What is industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 (or Industrie 4.0) originated in Germany to promote connecting components within a factory or production chain to create a “cyber-physical system.” It is highly related to the Internet of Things (IoT) and relies on smart devices to collect data and communicate that information to other devices and systems. This data sharing and analysis is then used to improve transparency and decision-making capabilities.

Why is it called industry 4.0?

The name refers to the major advances in industrial production throughout history. The first wave identified was the use of water and steam to mechanize process like flour milling. Mass production and standardization of parts for items, pioneered in products like automobiles and firearms make up the second wave. The third wave includes using computers to automate processes through robotics and analysis. The fourth wave (the four in 4.0) involves connecting the individual pieces of the third wave to create a unified system.

Why is industry 4.0 becoming popular now?

As computing capabilities have improved, it has become easier and more economical to collect data through smart devices and other means. Companies are increasing looking for ways to use this abundance of data to improve operations. Improvements could include everything from predicting machine issues and automatically initiating preventative maintenance to identifying and addressing inefficiencies in production scheduling.

What does industry 4.0 mean for my business?

As operations and supply chains continue to become more complicated, they become more difficult to manage. Businesses across industries are continuously looking for ways to utilize the data they have available to squeeze efficiencies out of their value chain. Because of this, competition continues to intensify.

How can RSM help?

While business trends indicate that smart devices and big data will continue to play a bigger role, a great deal of effort and preparation is needed to fully implement Industry 4.0. RSM can help identify low hanging fruit that have the potential to improve operational efficiencies, evaluate the potential benefit and cost an Industry 4.0 implementation could have on your business, and build an implementation plan.

To learn more about how RSM can assist you with your management consulting needs, contact us at 800.274.3978 or email us.