What are the Risks for System Integrators of not Embracing Industrie 4.0?

What are the Risks for System Integrators of not Embracing Industrie 4.0?

Systems Integrator, Industrie 4.0 Risks

What are the Risks for System Integrators of not Embracing Industrie 4.0?

5 Aug, 2019

The manufacturing shop floor is a system that runs with data. This data comes from manufacturing equipment, supply chains, and demand. Itinerary count, material handling equipment and workstations also add to the data. It’s the job of the system integrator to accurately use this data and ensure just-in time production. As the march to industrie 4.0 and smarter facilities continue, more and more integration will be required.ì

Smart ecosystems will include IoT devices, precision, and electronic equipment that produce data. To eliminate chaos and optimize production variables, this data must be understood. System integrators will need to employ new business models. These models must be compatible with smart factories to reap benefits from Industrie 4.0. This article will cover:

  • The risks of not embracing Industrie 4.0 models
  • The benefits to system integrators who do integrate Industrie 4.0 models
  • Guidelines for integrating Industrie 4.0 models.


The Industrie 4.0 models that will shape the future of manufacturing

The automated shop floor will be dominated by data producing machines, interconnected interfaces, and analytic applications. Thus, the ability to eliminate clutter while receiving key production insights will be what separates the successful smart factory from the failures. To help facilities harness the power of automation, eight timely business models have been standardized for use. These models or concepts are:


  1. Data-driven plant performance optimization
  2. Data-driven inventory optimization
  3. Data-driven quality control
  4. Machines as a service
  5. Human data interface
  6. Predictive maintenance
  7. Remote service
  8. Virtual training and validation


These concepts have assisted Fortune 500 companies involved with logistics and manufacturing to meet set production goals. Amazon's use of its industrial cloud, IIoT, and automated robots in its delivery chain put the Tech giant in a position where it could increase its subscriptions by 20%. Amazon ensured its premium customers could receive same day deliveries by integrating a data-driven inventory performance, and were able to increase subscription prices due to increased performance.

To reap similar benefits, system integrators must understand Industrie 4.0 models. With understanding comes the willingness to implement these models. The risk of overlooking these models can jeopardize manufacturing facilities and the system integrator's position.


Analyzing the risks of overlooking Industrie 4.0 models


Cyber threats

Traditional manufacturing outfits collect data relating to production. Demand, supply chain, and inventory are examples of this data. In most cases, demand data is sensitive. This is because it includes customer information and product details. According to Gartner, successful cyber-attacks on manufacturing facilities are increasing. The job of forestalling these attacks falls squarely on the system integrator. Failing to do so has put many manufacturers out of business, but Industrie 4.0 can help.

Some of the cyber-threats manufacturing infrastructure faces include; DDoS attacks, malware, and ransomware. Successful theft of customer information can lead to class-action suits. Loss of manufacturing data through ransomware can lead to downtime and hurt production schedules. System Integrators can take advantage of industrial cloud solution features to detect threats. Threats such as DDoS attacks can be spotted and mitigated quickly.


Downtime, poor quality and supply loses

With increased demand comes the need to speed up production without reducing the quality of the final product.  Businesses that successfully scale up production work with data to manage future demand. Data is also used to develop a quality control policy to drive growth. This is known as data-driven quality control. Lack of data will hinder chances of growth as many grey areas will exist.

Examples of such grey areas include lack of knowledge about; machine capacity, inventory, and maintenance. As demand increases, so too does the need for more materials, and regular maintenance of production equipment. Other considerations that come with the economics of scale, is material transportation to speed production. Not planning for these factors will lead to downtime, reduced quality, and supply delays. In the automotive industry, a single minute of unplanned downtime can cost as much as $22,000.  


Material waste

Another risk to consider is material waste. Increased demand requires more production materials but by how much must be determined. Making excess purchases will lead to waste which affects the revenue of the business. Here also, system integrators shoulder the blame. The task of harnessing data to create a soft landing when scaling up production is the task of the integrator. Industrie 4.0 provides the tools needed for reducing the risks that come with meeting increased demand. If properly harnessed, data from machines can be used to drive maintenance. A plan for predictive maintenance using data produced by production tools will also increase the lifespan of a facility's machinery. Analyzed data can also be used to determine the number of materials needed and the equipment for transportation when increasing production.

Without an Industrie 4.0 plan in place, the system integrator will be working with uninformed estimates. This will make taking important business decisions to deal with increased demand difficult. This could lead to stunted business growth, a reduction in product quality, and loss of capital. Large manufacturers view the system integrator as a key member of the strategy team. In the case of SMEs, the integrator is sometimes viewed as the entire engineering department responsible for making sense from the available data. Therefore, huge financial losses, regular downtime, and unnecessary waste could lead to the system integrator losing his or her job.


How system integrators can reduce operational risk with Industrie 4.0 models


The main aim of the Industrie 4.0 models is an interconnected factory where every piece of data counts, and can be utilized for the good of the business. As a system integrator, understanding the value of data kick starts the entire process. This knowledge leads to looking for ways to smarten dumb equipment and a centralized solution for collecting data. Industrial cloud solutions provide a foundation to work with. The data collected can be used to optimize production cycles. This reduces waste, optimizes equipment lifespan and supports real-time decision making.

System integrators have enormous responsibilities attached to developing a secure, optimized shop floor. Integrating Industrie 4.0 models in the right context is the best solution to not only minimize risks and financial loses, but to substantially increase a company’s profitability. The experienced professionals at Exor International can ensure you do not work alone. We can help design the perfect implementation plans that ensure adopting Industrie 4.0 models optimizes your workflow.


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