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Powering the Industries with IoT Factory and Manufacturing

Industry 4.0 surely possesses various incredible benefits to offer and developed immensely in the past few years. However, Industry 4.0 still needs to go a long way to overcome some hurdles. For instance, cybersecurity is one of the major concerns which was brought forward by the 4th Industrial revolution era.

This article gives a detailed insight into the benefits and disadvantages of Industry 4.0 and tells factors to keep in mind while making digitization initiatives in the factory.

· IoT Factory for Improved Productivity & Less Machine Downtime

Industry 4.0 helps in producing mass production by keeping track of resources and using them in a very efficient and cost-effective manner. It simply means that technologies of Industry 4.0 help you produce more with fewer resources.

Production lines and machines also face less downtime due to integrated sensors, AIs, and IoT devices which keep track of integration, enhance the monitoring system and automate the decision-making process. OEE means the overall effectiveness of the equipment also improves as all the systems are connected with each other due to Industry 4.0 and make a smart factory.

· IoT Factory for Improved Efficiency

Due to the integrated technology of Industry 4.0, production lines have also become efficient. Some already mentioned efficiencies include less downtime of machines and greater production with fewer resources.

Other significant efficiencies brought by Industry 4.0 technologies include the automatic process of tracing and tracking quick batch changeover and automatic reporting. This also improves the efficiency of NPIs and their decision-making ability.

· Optimised Supply Chain Management 

The technologies, systems, and processes of Industry 4.0 give complete and better visibility of the supply chain. The supply chain also gets connected and goes through real-time monitoring and management with improved collaboration and communication.

For instance, it helps in analyzing the bottlenecks and other problems related to the supply chain faster before impacting the overall production line. This advanced knowledge of problems helps in taking better correction steps.

The supply chain also becomes agile and more resilient, enhancing abilities to respond faster and accurately to the demands of customers and market values.

· Optimized Product & Factory Life Cycles With Digital Twins

The technology of digital twins collects them from the real world, makes a digital copy of the data, and updates the systems immediately. This twin digital data can be the twin of finished products, production lines, or data of the entire factory.

This technology of digital twin allows for analysis of efficiency and performance and gives a shot to different scenarios to see how it works without affecting the real output. This also helps in improving innovation.

· Empowered People:

With the technology of Industry 4.0, workers could get a hand with better and improved data, which helps them to get insight into things well and enables them to make better decisions.

Moreover, it also reduces the need for workers to work on the same tasks. Automated and advanced technology workflow handles the repetitive tasks and gives you a space to use the human resources at some other valuable place.

· Increased Knowledge Sharing 

Silos are the sole operating systems in traditional manufacturing factories. Silos basically facilitate individuals and the individual machines they use. This could lead to less knowledge sharing or collaboration.

Industry 4.0 integrated technologies allow business processes, production lines, and floors to collaborate and communicate without concern about time, location, platform, zone, and other factors. For instance, the data gained from one sensor integrated into a machine will be shared throughout the factory.

Moreover, it doesn’t need human intervention to operate; all the data can be saved automatically from one system to any other system. In simple words, data gathered through one sensor is automatically transferred to all other systems around the factory and production lines all over the world. 

· Flexibility & Agility:

Industry 4.0 also enhances agility and flexibility. For instance, this makes it easy to mount production either up or down in smart factories. Moreover, it also allows introducing the new product in production while creating opportunities for high mix and on-off manufacturing. 

4 Levels Of IoT Factory 


There are four stages that help in accessing the journey of improvement to becoming a smart industry.

1. Basic Data Availability:

This is the beginning step where the factory is in the traditional state. There is a set of collected data in the system, but it is not analyzed and accessible. The analysis of data can take quite a long time, which can affect the efficiency of the production process.

2. Proactive Data Analysis:

This level ensures access and analysis of data in an organized form. The data is available and is organized through display assisting and visualization in the process. This allows analysis of proactive data, yet there are still improvements needed.

3. Active Data:

This level enables the analyzing process of data through artificial intelligence and machine learning without getting any help or supervision from humans. At this stage, the system is more automated than level two and helps in predicting the anomalies and key issues of potential failures.

4. Action-Oriented Data:

The fourth stage follows level three to work on the solution to the problems detected in level three. In most cases finding solutions and implementing them mostly don’t need human intervention. In simple words, at this stage, all the data is gathered and analyzed well, problems are predicted, and solutions are also generated, which can be implemented with little or no human input when needed. 

Technologies Used In A IoT Factory 

The smart factory contains a variety of distinct and advanced technologies brought up by Industry 4.0 to optimize and improve the manufacturing process. Some of these advanced technologies are described below/

· Sensors:

Sensors are integrated into machines and devices to collect data for monitoring at certain stages of the process of manufacturing. For instance, sensors can sense variables in temperature and other such factors and have the ability to correct them or warn the staff right away. These sensors are linked to a connected monitoring system which provides a network among all machines.

· Cloud Computing:

After collecting data from sensors, cloud computing is used to process and store those data. It is a much more efficient, cheaper, and flexible way that allows users to upload, access, and store an excess amount of data and also to give feedback for making decisions in real time. 

· Big Data Analytics:

The data collected also helps to use this data to get an insight into the performance of the production line. However, Big data allows us to spot error patterns in the data and provides an assurance of quality with an immense degree of precision. This data allows you to share it with factories and enterprises to fight and solve common issues together and optimize the process.

· Virtual & Augmented Reality:

Augmented reality is a type of digital technology consisting of digital information collected through reality and can be accessed through smart devices. Virtual reality is more like a virtual world that needs special types of spectacles to see that world. Both these superb technologies help smart factories to optimize the production process, organize the products, and repair and maintenance of machines.

· Digital Twins:

A digital twin is used to mimic or create a digital replica of real-world objects and update its performance in reality. This not only improves efficiency but also helps in operating and controlling the planning.

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