It’s clear we’re moving solidly into Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial age. This age of automation and data transfer uses connected systems to empower companies that are engaged in intelligent manufacturing. Systems that offer intelligence such as SYSPRO manufacturing software help businesses move into Industry 4.0.
Traditionally, machines were dependent on humans to dictate what they did. Now in the midst of Industry 4.0, machines have their own version of intelligence. They rely on connected systems such as the Internet of Things (IoT) to communicate with each other. Not only that, the artificial intelligence factor empowers machines to make certain decisions for themselves.
But Industry 4.0 is about much more than merely generating more data. After all, the value of data lies not in simply acquiring it but sharing it. Greater connectivity in every direction means that suppliers and customers will become ever more involved as stakeholders in the manufacturing process.
The Growth of Intelligent Machines
Industry 4.0 has seen the regular addition of sensors into manufacturing systems that allow them to gather data about inputs and outputs, along with performing quality analyses. They can also assess their own “health” to detect faults or components that need to be serviced or replaced.
Machines are also able to perform repetitive tasks better than humans can. They don’t get tired. If kept in good repair, machines will continue to perform even the most mundane, repetitive tasks the same way every time. They may even possess decision-making capabilities that significantly scale back human interaction.
Finally, as machines become capable of taking on ancillary tasks not immediately related to physically making things, human capital can be freed up to focus on more stimulating and rewarding projects. Intelligent manufacturing provides cost-savings, increased safety, and reduced execution time.
Why You Need Artificial Intelligence
Perhaps the two most important trends are the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Artificial intelligence enables computers to make decisions based on the information they have processed, while machine learning is an advanced version of the adage about learning from mistakes. These related developments will enable computers to not only process data, but also learn from it, making decisions in ways that demonstrate human-like cognitive abilities.
With computers able to make calculations and process large volumes of data far faster than people can, they become well-suited to perform analytical tasks. Systems such as SYSPRO manufacturing allow businesses to look for trends in data, flag anomalies, predict future outcomes, and sort or categorize data. Intelligent, connected systems can assess and improve their own performance, and share key learnings with other connected systems in their smart manufacturing ecosystem.
Extracting Maximum Data Value
These improved outcomes range from enhanced workplace safety to reduce time to market for new products. As more companies begin to see the benefit of machines that can learn and “talk” to each other, Industry 4.0—which is currently most advanced in Germany and the USA—will, like all revolutionary technologies before it, become commonplace.
This is good news for everyone involved in the chain of production, from suppliers to technicians to end-users. Connected systems will bring stakeholders closer together and leveraging data on production metrics will enable better decision making. The result will be intelligent manufacturing characterized by higher-quality, more cost-effective outputs.
Get Your Systems Working Together With PositiveVision
The road to intelligent manufacturing begins with connected systems. At PositiveVision, we’re committed to making sure your systems work together to provide your business with the most streamlined information and processes for productivity and growth. Whether you already have an ERP in place or are looking for the right one to connect to your other systems, our manufacturing consultants take you from where you are to where you want to be while keeping your business objectives top of mind.
Ready to connect your systems? Get connected with us here.