Technology continues to advance more and more rapidly as decades pass. We’re currently in the midst of a huge shift in how products are manufactured thanks to the digitization of processes and manufacturing as a whole. What is this emerging industry 4.0 that so many people are referring to? And how can you apply that technology to your company now and into the future?
What is Industry 4.0?
“What is Industry 4.0?” is a question we hear a lot, but it’s the wrong question because there’s no single answer. The application of Industry 4.0 varies dramatically from one market to the next.
Industry 4.0 is using the technology available to you to streamline processes and become more efficient in your workflow. Simple as that. Which technology you use and how you use it is entirely up to you and what works for your business.
The Nitty Gritty:
Digging into the specifics, technology is used to share data across devices that can be accessed remotely and used to create automation and standardization. This can then be used to create smart manufacturing facilities and autonomous systems.
Smart factories are possible thanks to the combination of cyber-physical systems and the internet of things (IoT). Cyber-physical systems integrate networking, physical processes, and computation (think robotics and automation). IoT is basically just different devices talking to one another (i.e. your phone talking to your home thermostat).
Tying together these autonomous processes and the collection and dispersion of information opens up the door to endless possibilities within the injection molding industry.
How Can Industry 4.0 Benefit You?
So what does all of this look like on the manufacturing floor?
Benefits of Industry 4.0 to Injection Molders:
- Predictive analytics to catch problems before they happen
- Remote monitoring and control to see what’s really happening in all of your facilities
- Global standardization to ensure alignment in all of your facilities around the world
- Very low scrap rates combined with increased quality
- Faster, more efficient processes
- Lower liability
- Better tool tryouts with lower costs and reduced time to market
- Lights-out manufacturing
But What Can You Do with All that Data?
Through smart manufacturing, you’re able to create, gather, analyze, and broaden data to not only see what is currently happening on the plant floor, but see past trends and predict issues before they even occur.
At the core of Industry 4.0 is the effective use of data throughout the organization, providing people and machines with the information to improve quality, reduce costs, and create opportunities that were never before possible.
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION TIMELINE
Where Does RJG Fit into Industry 4.0?
Since the creation of the eDART® System in 2000, we have been successfully integrating industry 4.0 into injection molding facilities around the world.
- Using in-cavity sensor data to remove bad parts automatically with robots or part divertors
- Using Decoupled Molding® strategies to automatically adjust the process, ensuring more consistent parts
- Consolidating process data plant-wide using the EDM to help molders find and fix problems faster
But now we’re pushing the boundaries even further.
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