We’re on the cusp of the next Industrial Revolution. Industry 4.0 promises to bring some big changes to manufacturing. Less waste, more efficient distribution, prevdictive maintenance, increased consumer influence, and unprecedented responsiveness are just a sampling of what we expect to see in this next chapter of manufacturing. Industrial robots will, of course, play a big role in Industry 4.0, but the real catalyst is data. It won’t be enough for manufacturers to simply collect data, however. If manufacturers want to flourish, they need not only to harvest data, but also to use that data to make informed decisions.
Putting the pieces in place
Many factories have already started the process of connecting machines and devices. Laying the groundwork for communication between machinery and collecting this data is the necessary first step to implement IIoT technologies. However it’s not enough to simply collect data. It’s not data collection that characterizes Industry 4.0, but using that data to improve manufacturing processes. Data isn’t some new, groundbreaking thing. Every single plant on the planet has been cranking out data for decades.
The new, revolutionary thing in regards to data is that we now have the technology to not only capture this information, but put this information to use in a way that dramatically improves manufacturing practices.
Making use of your data
There’s a big difference in gathering and using data, and simply collecting information. Accumulating mountains of data and never putting that information to use is like a treasure-hoarding dragon sitting on a pile of gold. That dragon stockpiles treasure and those shiny gems sit useless in a dank and dusky cave until some hero comes along, kills the dragon, and returns the trove to the villagers. You don’t have to worry about a valiant hero slaying you and stealing your data, but if you simply hoard data without using it, you will get left behind in Industry 4.0.
Gathering data is the easy part. Using that data is the real challenge. Fortunately, there’s an increasing number of companies dedicated to putting IIoT analytics to good use.
Data gets the leading role in the Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0, but factory machinery is equally important. After all, there is no industry without machines. Make sure that you’re ready for this next chapter in manufacturing. Call us today for Indramat repair, service, maintenance, and more. We have the knowledge and decades of experience to make sure that your Indramat motion control system operates like it should.