Leading Industry 4.0
FountainBlue's April 14 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of 'Leading Industry 4.0'. Our executives in attendance represented a wide range of backgrounds, industries and perspectives. Below are definitional thoughts on 'industry 4.0':
Industry 4.0 blur the lines between the physical, digital, and biological worlds - think information technology (IT) meets operations technology (OT) - leveraging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, edge computing, lithography, 3D printing and even bioengineering and advanced robotics.
Industry 4.0 represents an era of embedded connectivity, distinguished by the rapid adoption and evolution of technology, the mind-boggling accumulation and management of data, as well as the impressive adoption rates and usage examples which greatly transform how humans experience and know the world around them.
Industry 4.0 technologies, processes and solutions generally associated with manufacturing are being applied to other industries including biopharma, energy, telecommunications, chemical manufacturing, automotive, etc.,
Data is used in the sensing layer with sensors, the storage and transmission layer to filter out relevant data, the 'intelligent-computing' layer through AI and ML for example, to create an actionable dashboard.
Despite their varied backgrounds, our executives agreed on many things:
Change is happening really quickly and is pervasive and impactful across roles and industries.
Supply chain challenges are seriously impacting how leaders can anticipate and manage uncertain demands of global customers.
Below is a compilation of their advice through these rapid changes:
Manage and oversee the collection of large volumes of data so that you can create dashboards for immediate decision-making while also leverage information to make predictions and advise on future actions, based on the unique and evolving requirements of individual customers.
Modeling 'what-if' scenarios can help industry 4.0 leaders better manage through ambiguity, leveraging past, current and projected future data.
Optimize performance leveraging AI/ML and predictive analytics so that you can get in front of problems or at least respond quickly when problems arise.
Convert reactive, unsupervised learnings from the field to proactive, reliable learning so that humans and machines can partner, optimizing how can lead industry 4.0 solutions.
Proactively manage the large volumes of data:
what's needed immediately/urgently for which audience for what purpose
what types of data are relevant
Ensure that solutions that are successful in the labs also lend themselves to mass production/manufacturing.
Integrate both hardware and software solutions to better manage industry 4.0
Below are some new areas of potential Industry 4.0 innovations:
bioprocess development, manufacturing and engineering creating plant-based meat leveraging algae or creating algae-based collagen for cosmetics
Manufacturing of sustainable solutions will be in great demand globally
Supporting companies in implementing sustainable manufacturing processes will benefit all parties
3D printing or additive manufacturing join/add/fuse together materials such as plastics, liquids or powder grains, creating the ability to produce custom-designed, complex shapes or geometries which support efficient manufacturing operations and processes.
Below is a list of 'guardrails' we could implement to frame a productive expansion and leadership of Industry 4.0:
It's about the data - sift through the noise to focus on leveraging the reliable, relevant, urgent, valid data, creating dashboards which could inform action.
Choose sustainable options for leading industry 4.0 efforts.
Ensure security, privacy and access.
Align policies to help safeguard both businesses, individuals and entities from bad actors taking advantage of rapid changes and innovations.
Make sure that there are checks and balances within and outside the organization to ensure efficient delivery goods and services.
The bottom line is that the evolution of industry 4.0 takes a village of passionate, informed and knowledgable executives, acting in collaboration to better serve a larger volume of customers.
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