Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Road Less Traveled: The Journey Toward Industrie 4.0

This blog is a MESA Member Point of View

By John Clemons, International Board Member at Large, Americas Board Member, and Marketing Committee Chair of MESA International

Join MESA at Industry of Things World Berlin this September and get 35% off using code: MESAIoTDS.

By the end of last century, we thought we had lost manufacturing. It was old, smelly, and looked like a dinosaur just waiting to die. But Industrie 4.0 holds the potential to transform manufacturing back into an economic powerhouse. 

Unlike earlier technology, Industrie 4.0 is fundamentally transforming how manufacturing companies compete. These new connected technologies increase speed, agility, and flexibility throughout a company’s value chain.

With Industrie 4.0 strategies, companies gain powerful capabilities to drive competitive advantage. Factories cut costs, reduce time-to-delivery, and increase order accuracy. With the right leadership, businesses will capture market share, enter new markets, and boost margins.

The Industrie 4.0 Roadmap from MESA International provides manufacturing companies with a guide for their Industrie 4.0 journey and a framework for building detailed plans to achieve their Industrie 4.0 goals:

  • Business Strategy
  • Empowered Teams
  • Steamlined Processes
  • Connective Technologies
  • Connected Things (IIoT)

In the end, there’s many different reasons why an Industrie 4.0 project can fail. It can go over budget, get behind on schedule, not be accepted by the end users, be too complicated, or simply not work as advertised.

But there’s only one way an Industrie 4.0 project can be successful. And that is it adds real value to the manufacturing company. The value may be found in increased capabilities such as increased consistency, increased productivity, increased flexibility, or increased agility. Or the value may be  found in reduced costs such as reduced labor costs, reduced material costs, reduced energy costs, or lower levels of rework and waste.

And, for an Industrie 4.0 project to be successful, it has to be about more than just the technology. It can’t be just a technology project. It has to be about delivering real benefits to the company.

Even if an Industrie 4.0 project comes in under budget, ahead of schedule, and has the newest and coolest technology on the market, if it doesn’t deliver real value to the company, it is a failure. It needs to be:
  • Providing significant new capabilities and processes
  • Reducing capital costs and reducing operating costs
  • Empowering teams and improving decision-making
  • Creating new and better ways of doing business
  • Measuring metrics both tangible and intangible for payback

Industrie 4.0 is fundamentally transforming how manufacturing companies compete, using new connected technologies to increase speed, agility, and flexibility throughout a company’s value chain.  With Industrie 4.0, companies gain powerful capabilities to drive competitive advantage.

Join MESA International at the Industry of Things World – The Leading Global Series on the Industrial Internet of Things – as we present the Roadmap for Industrie 4.0 and the way Industrie 4.0 delivers real value to the enterprise.  Join the 4th Industrial Revolution today and define the future of the Industrial IoT.  September 23 – 25, 2018, Berlin, Germany.

John Clemons is the Director of Manufacturing IT for Maverick Technologies.  He is on the MESA Americas Board of Directors and is Chair of the MESA Marketing Committee.  John has been working in the field of Manufacturing IT for over thirty years.  He is the co-author of the book Information Technology for Manufacturing:  Reducing Costs and Expanding Capabilities.

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