Industry 4.0 is changing dynamics of manufacturing industry

In this article, Utkarsh Bansal, analyse changing trends that shall revolutionise in manufacturing industry,
Industry 4.0 is changing dynamics of manufacturing industry
Years after the beginning of the first industrial revolution, the manufacturing industry has travelled a long way and is currently amid the fourth industrial revolution, known as Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is all about leveraging automation, data-driven manufacturing processes, the Internet of Things (IoT), emerging technologies, and intelligent tools to create products of the future. In this article, Utkarsh Bansal, analyse changing trends that shall revolutionise in manufacturing industry,
 
The new era is marked by smart factories and intelligent manufacturing. In Industry 4.0, machinery is equipped to provide real-time data supported by advanced technologies, which enable higher production efficiency and assured quality. The following emerging trends in the manufacturing industry are believed to empower manufacturers in the upcoming years.
 
Automation: The new age automation is not the one where machines will replace human beings, on the contrary, the automation for manufacturers in Industry 4.0, is one where humans and machines will work in close collaboration. Smart factories are gaining popularity owing to its contribution to process optimisation and cost reduction. However, the rate of automation adoption in Indian manufacturing industry is still in the initial stages, where big players have already embraced the technology, few are just getting started and others are yet to explore the implications.  
 
Personalisation: The trend in the industry is shifting from mass production to customisation and personalisation of the products. Today’s digitally savvy customers expect highly personalised and contextualised experiences. In order to meet the expectations manufacturers are banking on new generation marketing tools and data-enabled technologies. Real-time data collected from various sources and techniques are enabling manufacturers to understand their customers’ needs. It is helping them in providing better customer experience and achieving higher retention through targeted production. To live up to the dynamic customers’ expectations, organisation expands and launches new value-based products almost every year. 
 
Digitisation: Digital transformation is entirely changing the manufacturing industry by taking it to the digital world. Consumer expectation is driving the digitisation of the industry leading to a growing need for innovative products, new production methods, advanced technologies, and improved production processes. The digital manufacturing technologies have become crucial for development and sustainability of businesses in the industry.
 
Industrial IoT (IIoT): The IIoT is estimated to create $ 15 trillion of global GDP by 2030 and is poised to have a significant impact on the manufacturing industry. The IIoT is a trend that is gaining traction steadily and is expected to have a deeper implementation in the years to come. It is revolutionising the industrial environment, changing consumer-focused capabilities, and making the industry more efficient. In the upcoming years, IIoT will help in unlocking new products and enabling an advanced level of integration and collaboration within the system.
 
Green manufacturing: With climate change being one of the pressing issues of modern times, businesses are becoming more mindful of the effect their processes are creating on the environment. Manufacturers of Industry 4.0 are incorporating various eco-friendly initiatives for waste management, sustainability and reduction of carbon footprint. For instance, plants in West Bengal have been recognised as Zero Discharge Plant and they also get certified by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board. Such green initiatives within the manufacturing industry are becoming crucial for companies to position themselves as responsible corporate citizens in a market driven by environmentally conscious consumers.
 
Intelligent manufacturing: According to IDC’s predictions 20 per cent of G2000 manufacturers will have transitioned to intelligent manufacturing by 2021, reducing the execution times by about 25 per cent.  While McKinsey forecasts seven times higher annual improvements in efficiency for companies which have embraced intelligent manufacturing. Intelligent manufacturing uses the latest human-centered design built on leading-edge technologies to bring humans and machines closer. Intelligent manufacturing also provides a better approach to engage and improve value throughout the customer lifecycle.
 
Attracting and retaining right talent: Talent acquisition and retention has become one of the greatest challenges as the manufacturing industry enters the fourth revolution. According to Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute skills gap and future of work study, 2018, there would be around 2.4 million unfilled jobs by the year 2028. The growing shortage of skilled workers in coming years is forcing companies to adopt new policies, provide flexibility and better work-life balance to their employees. 
 
The new age technologies in the fourth industrial revolution are transforming manufacturing into a smart, integrated, and more productive industry. Intelligent manufacturing facilities with tech-savvy workers are replacing the man-powered shop floors of the past. To survive in the modern environment, present-day manufacturers must rely on technology to drive breakthrough innovations. At this era organisations, along with technology adoption, are also looking beyond digital to understand the needs of their customers, employees and the environment as progressing through the new era of Industry 4.0.
 
About the author
Utkarsh Bansal, Director- Business Strategies, Utkarsh India Ltd. He has graduated as Bachelorette of Science specialising in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research from UC Berkeley, USA along with Post Graduation in Business Administration from Indian School of Business. 
 
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