Industry 4.0 for tomorrow’s business

Whatis Industry 4.0, what professional figures does it involve and through what technologies is the Italian manufacturing department evolving to remain the protagonist of the future? Industry 4.0 is an opportunity for companies that will be able to seize it as well as a risk for those who will remain helpless in the face of progress.

Whatis Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is the result of the so-called fourth industrial revolution, that is, the process that is leading manufacturing companies towards automated and interconnected production. The result on the horizon is a smarter, faster and more efficient production. The expression Industrie 4.0 was used for the first time at the Hanover Fair in 2011 and two years later, in April 2013 at the same fair, the final report of the working group was released with a forecast of the investments deemed necessary to modernize the German production system and bring German manufacturing back to the top of the world.

According to a report by the multinational consulting firm McKinsey, new digital technologies will have a profound impact on four areas of development:

  • Use of data, computing power and connectivity, which includes big data, open data, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine and cloud computing for the centralization of information and its storage;
  • Analytics: once the data has been collected, it is necessary to extract value from it. Today only 1% of the data collected is used by companies. These could instead obtain important advantages thanks to “machine learning”, that is, from machines that perfect their performance by “learning” from data.
  • Human-machine interaction: involves “touch” interfaces and augmented reality.
  • The entire sector that deals with the transition from digital to “real” and includes additive manufacturing, 3D printing, robotics, communications, machine-to-machine interactions and new technologies to store and use energy in a targeted way, rationalizing costs and optimizing performance.

Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory

The implementation of these digital technologies allows companies to evolve into the so-called Smart Factory (or Smart Fabric), i.e. companies that are efficient, fast and able to continuously improve. In fact, the Smart Factory was born from the convergence between the real and virtual worlds as an integration between production processes and artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation of activities and communication between machines.
The most important consulting companies divide smart technology actions into three levels:

  • Smart Production: new production technologies that create interaction between production assets, favouring collaboration between men, machines and systems.
  • Smart Services: next-generation IT and technical infrastructures for the management of these systems, thanks to logic of maximum integration between all actors in the supply chain, including customers.
  • Smart Energy: new power systems and a focus on monitoring energy consumption make infrastructures more efficient, cheaper and greener.

Planning Scheduling Industria 4.0


Technologies and Professionalism in Industry 4.0

Consulting companies, experts and observers are trying to understand how the job will change, what new skills will be needed and which could soon disappear with Industry 4.0.

Some factors such as cloud technology and greater flexibility of work are already influencing the dynamics and will do so even more in the next 2-3 years. The effect will be the creation of jobs and the simultaneous disappearance of others. If Italy should come out with a draw (200 thousand jobs created and as many lost), other countries such as France and Germany will have a reduction in jobs. The losses appear to be concentrated in the administrative and production areas and will be partially offset by the financial, management, IT and engineering areas.

The skills and abilities sought change accordingly and if in the short term problem solving will be the most sought-after soft skill, it is also true that in the future critical thinking and creativity will become more important, precisely because the scenario is rapidly changing. It will therefore be necessary for manufacturing to be able to fully reap the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution, implementing systemic initiatives for the development of manufacturing and providing workers with the digital skills for the tasks of the future.


Production and Industry 4.0

It is important to remember that advanced and Industry 4.0-ready plants need adequate and suitable management and planning. In fact, connected and advanced machinery cannot be managed and planned manually, but these investments must therefore be balanced and exploited in the best possible way thanks to digitalised production planning and scheduling. In fact, an evolution of the now outdated methods of planning with spreadsheets allows you to enjoy numerous benefits and obtain clear and substantial technical advantages. The advantages of the CyberPlan solution and technical advice are numerous, go beyond the planning department and lead to a rapid ROI, below is a summary list of the main benefits:

More reliable forecasts Resource saturation
Optimized turnarounds Reduction of WIPs
Procurement alignment Reduction of set-up times
Increased service level Reduction of delays
Increased productivity Reduction of warehouses
Identification of bottlenecks Removal of missing items

To these must be added numerous other benefits, first of all the better communication between departments that CyberPlan makes possible. Following the installation of the APS solution, in fact, companies are able to share information, plan on a single shared file and avoid the isolation of information in silos. The planning department is therefore connected to the purchasing and sales departments, an aspect that benefits the three departments as well as the entire company.


Learn more about what CyberPlan can do for you and Industry 4.0

If you are looking for methods and solutions to improve your company’s capabilities, if you want to implement the tools used by the planning department or if you want to learn more about APS software, we will be happy to answer all your questions. Simply click here or call 040/898111 to get your questions answered.


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