Embracing Industry 4.0: Navigating the Digital Revolution towards business growth


In the dynamic landscape of today’s industries, the buzz surrounding Industry 4.0 is impossible to ignore. It represents the dawn of a new era, a digital revolution that intertwines technology with manufacturing and industrial processes. As we explore the implications of Industry 4.0, this article delves into its core components, the impact it has on careers and skills, and the opportunities and challenges that come with this transformative wave. We will also discuss how it can impact the business at large. Drawing on the experiences and insights of Karunya alumni, we’ll navigate the path to success in an era defined by automation, data exchange, and the ever-expanding realm of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Understanding Industry 4.0:

In this article along with a case study, we will define the key components of Industry 4.0, shedding light on the fusion of automation, data exchange, IoT, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. This exploration will showcase how these technologies are reshaping traditional industries and driving innovation across sectors. Industry 4.0 is not just a technological upgrade; it’s a paradigm shift that demands a holistic understanding.

Impact on Careers and Skills:

Moving beyond the technicalities, Industry 4.0 is transforming the nature of work and the skills required in the workforce. It is important to upskill and reskill in adapting to the demands of the digital economy. As industries evolve, so must the skills of the workforce.

Opportunities and Challenges:

This section will identify the opportunities presented by Industry 4.0, such as increased efficiency, productivity, and personalized manufacturing. Simultaneously, it will address challenges, including concerns about job displacement, cybersecurity risks, and ethical considerations surrounding data usage and privacy. Acknowledging and overcoming these challenges is essential for the sustainable growth of Industry 4.0.

Case Study on implementing Industry 4.0 at Indo MIM Limited, Bangalore:

At Indo MIM we have implemented Industry 4.0 across the plant. Let me take you through the necessity for implementing this tool. As in any other industry, we had customer complaints on the products that we produced. In order to understand, analyse and propose corrective and preventive actions, we used to run around for data. Especially, when the complaint is reported after a long period, it was very difficult to analyse since lot of data was missing. That is when we felt the need of automating the system of recording data. The challenge is to reduce the manual entry of data and at the same time, capture the data. So, we started with a POC (Proof of concept), with one machine. The first machine that was selected was an easy one since it had a PLC in it. Output from the machine was tapped and the live recording of production numbers was possible. There were some legacy machines which did not have a PLC in it. Now the challenge is, how to collect data from these machines. Then we designed a hardware, which acted as an interface between the machine and the data server. This made it possible for gathering production data from all the machines. This was the phase 1 of the implementation.

Once we have the production data with us “live”, we moved to the next mission of capturing process parameters that were used to produce these parts. Again, with the help of PLC’s on the machine and the interface device, we were able to capture process parameters. This was the phase 2 of the implementation.

The next phase of data capturing was capturing the good and bad parts. This determines, the quality aspect of the products produced. By online gauges and the “actual” process parameters, we were able to ascertain if the parts produced were good or bad. So now, we had the live data of production, quality and the availability of the machine through these devices. Now dashboards were made to display all these data in various formats. This has made life so easy and avoided writing various reports, thus making the plant a paperless operation. It was a great step towards sustainability. 

Having collected so much of data, the next step was to predict the process by using AI, ML tools. This helped a lot in improving efficiency, maintaining the health of the machines, and producing good products through a robust process.

How does it help in business decisions?

The data thus populated provides opportunity to compute the actual cost of the products produced. It helps the management to compare the cost against the selling price and ascertain what the contribution margin is. It also helps to estimate the capacity of the plant and helps to decide on capacity enhancements. It throws light on the various variable costs involved in the plant operations and helps to decide on driving improvements in the plant operation. 

Preparing for the Future:

The future belongs to those who are not just observers but active participants in the unfolding digital revolution. Industry 4.0 is a great tool for industries. Drawing on the experiences and insights of Industry 4.0, we encourage industries to navigate the path to success in an era defined by automation, data exchange, and the ever-expanding realm of the Internet of Things (IoT). Implementation of Industry 4.0 is not a difficult task. It can be taken as an Opex project (as it drives operational excellence) as against a Capex model (as ROI and payback is difficult to calculate) and can be implemented in phases. Major business decisions are driven based on actual data and helps in the growth of industry. The future is moving towards Industry 5.0, which is a new concept that focuses on collaboration between humans and machines. It focuses more on a sustainable environment. Let’s prepare our business towards a sustainable and progressive environment by embracing industry 5.0.


Share This Post