Industrial Internet of Things: The First Step on your Industry 4.0 Journey
Much has been written about Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, often using terms such as smart factory, which in its ultimate form allows for cyber systems to make their own decisions, performing tasks as autonomously as possible. Technological advances have served as catalysts for huge changes to how businesses operate. We are now living in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a time that promises automation, improved efficiencies and lower production costs. Unlike the catalysts before it, Industry 4.0 is a collection of emerging technologies. From machine learning, to Artificial Intelligence, these advancements aim to facilitate manufactures to be able to respond quickly in their dynamic markets.
However, the journey of adopting Industry 4.0 takes time and commitment to the process. One of the first steps on this road needs to be the adoption of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This is the initial stage of connecting traditional shop floor devices to the main business system, feeding in real time information. Some machines on the shop floor will already have Programable Logic Controllers (PLCs) built into them. Yet, other older machines may not. However, if the machine has some form of sensor, even mechanical, then it is possible to connect to the internal network and from there to an ERP solution, such as IFS Applications.
Adopting IIoT has to be the first step in the Industry 4.0 journey allowing technology to increase productivity in the warehouse.
- The benefits this brings include:
- Cheaper and faster delivery as less human interaction is required
- Visibility of the supply chain 100% real time, allowing for enhanced data analytics Fights talent shortage by automating otherwise manual tasks
- Automating monotonous tasks reduces human error and lets humans work more efficiently
- Improves asset management
- End to end inventory tracking in real time
Cedar Bay has been working for many years connecting devices to the IFS Applications ERP system. This has allowed our customers to quickly and simply connect a multitude of devices performing a whole host of functions directly into IFS. The devices have included weigh scales, automatic dimensioners, a whole variety of production line equipment, pallet wrappers and robots within a lights out warehouse. This in turn has allowed them to start their journey down the Industry 4.0 road.
Starting your Industry 4.0 journey can be a disruptive process. However, the rewards of further insights into your business and the benefits that this brings to improving operations is an important factor in remaining competitive within your industry. Data is valuable and beginning to harness the data you have available and utilising it to inform business decisions is the first stage of your journey.
Our team can help you at any stage of your process. Whether you’re just beginning to dive into Industry 4.0, or you need support to help you develop further, our experts are available to help. If you’re interested in leveraging the possibilities Industry 4.0 can bring to your organisation, get in touch via the contact us button today.