Entering Industry 4.0: The Four Steps of Digital Transformation

Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace and, with it, so too have our daily lives and working lives. Reduced cost, greater productivity, and a continuous need for improvement and quality; these are the challenges that organizations have to meet. They must create and employ innovative new solutions to maintain optimal efficiency and productivity. Many industries have adopted Industry 4.0 to meet those demands.

With increased storage capacities, connected sensors LoRa (long-range) networks, and the latest CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) capacities, everyday technology has opened up more opportunities and has enabled organizations to find – and conquer – new limits. Here are the four main steps to undergoing a digital transition, entering Industry 4.0 and securing a long-term future for your company.

1. Networks, Connectivity, and Mobility
With the internet and mobile networks being implemented around the world, organizations have started to acquire new communication tools. CMMS software, tablets, and smartphones have become necessary items for maintenance professionals.

These new channels of communication have not only contributed to better communication between teams, they have also given maintenance professionals more motivation to improve their mobility. They are no longer tied down to a single fixed installation, as they are now able to operate in an autonomous and flexible manner. Data are collected directly through each piece of equipment to reduce information loss, and technicians have complete access to technical documents through digital formats. This helps a company save a lot of time.

2. Internet of Things and the Industry of Tomorrow
With the advancement of Industry 4.0, there are lots of different equipment and “smart” (internet-connected) measurement sensors, including temperature measurement sensors, that collect all data directly from the field.

This new generation of smart devices are programmed to assess operating deviations in real time against optimal working configurations. The data are then sent to a CMMS software to provide professional experts with the valuable insights and information they need about how the production asset is working. This will drive organization productivity while scaling down the costs of industrial maintenance.

3. Big Data: A Valuable Storage Solution
You may have heard “big data” a lot. It refers to a massive storage system that keeps company data on internal or external servers. Traditionally, it would be impossible to process data sets this complex. Not only were they incredibly large, but there was a wide variety of different data and it was all generated at a lightning-fast pace. Things have changed in recent years with the ability to process, consolidate, and store massive amounts of data. Companies these days have a variety of tools that let them process and collect incredible amounts of high-quality data straight from the field.

4. Artificial Intelligence
Being able to analyze and process mass data is a key factor to industry maintenance. The development of big data and artificial intelligence and the improvement of predictive algorithms have all had a profound impact on the industry. There are now many industrial applications that offer solutions for data analysis, forecasting calculation models, and more. These technologies present structural and economic challenges for the industrial sector.