Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth stage of industrial development. The term Industry 4.0 was coined at the Hannover Messe 2011 and is based on versioning, which is typical in the field of software. Its primary objective is to promote digital transformation among manufacturing companies, which means to digitalize production. Industry 4.0 focuses on the networking of people, machines, processes, and products with the help of information and communication technology – spanning all areas of manufacturing. Interoperability and collaboration are the basis for successful networking.
Examples of industry 4.0
Three examples highlight the Industry 4.0 philosophy and its benefits:
- The Operator inspection is designed to link quality assurance more closely with production. Employees on the shop floor are encouraged to check the quality of their work themselves using predefined criteria. Be it by determining the external dimensions of a workpiece with a caliper gauge or documenting quality defects such as scratches during a visual inspection. Defects are spotted during the production process and can be rectified earlier: Rejects are reduced, productivity increases, and processes can be continuously improved. As a result, companies are successfully moving closer to the Industry 4.0 goal of zero-defect production.
- The networking of production and intralogistics guarantees that the right material is in the right place at the right time. Material status and storage location are known at all times and the right material is available at workplaces and machines in good time. It also means that waiting times and idle time are eliminated. In line with Industry 4.0, materials are transported using driverless transport vehicles.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) methods make it possible to automatically evaluate vast amounts of data, draw conclusions from this data, make predictions, and derive optimizations. A good example of this is Predictive Quality. Predictive Quality is one step ahead of in-production inspection in that it analyzes effect chains during the production process and predicts the probability of the produced part being a reject based on the documented empirical values. AI learns with every production order, which means that the conclusions get better and better.
MPDV software supports Industry 4.0
With the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) HYDRA X , MPDV offers tried and tested software to make production even more efficient and provides the opportunity to digitalize the complete production process. Companies can continuously monitor and optimize production with data collected by an MES. The Advanced Planning and Scheduling System (APS) FEDRA from MPDV is used to plan simple operations as well as complex production orders quickly and flexibly.
Both systems are based on the Manufacturing Integration Platform (MIP), which is the rising star among Industry 4.0 applications. The open platform approach of the MIP allows a variety of manufacturing applications to be combined with each other as required. Manufacturing companies are therefore no longer dependent on a single provider. Companies can integrate solutions into their IT landscape from which they expect the greatest benefits regardless whether they are supplied by MPDV or provided on the ecosystem of the Manufacturing Integration Platform (MIP).
Benefits of Industry 4.0 software
Industry 4.0 supports manufacturing companies in remaining competitive in the long term provided they combine innovative technologies with manufacturing IT as a central information and data hub. Benefits are:
- Lead times are reduced by controlling wait times and idle times.
- Quality is improved by in-production inspections.
- Resources are used more efficiently, and productivity is increased to enable companies to process more orders.
- Thanks to complete transparency of production data, production can be optimized and OEE increased.
Investments in Industry 4.0 ensure long-term profitability and thereby the competitiveness of manufacturing companies.