrated solutions, their quality may not be up to the mark. What is the cost of multichannel inventory management software? While inventory management software ranges from free to thousands of dollars, the base price varies as per functionality. Some software services charge extra depending on the scale, volume, and integrations. What are the primary techniques of inventory management? Most manufacturers use three primary techniques to address challenges in inventory management: the pull strategy, the push strategy, and the just-in-time (JIT) strategy.

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Spotlight

Amperex Technology Limited ATL

In 1999, Amperex Technology Limited (ATL) was founded in Hong Kong. Its Global R&D and Operation Center is located in Ningde, Fujian Province, meanwhile, the other branches are based respectively in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Dongguan, Xining, Munich and Silicon Valley, etc.

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