Industry 4.0 and business challenges in manufacturing
Manufacturers are striving to improve productivity and performance through process innovation and automation, as well as managing costs.
The ‘fourth industrial revolution’ is a reality and the argument for Industry 4.0 (I4.0 / 4IR) has been accepted as manufacturers continue to transform and digitise machines and processes. I4.0 refers to a new range of technology-enabled manufacturing trends – towards automation, big data, AI and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). A manufacturer aligning their corporate strategy and financial agenda with I4.0 will reap rewards, seeing an increase in performance and output.
Charterhouse Group is focused in the manufacturing sector. We can help guide your digital transformation strategy and prepare you for the opportunities presented by I4.0 and the game-changing IIoT.
The 5 pillars of Industry 4.0 manufacturing success
1. Process automation:
Robotics and automation is one of the most highly considered areas that will positively impact manufacturing success in years to come. Machines that can respond to real-world changes and even solve problems with AI have moved out of science fiction and into smart factories. The connected cyber-physical processing enabling these capabilities demands high-performance and reliable connectivity across your network.
2. Secure and reliable infrastructure:
Your IT and communications infrastructure underpins your access to the connected world. You need to enable fast and secure exchange of data and information throughout the supply chain, along the production line and on to the end-customer. This makes your choice of infrastructure critical to enabling analytics and business intelligence – that can be used to make the right decisions to facilitate growth. Without the right connectivity, systems simply won’t work effectively. Stable and responsive IT and communications will aid automation and control of your smart factory.
3. IIoT, big data and analytics:
I4.0 is about connectivity – linking physical things with cyber networks as one. The result is real-time information flow. Applying big data and analytics will allow your business to make real-time decisions, which will enhance the lifetime customer value. With the IIoT connecting billions of smart, connected devices, sensors, probes and systems, how does your business anticipate turning that bulk data into real opportunity to increase manufacturing output?
A new word has entered the manufacturing industry terminology. ‘Servitisation’ refers to the process of adding services to products. It’s seen as increasingly important that manufacturers transform their traditional model of product supply towards delivering more services. This is a key strategy that will position manufacturers to keep up with customer expectations, as well as delivering ongoing customer value. Delivering a ‘Product-as-a-Service’ may seem like a step-change, but this is the reality facing today’s manufacturers. They need to change their go-to-market delivery of products to be driven by the performance of the product over time – such as the availability or uptime over the lifetime of a contract. This requires manufacturers to think in terms of product lifecycle management (PLM).
5. Cloud solutions:
Most manufacturers have already invested in multi-purpose production lines, and other capital equipment with embedded sensors, control systems and data analysis tools. The increased use of connected sensors, probes and systems will lead to more and more data being collected – allowing new products, processes and integration to be conceived. The deployment of autonomous communication systems will allow greater coordination with supply chains, tracking of assets, and integration of business planning and production. Retaining a competitive edge will require investment in centralised, reliable and flexible cloud solutions.
Connectivity and collaboration make Industry 4.0 work
The outcome of a successful I4.0 strategy will ultimately deliver:
- Increase productivity and performance
- Achieve a greater output and accelerate development cycles
- Speed up innovation and time to market
Wherever you are along your I4.0 journey, you need a trusted technology partner to guide you. Without reliable, secure and agile communications, your business risks falling behind.
At Charterhouse Group, we know the dynamic nature of the new manufacturing landscape. We understand the challenges of maintaining the communications and collaboration required to support local businesses and complex global multi-site manufacturing operations.
With our integrated solutions and managed services, you can make changes at your own pace. Our ROI proof-point milestones let you build your capability step-by-step and involve all stakeholders with confidence. We can also help you build a financial case that helps you overcome investment barriers, enabling you to deploy the latest, relevant technology.
- Seamless enterprise mobility: Provide mobile and plant workers with a single number and access to the business applications they need to work effectively – at any time, in any location, securely on any device
- Collaboration: Speed up contact with key people across disparate sites and your value chain using audio and video conferencing
- Deliver a world-class customer experience through automation and integration of your processes with your communications platform
- Choose your perfect solution: Connectivity choice is vital in supporting your I4.0 strategy. We provide broadband to Enternet and SD-WAN, managed WAN and private cellular networks to enable low latency, high throughput for manufacturing businesses. Connect you IIoT sensors, probes, machines and devices via our “CloudLink” platform
- Increase network performance and security: Charerhouse can simplify your ultimate transition to a WAN that connects the IIoT securely and cost-effectively
- Optimise your bandwidth: Use innovative connectivity options that suit to your business needs enabling access key applications that can be optimised for use on any device in any location
- Security: Protect your intellectual property in manufacturing, whether your data is hosted on-premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid of the two. Securing your infrastructure, cloud, SaaS apps, API’s and endpoints is key
- Business continuity: Ensure revenue-generating applications, ERP, and core voice and data services are resilient, to allow business as usual (BAU) operations with 24/7 availability
- Document digitisation and managed print: Centralise and streamline invoice and financial processes, as well as your documents and printing services, to increase productivity for your workforce while saving costs to the business
- Secure cloud services: enable the use of new production systems, from 3D printing and high-performance computing (HPC), to the IIoT and industrial robots. Our cloud solutions are future-proof, and have flexibility to connect to private, public and on-premise environments
- Monitor and manage your operations 24/7: Our tools provide you with a single-pane view across multiple technologies, giving full visibility and control of the performance of your manufacturing estate
- Lifecycle IT support: Focus on product and business innovation to increase manufacturing output – rather than the day-to-day infrastructure management. Our commitment to service excellence underpins every one of our cloud and managed services