One question I get a lot focuses on the difference between Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. “Aren’t they the same thing?” Well, they are and they aren’t. The Internet of Things is a construct by which objects are connected and made smarter. Industry 4.0 connotes the fourth Industrial Revolution, in which this interplay between digital technologies and the physical world is scaled to an industrial level to enable connected production, supply chains, business operations, and beyond. In essence, it’s a scaled up, amped up, industrialized version of the IoT—which is why Industry 4.0 is also known to some as the Industrial Internet of Things.
Unexpected risks. They’re all around us in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world (dubbed “VUCA” by the US Army War College). Manufacturers face challenges from powerful forces as technology, social, environmental, economic, and market trends converge, testing the mettle of even the strongest companies.
Posted by Joe Mariani
It’s not just for consumers and smart gadgets. Whether you call it the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0, Machine 2 Machine communication or any of the other names by which it goes, the connectivity of devices was among the most talked about technologies of 2015.i While many manufacturers and logistics providers have jumped on board and are using IoT to improve inventory visibility or flows through the production floor, there are still some hurdles to adoption. As we discussed in a recent article, the vast majority of IoT applications right now serve only to cut costs or increase efficiency. While the costs of sensors and computing have dropped in recent years, using IoT solely for cost cutting still may not be enough to justify the initial investment required.
Posted by Michelle Drew Rodriguez
Today’s manufacturing is increasingly driven by advanced technology and innovation–in some places, the most advanced, where the digital and physical worlds have fully converged. Manufacturing is a central part of our lives and more essential than ever to economic competitiveness and national prosperity. But today, we face an increasingly competitive global environment where America’s technology and innovation leadership faces fresh and persistent challenges.
Figure 1: Advance manufacturing industry facts
In the United States, advanced industries represent 17 percent of GDP. They are a catalyst for innovations that increase productivity and profit margins across the entire economy. They’re a source of high-skill, high-paying jobs—since 1975, average wages in US advanced industries have increased five times as much as in industry overall. And for every job created in technology-intensive manufacturing, 16 additional jobs are created. Today, advanced industries employ and support 40 million workers. These industries elevate an entire nation’s standard of living and generate the high-tech exports that drive a nation’s ability to compete globally.
High-tech manufacturing fuels innovation. Twenty-first century manufacturing competitiveness has brought the digital and physical worlds into full convergence and today advanced hardware meshes seamlessly with advanced software, sensors, big data, and analytics. The result? Not only smarter products and processes, but also more closely connected customers, suppliers, and manufacturers. In the United States, advanced industries employ 80 percent of the engineers, generate about 85 percent of new patents, perform 90 percent of private-sector R&D, and account for 60 percent of all exports.
Continue reading “Why advanced manufacturing matters”
Posted by Mark Cotteleer
I can’t help but think the future of manufacturing is already here. The robots, artificial intelligence and 3D printers found only in the science fiction movies and books of my childhood are now, or at least increasingly, a reality. Not only that, it also looks like they are becoming a differentiating factor for those manufacturing companies that will take the lead. As waves of change from multiple technologies continue to impact manufacturing processes and supply chains, manufacturers must decide which of these technologies to invest in and where to deploy them in order to drive the most benefit for their organizations.
Continue reading “Into the future: unlocking insights in advanced manufacturing to transform today’s operations”