Industry 4.0 is the concept coined for the digital transformation of industrial manufacturing companies. New technologies have brought about a total revolution in industrial manufacturing.
All industrial processes have been affected: from factory work to production planning and machinery maintenance.
Industry 4.0 leaders: 5 examples
Yeeply would like to show you some success stories of international companies leading this fourth industrial revolution.
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SEAT is an Industry 4.0 international benchmark. Not surprisingly, the Financial Times acknowledged this company as a European leader in digital transformation as early as 2018. This is the result of having established digitisation as a priority within the company’s strategy.
The Spanish carmaker has been implementing artificial intelligence, virtual reality, collaborative robots, and big data solutions at its Martorell factory for several years. This has allowed the company to become more efficient and flexible.
The company also harbours a biomechanics laboratory, where it develops more ergonomic workstations. This laboratory — by using cameras that capture the musculoskeletal features of its workers in 3D — allows for preventing injuries derived from work on the production lines and improving rehabilitation in the event of any of these injuries actually taking place.
Another of the company’s latest developments has been launching a pilot programme to receive components by drone. By working together with Sesé Group, SEAT has established this pioneering service that links Sesé’s logistics centre with its Martorell factory. This enables receiving components in just 15 minutes, whilst before it was a process that involved trucks and took up to an hour and a half.
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GE (General Electric) is transforming the manufacturing industry through software-defined machines and connected solutions. The company operates in key industries such as energy, healthcare, and transportation.
As one of the leading players in the Internet of Things, GE has released Predix. Predix is a cloud-based platform as a service (PaaS) that makes analysing asset performance at an industrial-scale and optimising operations much easier.
As for its involvement in the wind power industry, GE has developed Digital Windfarm technology. This technology uses sensors, data networks, and analytics to customise turbines for maximum efficiency, achieving an annual rise of up to 20% in energy production.
Siemens is one of the greatest Industry 4.0 company benchmarks, both as a solution provider for other companies as for its own factories. One of its most outstanding achievements is Siemens Electronic Works Amberg (EWA), a factory that the company runs in Amberg (Germany).
Siemens manufactures there several products, including around 17 million units of Simatic PLCs (programmable logic controllers) each year.
These devices are used to control factories and machinery and to automate industrial production. However, what is remarkable is that the factory’s production itself is controlled by around 2,800 of these devices.
This enables having an automated production process that is controlled by robots and machines to an extent of 75%. Besides, EWA’s manufacturing quality standard attains an impressive 99.9990%, an achievement that truly makes it a benchmark in industrial manufacturing.
Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Edge industrial computing, and cloud solutions allow for flexible, efficient, and reliable manufacturing. Predictive maintenance enables plant workers to obtain information about a possible failure of the system through Mind Sphere (a cloud-based IoT operating system) between 12 and 36 hours before it is deemed to occur. This grants them time to act accordingly.
Schneider Electric is a global benchmark in energy management and automation. As Industry 4.0 is concerned, Schneider Electric has partnered with consultancy firm Accenture to create Digital Services Factory (DSF), a programme aimed at boosting digital innovation and accelerating the commercialisation of new products.
By jointly implementing Digital Services Factory, Accenture has helped Schneider Electric reduce the development and release times of new digital services by 80%. Additionally, its artificial intelligence enables making relevant business decisions on a more educated basis as these can be made based on more data.
EcoStruxure is Schneider Electric’s IoT platform. This platform is designed to make the most out of the breakthroughs taking place in the Internet of Things, mobility, analytics, and cybersecurity to enable innovation at all levels: from connected products to applications or services. Hence, by combining real-time analytics with technologies and solutions connected via IoT, Schneider can respond or anticipate better to customer needs.
Our last among these Industry 4.0 examples involves getting our feet off the ground. Airbus, a true aircraft manufacturing benchmark, wanted to reduce the complexity of its cabin seat assembling process and thus lower the time required to complete it.
The solution lied in using wearables to improve productivity, which also has had the effect of reducing the knowledge necessary to carry out the task. To achieve this, the company designed a smart glasses app that shows the guidelines to the operator so that he/she can make the relevant marks on the floor quicker alongside reducing possible errors.
This app also has other features such as barcode scanning, retrieving data from the cloud, or augmented reality. Thanks to all these features, the marks to indicate where the aircraft seats will be mounted are millimetre-accurate and can be verified for quality and precision.
This solution has reduced the error rate to zero and increased the productivity of Airbus by 500%, in addition to having helped attain better flexibility, ergonomics, and employee satisfaction.
Are you ready for Industry 4.0?
After learning about all these success stories, you may be thinking about bringing digital transformation to your company. Are you clear about the roadmap you are going to follow to achieve this?
We strongly encourage you to surround yourself with experienced professionals. Yeeply is ready to act as a consultant with this transformation process. Tell us about your project and we’ll put you in touch with the right professionals to ensure that your plan becomes a success.