If you’re a business, plant, or IT leader within a manufacturing or utility company, you’ve probably heard of Industry 4.0. If not, check out our recent post about the basics of Industry 4.0!

You understand the potential power of these advanced technologies and how they can help you reduce downtime and costs, improve quality and processes, and optimize your resources and supply chain. So, what exactly is holding you back from fully embracing Industry 4.0?

The truth is, if you haven’t started digitizing your production value chain, you’re already behind. The fourth industrial revolution is not a hypothetical of the distant future—it’s happening right now, in front of our eyes. These technologies are revolutionizing the way we manufacture products, and it’s the companies that are putting strategies in place now that will ultimately reap the ultimate rewards of adoption. 

The problem? According to a recent survey, 70% cite digital manufacturing as a top priority, but most are struggling to realize its full potential at scale. Many organizations are getting stuck in “pilot purgatory” where they’ve started adopting certain aspects of digital manufacturing but have yet to realize its impact. 

According to McKinsey, the solution starts with “a holistic approach to digital manufacturing—one that considers the fundamentals of the organization and the business as much as it focuses on the technology-related factors.” 

In other words, rather than getting overwhelmed by the enormity of Industry 4.0 and trying to take on everything at once, take a step back, get strategic, and only bite off what you can chew. 

Start by identifying your most significant business pain point.

Are you struggling with downtime during critical production events? Are you failing to meet customer expectations with on-time delivery? Do you have zero visibility into when a machine in your production line will need maintenance? Are your inventory costs spiraling out of control? Is safety a concern within your plant environment? Are out-of-stock events the norm? 

Once you have this clear in your mind, create an Industry 4.0 strategy focused around eliminating that one singular issue. Your roadmap should clearly outline the size and scope of the problem, the potential value associated with a solution, and the tech stack and partnerships that you’ll need to succeed. 

Before you adopt any Industry 4.0 megatrends, start by focusing on your core business problem and explore solutions that will make the largest impact on your bottom line. By taking a step back and taking a more holistic approach to Industry 4.0, you can stay focused on the things that give your company a long-term competitive advantage. 

As staffing experts and consultants in the technology and manufacturing spaces, 3Ci and MAU are uniquely positioned to help you solve your Industry 4.0 challenges. Get in touch with our team today.

In a recent blog post, we introduced you to and broke down the basics of Industry 4.0. The powerful technologies shaping this fourth industrial revolution are transforming the way factories are run, helping manufacturers automate operations, reduce costs, and make more informed decisions.

According to a recent survey, 77% of companies boosted their revenue by automating core parts of their operations. #SmartManufacturing #Industry40” Social Media Icons - Twitter

Today, we’re going to dive a bit deeper and explore some of the common terminology surrounding this major industry shift. Here are the top ten Industry 4.0 terms you should add to your vocabulary.

1) Advanced Manufacturing (Smart Manufacturing)
A manufacturing ecosystem using innovative technologies and methodologies that improve output, product quality, and competitiveness in the manufacturing sector.

2) Artificial Intelligence (AI)
A technology that allows machines to learn from experience and perform tasks that normally require human intelligence (like visual perception, speech recognition, and decision-making).

3) Automation
The use of digital systems to control equipment and machinery while extracting vital information from sensors, equipment, and plant floors.

4) Big Data
Massive sets of data that can be analyzed to reveal important trends and insights, helping manufacturers drive innovation, productivity, and efficiency.

5) Cloud Computing
The ability to store and access data on-demand through the Internet rather than a computer’s hard drive.

6) Digital Engineer
A highly skilled individual working at the intersection of engineering and IT who plays a critical role in the digital transformation of the plant environment—often serving as an agent of change to help manufacturers embrace Industry 4.0.

7) Digital Supply Chain (Supply Chain 4.0)
The implementation of advanced digital technologies to create a supply chain environment in which processes are web-based.

8) Industry 4.0
A major transformation happening now in the world of manufacturing as a result of advanced technologies like the cloud, AI, mobile, IoT, and more.

9) Internet of Things (loT)
A network of web-enabled machines or other connected devices that are capable of collecting, exchanging, and acting on data in real-time.

10) Predictive Maintenance
The ability to remotely monitor machines and equipment with IoT to ensure optimal efficiency and output, giving manufacturers the ability to repair or replace equipment before it fails.

As manufacturers move towards Industry 4.0 adoption, they’ll need a talented workforce that can thrive in a digitized environment. 3Ci is your go-to resource for fulfilling Industry 4.0 talent needs. Schedule a call with our team of recruiting experts to learn more. 19.{{cta(‘3b5eb735-64eb-4917-b834-1f47df752521′,’justifycenter’)}}

The utility and manufacturing industries are in the midst of significant transformation. While scheduled maintenance in plants is still the norm, many forward-looking companies are choosing to embrace new digital technologies to better leverage their data. Monitoring and predictive analytics are opening the doors to exciting new possibilities and giving utility companies a way to improve reliability, safety, and efficiency.

It’s all a part of this shift towards Industry 4.0—what many are referring to as “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Interconnectivity is empowering companies to operate at a whole new level and leverage real-time insights in a way never before possible. Of course, to successfully implement emerging technology, you need talented people who are willing to brave a new frontier.

Recently, one of the largest utility companies in the US approached us with an unprecedented request. They were looking to leverage data and predictive asset analytics to increase efficiency at their plant and cut average search time from five hours to three minutes. Accomplishing this goal would require the skills of a unique individual who could successfully walk the line between engineering and IT. They needed a digital engineer.

Continue reading “What is a Digital Engineer? Exploring Industry 4.0’s Newest Role”

You’ve likely heard the term “Industry 4.0” being thrown around like confetti in the business world, but what exactly does it mean? In this blog post, we’re going to break down the basics and demystify the term so you can participate in compelling water cooler conversation with confidence. As Industry 4.0 continues to evolve and the fourth industrial revolution emerges, here are a few things you should know.

What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 refers to a major transformation in the way we live, work, and communicate that is happening right now. Thanks to advanced computing power, computers are now connected and communicate with one another to share important information and even make decisions without human interference. Technologies like the cloud, AI, mobile, IoT, and more have emerged, forever shifting the way we manufacture products and ushering in what many refer to as the fourth industrial revolution.

Here’s how our friends at Wikipedia define Industry 4.0:

Industry 4.0 is a name given to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing. Industry 4.0 is commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution.

How Did We Get Here?

When you think about the industrial revolution, maybe you think of a single moment in time that profoundly shifted the world. In reality, there have now been four distinct periods of industrial revolution in our history.  The first industrial revolution can be dated back to 1765 with the creation of a new type of energy with the invention of the steam engine. By the end of the 19th century in 1870, the emergence of gas, oil, and electricity gave birth to the combustion engine, mass production, and a second industrial revolution. This was also around the time when inventions like the telegraph, telephone, car, and airplane entered the scene, advancing our communication and travel capabilities. Fast forward to the second half of the 20th century and the third industrial revolution when the world began its digital revolution. Computers and information technology powered automated production and the internet disrupted virtually every industry. Today, the fourth industrial revolution is unfolding before our eyes. Rather than some new type of energy being the center of the show, this revolution is all about digitization and the way emerging technologies are becoming embedded in our society and in our lives.

What is the Potential Impact?

Big changes tend to usher in the unknown, and many are fearful of what Industry 4.0 could mean for their businesses and lives. Others recognize the positive impact these innovations will bring. Manufacturing, for one, will inevitably become more efficient and productive. Businesses across industries will find ways to leverage emerging technologies and interconnectivity to reduce costs, increase collaboration, and create new revenue streams. As physical production and smart technologies continue to combine forces, interconnectivity and real-time insights will become our new reality, along with enhanced customer experiences, increased profits, decreased costs, and innovative collaboration and coordination opportunities.

Is your business ready for the disruption and opportunity that Industry 4.0 will bring? Are you looking for the right talent to help you adopt emerging technologies with confidence? Schedule a call with the 3Ci team today.