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Industry 4.0 – How to Future-Proof Your Company

The manufacturing industry is changing, whether we like it or not, and technology is a large part of that change. At its core, Industry 4.0 is all about the digital connection between our processes, our machinery, and our people. It’s about making things more efficient, more transparent and more accessible, and technology is the logical way to do that.

Take something as simple as a pre-run checklist. At its core, it’s a simple list of the steps needed to take before you run the next production order, right? How does your facility track these? Is it in a binder? Do you have to check it off and save that somewhere, or is that information assumed to have been completed without any real trackability?

By digitizing the checklist, there’s inherent transparency that goes with that. Manager and employee alike know what’s expected every pre-run. Management can see when it’s complete, who was the person running that machine then, and when that check was done. It’s simple, straightforward, transparency – and that is what Industry 4.0 is all about. Beyond that, there’s interconnectivity and utilizing technology to enhance processes, and while I’m not going to get into the major benefits that robotics bring (and without “replacing” humans), it’s important to know that all of this is either here, or close on the horizon for the majority of manufacturers.

Start future-proofing your company now

Getting to the point of robotics, ML/AI and full on Industry 4.0 capabilities is a process, and not something that can happen now. If you and your company are ready to begin the journey, there are a few things you can start doing now to ensure easier adoption of new technologies and easier transitions into this technologically advanced future we’re headed for.

  1. Start building the right company culture that embraces change

  2. Take small technological steps such as finding a framework to out all of your processes in.

  3. Find or create communities of like-minded individuals to learn from your peers (are you familiar with SME in Kansas City?)

  4. Contact your Missouri Enterprise Area Business Manager to schedule an assessment for your manufacturing company.

Start preparing now for the industry of tomorrow. If you’d like to read more about this topic, click here for our full blog post.

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