With the implementation of Industry 4.0, well-functioning software that enables complex networking is becoming increasingly indispensable
IIoT and Industry 4.0 are terms that are increasingly being heard. The manufacturing companies are at the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution, which is expressed by the progressive digitization.
IIoT and Industry 4.0 provide a multitude of new possibilities for the transparent and flexible design of processes through the networking and integration of plants and machines by means of complex IT solutions. This makes it possible to respond exactly to customer requirements and to design the product development individually.
What is IIoT and Industry 4.0
Industrial development has already undergone three radical paradigm shifts. After the use of machines and the use of electricity, the development of the computer followed in the last century to optimize production processes. The Internet is seen as a fourth step to make production processes, supply chains, business processes, services and product life cycles efficient and transparent due to the increasing computing power.
The IIoT forms the networking of physical and virtual objects. It provides the “language” through which micro devices, cooperating robot systems and entire factories communicate with each other. This creates completely new cross-company business models and services, for which new IT landscapes are required. Edge devices, IT platforms and data hub environments are seen as instruments that form the backbone of end-to-end networked digital value chains. In the following, an attempt is made to explain the statements mentioned by means of examples.
Networked systems allow products to be tracked throughout their entire life cycle. This starts with the first idea and ends with the finished product, including maintenance, service and modernization. A digital twin is used, an exact image of the product in use. The cooperation of companies, suppliers and customers invites collaborative product development via data exchange. Mechanical engineering and other technical industries are simpler, safer and more efficient thanks to IIoT. The products are decentrally optimized up to batch size 1 and transparently manufactured individually.
In production, too, IIoT makes it possible to better and better meet individual customer requirements. A key development can be seen in the cooperation between man and machine, as expressed, for example, in HRC systems (human-robot collaboration). Planning and production are becoming increasingly complex and require close cooperation between all components involved in a value chain. A consistent management of the product life cycle is required. A trouble-free data exchange, which is supported by information technology, makes this possible.
An optimized logistics process is at the heart of a smoothly functioning supply chain. The premises are that the correct goods in the ordered quantity are transported to the desired places at the exact time. Experts speak of networked and integrated ecosystems. This involves the transparent and flexible mapping of logistics processes from the planning of the scheduling forecast to the planning of the transport utilization, the optimization of the fleet to the availability of customer information in real time. For example, modern radio and sensor technology on the vehicles records the raw data regarding location, movement status, charge status, speed and mileage. The data is then used via IoT platforms to determine relevant digital customer services such as exact delivery times.
Products and services are virtually mapped via IoT platforms and offered as smart services in conjunction with other digital services. In this consensus, the provision of product information is becoming increasingly important. This allows, among other things, devices to be used that support pay-by-use payment models. Data supplied by products, plants or machines can be offered to customers or business partners of manufacturers and suppliers in the form of valuable services. In this context, data on the running time and use of machines come to the fore, which provide important finger pointing during maintenance and repair.
Marketing & amp; Sales
IoT applications are particularly important in this segment. The collection and evaluation of data form the framework of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This enables forward-looking and target – group-oriented advertising and sales strategies. The online tracking of the purchase interest of individual customers allows the creation of personalized offers.
IIoT and Industry 4.0 solutions are used in all areas. The resulting increase in efficiency of processes and cooperation at all levels leads to improved business models and ultimately more satisfied customers and employees.