About five years ago people started talking about “Industry 4.0”, referring to a major step-change in manufacturing brought about by the use of machine data to predict and prevent disruption and improve operating efficiency in plants.
Time has moved on, and it seems as if the topic was more powerpoint than reality for many years: many examples of single instances where data has changed the manufacturing process, but very few examples where the “proof of concept” had been deployed across multiple plants with significant return on investment (RoI) benefits.
Now it seems as if the tables are turning, and more automotive companies are coming forward with good examples of industry 4.0 rollouts with good returns. At the recent CAR briefings in Travers City, several companies spoke of leveraging machine data to improve OEE. General Motors (GM) spoke of a project called “zero downtime” where 13,000 robots across 54 plants are now all connected together to predict, prevent, and improve plant performance.
ZF, Bosch, Renault, and Schaeffler also spoke at the same event about the projects they have underway and the benefits they are obtaining. Sometimes these things take time, but it is great to see the hype that was prevalent a few years ago now turning into reality.
At the Paris Motor Show, my colleague, Pascal Brosset and I will discuss how IoT can be leveraged on the shop floor to increase real-time optimization and efficiency and solve today’s automotive challenges. Join us for the session on October 3, 2.30 pm CET at Mondial Tech – Le Ring.