Many may have heard of Industry 4.0, but it wasn’t until recently that the “fourth industrial revolution” began to take hold in any practical sense. Now that it is starting to gain traction, more and more questions are starting to arise about what it means for manufacturing in terms of real world implications.
First off, Industry 4.0 is simply a way of describing the current trend of automation as it applies to manufacturing. It involves some of the most talked-about aspects of automation technology, including cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cyber-physical systems. In order to understand how these pieces interact with one another to create an Industry 4.0 environment, it’s best to include a quick overview of what these technologies are and do:
- IoT: The idea that any device that can be turned on or off can be connected to the internet, or another IoT device. This isn’t limited to just home appliances, but can apply to machine components, even those integrated into industrial manufacturing equipment.
- Cloud Computing: A model for enabling on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources such as networks, servers or storage that can be accessed and utilized with minimal management.
- Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are built upon the idea of seamless integration of computational algorithms and physical components. It’s utilization results in greater adaptability, scalability, resiliency, safety and usability than current “embedded” system types.
When taken together, the above form the foundation of Industry 4.0 and everything it touches, including manufacturing. In EVS Metal’s case, it will eventually impact the way we fabricate and machine both single items and finished products, from start to finish, including warehousing and shipping, whether we’re manufacturing full production runs, or single prototypes. Simply put, this “fourth industrial revolution” is the advent of the first truly “smart factory,” one in which decisions are able to be decentralized and streamlined, errors and waste are kept to an absolute minimum, while time, physical space and materials usage are optimized for the best possible outcomes.
Come back next week when we’ll delve more deeply into the finer points of Industry 4.0, and discuss out it will eventually impact precision metal fabricators like EVS.
EVS Metal is an American precision metal fabricator headquartered in Riverdale, NJ. Our machinists and operators utilize the latest technology to cut, bend and finish stand-alone items as well as parts for later integration or assembly into complex products. Our four ISO 9001:2015-certified locations comprise over 250,000 square feet of vertically-integrated manufacturing space and feature the most modern equipment available, from lasers and CNC machining centers to automated powder coating lines. We serve a diverse customer base across North America, providing a range of services from ITAR-compliant, quick-turn prototypes to high-volume production runs. Request a personalized metal fabrication quote online, or call (973) 839-4432 to speak with a specialist today.