HEGLA is once again taking progressive moves forward in the field of automation with a focus placed on Industry 4.0, otherwise known as the ‘fourth industrial revolution. As production methods begin to become more intrinsically linked to Artificial Intelligence (AI) it is expected that there will be a new wave of developments in mass production technologies.

Steve Goble, Managing Director HEGLA UK believes that more traditional production methods will soon be altered to incorporate the digital process.

“By linking ‘smart machinery’ to various processes down the production line it will make many conventional processes obsolete and increase productivity substantially. There are literally billions of devices already interlinked in our general lives today, which make ‘life easier’ and speed up many processes – online shopping and 3D printing are some of the more common examples of this. With so much smart technology interconnected it is easy to see that machinery to manufacture goods will become a large part of the new industry 4.0 revolution that is now taking place.

CAD design and factory simulations offer manufacturers more intelligent solutions to their production lines. Given the amount of data available there are virtually no limits to using that data and really improving your game.

Factories and production lines can be evaluated in far more depth with robots, craneways, and other individual components all easily adaptable to accommodate the vision of Industry 4.0. An entire factory can become far less dependent human interaction.

The internet is about to become far more industrial particularly in relation to simulations and production line redevelopment.

Originating from Germany, Industry 4.0 is an all encompassing concept that is here to stay and it is changing the way manufacturers process products. It will help them to achieve greater potential, bringing factories, components and intelligent data together.

Fast ROI

It has been stated that European companies will invest over €140 billion in adapting manufacturing techniques, and that this will stream revenue back into a company that will match the amount invested in smart technology. Although this is still very early days, Industry 4.0, by its very nature will bring an exceptional ROI and it will do this very quickly.

Productivity will be increased through Industry 4.0 which will be a relief to manufacturers who constantly have to deal with demands for more products at cheaper prices and all while using less energy. It has been estimated that smart production lines have the potential to increase efficiency by 3.3% and reduce energy substantially.

New products will evolve – 3D printing is a fine example of smart technology, data and components being linked. Improvements to product design will be introduced through smarter machinery providing solutions that will meet the changing demands of the end user.

These are very exciting times and digitising production methods will help to create new business models that will change the way we handle machinery, and via interconnected components production floors will work very differently.

This will all require a different way of thinking when it comes to running a company with the ability for smart products to be produced in conformity or as tailored solutions, without the heavy costs being involved in bespoke design.

As end users become increasingly used to personalisation, demand will increase for customisation through the digital processes of Industry 4.0

Whilst automation reduces the amount of labour on a production floor there will still be need for humans to monitor the whole process but it will be in a completely different way to current manufacturing methods. Manual tasks will be eradicated while operators will be more focused on the smooth operation of the production line and only really becoming involved in the process of problem solving complex issues.

Greater Scope

New business models can now start to be created and the HEGLA brand is already ahead in terms of bringing Industry 4.0 to the market.

For customers, it is a good time to assess the digital readiness of their operations in order to stay competitively ahead. Optimising production methods is essential and re-structuring a company’s workforce will keep a business competitive and ahead for years to come. It will obviously take some time for all of this to be integrated into manufacturing methods, but one thing is for sure Industry 4.0 is here and it will change the way everyone works.

One of the most important aspects to Industry 4.0 is to educate the entire organisation to make digital automation successful, so that a company is working from a position of understanding and strength.”

For more information on the HEGLA range and the introduction of Industry 4.0 please call Steve Goble on 01908 261933