The ability of smart machines or cyber-physical systems – where products and production processes are networked and are able to communicate has seen new improved ways of production, as well as the capability to create value and optimisation in real-time.
Businesses that have taken advantage of all of what it currently has to offer have seen an increase in automation and process improvements which has also led to a substantial improvement in efficiencies and customer service.
‘Smart factories’ is another phrase we are seeing more of. These factories have the ability to collect and analyse large amounts of data collected from sensors allowing for things like predictive maintenance which has seen a massive decrease in their downtime.
Supply chain and logistics are other areas that are reaping the benefits of Industry 4.0. Where connected systems can adjust when new information is received. For example, if shipments have been delayed, a connected system can adjust accordingly and can reprioritise.
Shipping yards have seen the introduction of autonomous equipment like cranes and trucks which have streamlined their operations when it comes to receiving shipping containers. Companies like Amazon make use of autonomous robots. Which transport their products throughout their warehouses, reducing costs and optimising the use of their floor space.