Radwell E Magazine Issue 01 - Page 5



Many smaller manufacturers are in denial about the
radical shift taking place as a result of advances in
Industry 4.0 technology.
If you work in the manufacturing industry, you can’t
afford to make that mistake. Large manufacturers are
investing heavily in new technology to carve out a
stronger competitive edge. Your company will lose
ground if you don’t adapt with smart data and
automated manufacturing technology.
If you are still sceptical, you should look at the
growing number of Industry 4.0 patents that have
been awarded over the last few years. In 2016 alone,
over 5,000 Industry 4.0 patent applications were
submitted to the European Patent Office. Samsung,
LG, Sony, Intel, Amazon, Nokia and Blackberry are
some of the biggest adopters of Industry 4.0
technology.
How much of a role will
Industry 4.0 play in the
manufacturing industry
in the future?






Cloud computing
3D printing for digital fabricators
Software analytics and data capture
Mobile device technologies and platforms
Smart vehicle and transportation
Real-time data processing and communications
Porter states that robots won’t entirely replace human
employees in the immediate future, because they
lack the ability to understand nuance and improvise.
However, they are helping to reduce human error in
many types of jobs. Numerous robots use highly
advanced route planning algorithms to help
associates fill customer orders. Other robots are
designed to lift heavy products up to 24 feet.
Amazon is one of the companies that has received
the most publicity for its utilisation of Industry 4.0
technology. However, this technology has been even
more important for smaller companies operating on
lower economies of scale, because it allows them to
cut their long-term operating costs and boost
production enough to compete with competitors that
have been slow to adapt. One African gold mining
company used similar technology to improve its profit
margin by 3.7% and reduce annual costs by £20
million.
Manufacturers are becoming very reliant on smart
data and automated manufacturing technology.
Amazon spurred the discussion by using warehouse
robots to help automate many of their fulfilment
processes. The online retailing giant currently has
over 100,000 warehouse robots. Brad Porter, the Vice
President of Robotics for Amazon, says that
warehouse automation and machine learning are
going to have a profound impact on companies in
numerous other industries.
A number of technologies are used to make smart
manufacturing a reality,
including:




The (IoT)
Advanced robotics and automation
Machine learning (artificial intelligence)
Smart and real-time data sensors
05

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