Business: State Of Industry 4.0 After Covid-19

Business: State Of Industry 4.0 After Covid-19

Industry 4.0 technologies were already transforming some of the manufacturers' operations processes in recent years. However, when COVID-19 happened, many things shifted. Even the most straightforward method of onboarding new employees has to be done remotely as an effect of this pandemic.
With the current situation industries are facing, one needs to adopt technology's what haves and whatnots. 

The world is experiencing a massive change after the recent COVID-19 disrupted many counties. In the business landscape, many are now adopting changes in the way they run their business. The manufacturing industry starts to recede with the seriousness of the effects of the pandemic. 

The fourth revolution in the manufacturing business or Industry 4.0 is characterized by connectivity, advanced analytics, automation, and advanced engineering. Fortunately, this revolution that happened in this niche industry is quick to adapt even in the midst of the pandemic. However, shortages of supply and materials affected the supply chains, which made entrepreneurs raise questions on the state of industry 4.0 after the pandemic. 

How Industry 4.0 Adapts After The Pandemic?

The position of Industry 4.0 becomes ever more crucial as the pandemic struck. Industries using digital solutions are best equipped to tread water, going further, and stepping ahead of their competitors.

Quick-win approaches help businesses adapt and react to new standards, such as monitoring employees' health, ensuring safe distances on the production floor, and promoting remote collaboration.
Virtual work orders and augmented reality-based controllers rely on easy, affordable retrofit automation, which will become more common, independent of the organization's current technological infrastructure.

How Resilient Industry 4.0 Is?

The four walls of a manufacturing plant go beyond digital solutions. It reaches across the end-to-end value chain to address planning challenges related to disruptions at suppliers or production plants. It also involves operational challenges in managing workplace health risks and delivery challenges posed at transportation modes or warehouses.

• Operation Planning

Planning is a core element of manufacturing and supply chain management. It has traditionally practiced in silos, with market forecasting, forecast demand, output planning, operations planning, sales, and business planning all managed by different departments. Affected global trading channels and supply chains have pushed businesses to crack down silos to boost end-to-end transparency. As an effect, the future influence of optimized preparation is more apparent. Yet, it also calls for a more sophisticated theoretical methodology and coordination through various functions and stakeholders.

• Improving Productivity And Performance

In most businesses, particularly in small and medium-sized organizations, data gathering is manual, utilizing pen and paper or basic spreadsheets. The method is vulnerable to mistakes and inconsistencies, which are inevitably compounded by the crisis's tension.
Digital systems allow manufacturers to optimize data collection by inserting sensors or directly connecting into device programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to gather information and display it on interactive monitoring systems.

It is now relatively easy to monitor factory performance remotely and in real-time. They can deploy strategies as necessary, hold successful performance management sessions, adjust everyday schedules to satisfy consumer needs, and boost labor productivity and organizational efficiency.

Its process automation and physical automation or robotics can supplement labor capacity. In some cases, the "brownfield" automation of established processes has become a more desirable means of handling labor shortages and mitigating future market losses due to unfulfilled orders. 
In some industrial manufacturing firms, robotics are now transporting raw materials and semi-finished products to separate assembly lines.
That helps the production staff deal with a reduced work requirement while minimizing direct interaction between manufacturing and material-handling personnel.

• Increasing asset utilization and efficiency

Wearable innovations, such as augmented-reality glasses, can improve remote assistance. That is such when operators require off-site assistance due to travel restrictions. That improves computer availability by decreasing downtime maintenance.

• Improved Quality

In optimizing day-to-day activities, emerging technology will go one step further in quality control. For instance, machine vision algorithms can perform automated quality inspection and quality control using predictive algorithms. It can minimize labor availability constraints and increase the accuracy and threshold of quality control.

Moreover, as SKU counts for growth in finished goods and raw materials, maintaining end-to-end traceability has become increasingly critical for consistency. Industry 4.0 technology can aid, from basic barcode scanning to RFID monitoring and blockchain scanning.  

• Delivery

Delivery of finished goods to consumers is sometimes complicated, complex process that also requires third-party logistics providers. The COVID-19 crisis limited the availability of modes of transport while adding additional complications. 

These involve new packaging criteria and a safe, non-contact distribution. In this sense, automated and analytical solutions will enhance the awareness of both demand and supply for logistics services and boost real-time efficiency.

• Logistics

Having a digital logistics control tower can make live visibility into performance at every stage of outbound logistics, from loading in the warehouse to unloading at the delivery point. Integrated with automated fleet tracking, route planning, and carrier optimization, industry 4.0 can provide reliability for transport assets while maximizing the operation, administration, and distribution of resources. 

These improvements will go a fair distance towards improving operational flexibility in response to problems.

• Warehousing

Traditional warehouses present many opportunities for automation interventions. These include transport systems, automatic material storage, retrieval mechanisms, smart racks, automated and intelligent packaging.

A well-designed warehouse can optimize operations and create a warehouse's digital duplicate to understand the results available from different digital technologies. Other Industry 4.0 technologies can also support warehouse staff, including augmented systems that make it much faster and more reliable to select several orders at one time.

Final Thoughts

Potential asymmetry amid the pandemic has forced some businesses to freeze their Industry 4.0 projects to conserve budget. On the other hand, corporate leaders have increased their implementation. In most cases, it is used to support business sustainability, such as automatic management, digital performance monitoring, and automation, to minimize human-to-human contact. As more companies recover from the pandemic crisis, the argument for more digitization on a scale is expected to be better than before.

The COVID-19 pandemic raised humanitarian issues globally that require a different form of partnership to be resolved. As companies continue to revamp their processes and operations in the new normal, they have the opportunity to reinvent a business world with more digital, resilient operations.

Next Post »