The term “Industry 4.0” has been trending in the business world for several years now, but are you aware of what actually makes the latest industrial revolution a big deal? In case you wouldn’t mind a primer on the subject, you’re in luck – Siemens has just published a comprehensive rundown on everything Industry 4.0 entails, and it’s quite a read.

First of all, Siemens explains that the term is not associated with one single technology or change in terms of production management. What it does have in common is the concept of automation, and Smart Factories. The latter refers to a facility which employs the use of industrial Internet of Things in order to implement new production organization methods and cyber-physical systems, while also minimizing human interaction. Think monitoring via wireless sensors, or machine-operated assembly lines – all of these components can turn a traditional factory into a Smart one.

So why is the move towards Smart Factories and smart manufacturing beneficial? There’s a lot to consider. On the production side, downsides are able to be reduced to a minimum due to increased productivity, and production can be tracked in real time via machine operation statuses. As for organizations as a whole, the implementation of smart manufacturing has been proven to increase competitiveness. Due to the automated processes of production, the products are also able to be customized in order to adjust to market requirements. Lastly, companies who “go smart” generally gain a better control over not only the production processes, but also products throughout their entire lifecycle due to the possibility of data monitoring and technical condition diagnostics.

Apart from production changes, Industry 4.0 also involves a series of key business changes a forward-thinking company may consider while incorporating its ideas. Businesses are expected to implement a “mass customization” production method, which enables the manufacturing of customized products at low marginal cost. Moreover, the industry has also been observing some changes in the customer service area – Industry 4.0 companies are much more customer-centric, and rely on data analysis to develop good relationships with their client base.

Make sure to check out the full report from Siemens if you’d like to learn more about Industry 4.0. We’re sure you’ll find it to be a captivating read no matter if you’re a newcomer to the topic, or an industry veteran. Make sure to stick with the reading till the very end to catch some commentary by Michał Sobczyk from our own Impact Research Hub, who makes a few interesting points on the role of blockchain tech within Industry 4.0.

To download the full “FROM INDUSTRY 4.0 TO SMART FACTORY” report, click here.

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