Industry 4.0 Glossary

What Is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 is the digital transformation of manufacturing and production processes that is driving the fourth lap of the Industrial Revolution.

It also links directly to the current trend of automation and data exchange using disruptive vehicles like IoT, big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning in manufacturing industries. These technologies combined with the rapidly proliferating use of sensor technology, Industry 4.0 unveils the all-new era of Smart Manufacturing.

Smart Manufacturing

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines smart manufacturing as systems that are “fully-integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real time to meet changing demands and conditions in the factory, in the supply network, and in customer needs.”

Smart manufacturing leverages advanced information systems and cutting-edge manufacturing technologies. This creates a flexible and agile physical process closely aligned to meet the needs of a dynamic market.

Smart Factory​

Smart factory is a term used to refer to a highly digitalized and connected environment. It is driven by technologies that enable improvement in processes through automation and self-optimization. The improvement in efficiency does not only reflect in the production of goods but also augments functions like planning, supply chain logistics and even product development.

Lights Out Manufacturing

“Lights out manufacturing” is a highly automated environment that requires little or no human intervention to carry out manufacturing activities.

One of the biggest advantages of lights out manufacturing lies in the network it creates. It systematically streamlines machines to gather and report information at each step by interconnecting every aspect of the factory. Everything is as seamless as clockwork. This is a very unlikely feat for humans to achieve on the same scale.

In the United States, “lights out manufacturing” is transforming the process of plastic injection molding. This has put the businesses in the front seat by offering a competitive advantage in terms of precision, cost, turnaround time and improved quality on a global scale.

Industrial Internet of Things

Industrial internet of things (IIoT) is an extension of the use of IoT in industrial manufacturing processes. IIoT uses data from sensors, and actuators processed over complex cloud networks to enhance manufacturing processes. The underlying character and framework of both IoT and IIoT are more or less the same. They mostly vary in their usage and applications. The ability of IIoT to acquire and process vast amounts of data with great precision at tremendous speeds is what is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry.

Why Industry 4.0?

There are a multitude of reasons as to why Industry 4.0 is the way forward for manufacturing industries. It helps manufacturers overcome challenges by rendering a more robust and flexible network where information is available on demand. It can help reduce wastage, eliminate unplanned downtime, and optimize production efficiency with increased turnaround time.

Industry 4.0 And Manufacturing

Industry 4.0 comes with a lot of promise in terms of investments, technological advancements, and returns. It is also believed that Industry 4.0 may be the peak of technological advancement in the manufacturing world. On the surface it may appear as though machines may be taking over the industry, but it is also opening up opportunities in the field of big data analysis, robotics, and mechanical engineering.