4 minute read
Industry 4.0: Knowledge is key
Industry 4.0 is not a new concept; the transition has been dominating the manufacturing industry and completely changing the way manufacturers create products over recent years. Buzzwords such as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, Industry IoT and smart factories are now fairly common place in the manufacturing industry, but are still causing significant confusion. A recent survey conducted by advisory firm BDO LLP in association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers revealed that only 8% of UK manufacturers have a significant understanding of Industry 4.0, despite 59% recognising that the fourth industrial revolution will have a big impact on the sector.
The industry 4.0 journey
With this in mind, Essentra Components, a manufacturer that has over 65 years’ experience in injection moulding and produces over 3.8 million mouldings per day, has created the Industry 4.0 Hub on their UK Knowledge Centre which aims to help demystify the jargon surrounding the fourth industrial revolution and support other manufacturers. The rise of connected manufacturing through digitalisation, automation, and data collection is completely transforming the industry and it is important that manufacturers are educated in this concept and are therefore empowered to make the necessary changes. This interactive hub is packed full of useful and informative content aimed specifically at manufacturers who, like Essentra Components, are just beginning their Industry 4.0 journey. It is Essentra’s hope that this interactive tool will help deepen manufacturers’ understanding of this industry defining transitional phase and to help future proof their businesses.
Not only does the Industry 4.0 Hub provide essential information on global Industry 4.0 trends, but it also serves as a record of their Industry 4.0 journey. Essentra Component’s will also use the microsite to document their own journey as they look to align and adapt their business offering to meet this changing demand in the market. The transition to a more connected, automated, and digitised manufacturing process is not a decision that can be taken lightly. Building a successful transition will take time but once these new processes are in place, manufacturers can respond more efficiently and effectively to their customer’s demands which will strengthen the longevity of their business.
A more connected, automated and digitised manufacturing process
Essentra Components have started making this transition to a more connected, automated and digitised manufacturing process. The immediate priority is streamlining its capabilities. By incorporating higher levels of automation and digitisation at its facilities, Essentra Components can meet the increasingly intricate and challenging needs of customers quickly, cost effectively and without ever compromising on quality. For example, the company is already using robotics in parts of the business to aid efficiency, drive production and reduce waste, ultimately passing time and cost savings on to our customers. Essentra Components has also implemented an online customer order platform enabling customers to place orders on-demand 24 hours a day. This process speeds up the digital prototype procedure, enabling the company provide customers with high quality samples quickly.
Future proofing your business
By documenting their Industry 4.0 journey, Essentra Components hopes to create a bank of information to be used and discussed openly by the wider manufacturing industry. The Hub outlines the key challenges the industry is facing in adopting this process of digitisation and streamlining fundamental manufacturing systems. Factories will be smarter and better equipped to respond to customers’ demands, which in turn will benefit both the manufacturer and the end user. It is vital that manufacturers respond to these technological advancements as a means of future proofing their business.
Ultimately, this online platform on Essentra Components’ website aims to inform and educate the industry and their customers of their transition to a more digitised future. Essentra Components wants to reassure other manufacturers that, whilst there is no “quick fix” to establishing smart factories, Industry 4.0 brings hugely exciting opportunities for the industry. Ultimately, Industry 4.0 will revolutionise the entire manufacturing process. The key to building a successful transition is knowledge. Once manufacturers are clued up on this process, both they and their customers will be able to reap the benefits for many years to come. By sharing what it’s learned, Essentra Components hopes the Industry 4.0 Hub will empower other manufacturers to take their first step towards embracing Industry.