Industry 4.0 represents the fourth industrial revolution. It’s preceded by operations being mechanized, automated, and then brought into the information age. This new era is rooted in the connectivity between these different innovations. For many years, “Industry 4.0” has been a buzzword heard across the industry, and Québec is encouraging companies to adopt this approach in their endeavours. However, only 55% of companies currently have a clear understanding of what the term means.1
Why Take a 4.0 Approach?
Before even considering integrating Industry 4.0 connectivity concepts, your company must position itself in relation to the technologies of the third industrial revolution. The technologies in question are ones that make it possible to automate several repetitive tasks normally carried out by a human—for example by means of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, robotics, automated equipment and computerized design tools.
A 4.0 approach will allow you to assess your current situation in relation to the technologies in place and define the viable concepts of Industry 3.0 and 4.0 that would allow your organization to move to the next level.
In addition to evaluating your positioning in Industry 4.0, the most common reasons for starting a process are as follows:
- Your equipment and systems are obsolete, or their performance depends on manpower, which can lead to:
- A limit to productivity achieved
- Difficulty attaining increased capacity
- A reduction in product quality, leading to rework, and increasing costs
- You plan to invest in new equipment, but you do not know how it will fit into your current processes or into an optimized process.
- You worry about dealing with a lack of manpower and the loss of technical knowledge due to retirements.
- You may experience growing pains with the methods and technologies in place.
- New internal leaders understand the importance of integrating the 4.0 wave, but they do not know where to start or do not have the internal team to carry out this type of project.
- Your competitors are transitioning to new technologies that could allow them to gain coveted market shares.
Why Do Some Hesitate to Take a 4.0 Approach?
Although your organization may find itself in one or more of the situations described above, few of you are embarking on a 4.0 approach. These are the main reasons:
- A poor understanding of 4.0 concepts and technologies that affect your processes
- Uncertainty as to whether the implementation of these technologies is adapted to your type of production
- Excessive complexity related to starting and integrating the approach
- A lack of staff or internal capacity
- A return on investment difficult to assess
- A project that is too expensive for your budget or a lack of knowledge regarding the sources of funding available
An Approach Aligned with the Organization’s Objectives
The 4.0 approach consists of important steps that allow your organization to be supported in establishing its improvement program. This program is aligned with your goals and backed by facts and analysis.
Phase 1 – Understanding the Organization’s Challenges
This phase aims to place all stakeholders at the same level of understanding according to the needs and challenges of the organization. The 4.0 audit allows you to position your processes and technologies in relation to 4.0 best practices. During this step, several advisors carry out an assessment specific to their area of specialization, providing an overall analysis of the issues. In parallel with the audit, an assessment of the needs and objectives of your organization must be carried out based on the mapping of your internal processes.
Phase 2 – Identifying Bottlenecks and Areas for Improvement
The objective of this phase is to identify your “bottleneck” areas as the organization grows, and to explore areas for improvement to eliminate these bottlenecks. A technological watch makes it possible to target all the viable technologies which could be part of the vision of the organization. The capacity analysis provides a quantitative representation of the current state of the process, and an assessment of growth scenarios. These two activities are essential to prepare the vision.
Phase 3 – Defining the Vision
The objective of this phase is to map out a vision of your processes that will meet your needs and make it possible to resolve previously defined issues and bottlenecks. The most suitable technologies will be selected to support this vision.
Phase 4 – Quantifying and Planning the Vision
The final phase aims to translate your vision into a realistic improvement program based on financial analyses. Scenario assessment in the capacity analysis makes it possible to evaluate the potential gains and ROI of the selected projects. The improvement program provides the logical order of implementation over the coming years.
A Partnership That Benefits You
In addition to benefiting from Createch’s various skillsets, your organization will profit from a partnership with Automatech Robotik for everything related to robotization and automation.
For more than 25 years, Createch has supported its clients to significantly improve their profitability by optimizing their business processes and integrating technological solutions. Createch provides best practices and performs advanced analyses for everything related to the following:
- ERP systems (SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, etc.)
- Industrial engineering
- Business processes
- Financial performance
- Engineering processes
For 25 years, Automatech Robotik has supported its customers to achieve their vision of automation and robotization. The partnership between Createch and Automatech Robotik reinforces the approach combining complementary knowledge and skills, for the benefit of your organization. Contact us now to see how we could help you specifically!