The Wave of Digitalization: Industry 4.0

Revolutionising the Workplace Post-Covid: Industry 4.0

Technological advancements have challenged the traditional way of manufacturing. The fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, advances the trend of smart manufacturing and automation through digitalization and networked production. Manufacturing accounted for 20-25% of Singapore’s GDP but with the effects brought about by the global pandemic, manufacturers in Asia are witnessing 45% in material shortages, 41% drop in demands and 30% decrease in workforce. As the adoption of Industry 4.0 is expected to boost labour productivity by 30% and add S$36 billion in manufacturing output and revenue for local and international businesses, it becomes a pivotal avenue to tap on while adjusting to the new normal.

According to the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), 7% manufacturing companies predict a less favourable business situation in the second half of  2020. Manufacturers are thus encouraged to embrace the digital revolution and leverage technologies that constitute Industry 4.0 to remain resilient and maintain a competitive edge. Assimilating Industry 4.0 into an existing manufacturing process will thus transform operations, limit damages, and provide real-time insights to address disruptions brought about by the pandemic.

Rethink Manufacturing: Accelerate Digital Transformation

In the changing manufacturing landscape, industrial manufacturing is inevitably becoming more digital. Companies must thus adopt the model factory initiative to meet industry expectations. Consisting of three aspects, digital transformation value adds by altering business workflows into secure assets that adapt to unique manufacturing floors – this enables systems that efficiently handle the business’ digital thread.

1. Manufacturing Traceability    

With multiple departments working on various tasks and utilising incompatible software, manufacturing operations and data only flows in one direction, preventing active collaboration throughout a product’s lifecycle. An interconnected data system like the Advanced Manufacturing Execution System (AMES) by Konica Minolta collates real-time information and analytics from the shop floor and transforms it into actionable insights useful in shortening the product development process. By leveraging industrial technologies like additive manufacturing for instance, supply chains are reduced through speedy revisions to design specifications, translating to better ROI.

2. Smart Factory

The integration of smart technologies into current manufacturing processes optimises operations by enabling manufacturers to make timely decisions and have pain points be automatically addressed and rectified. Konica Minolta’s AI Visual Inspection Solution arrests defects through robust visual inspection that may have gone unnoticed by the human eye. Plug-and-play IIoT solutions facilitates remote monitoring of data and shop floor operations in real-time. Together with collaborative autonomous mobile robots, companies can harness the inter-connectivity to streamline operations with less human input. Optimised processes enabled by such smart technologies allow factory floors to increase overall production quality.

3. Value Chain Management

For an optimised process, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be deployed to support back office operations, enabling a faster turnaround time in product creation. Capable of addressing change, payments, and handling order modification, Konica Minolta’s RPA solution maintains customer satisfaction. Applicable to both core and non-core functions, RPA addresses a broad range of manufacturing pain points.

Progressing with the Evolving Manufacturing Landscape

Given that the upcoming economy is transforming into a digital and global one, Konica Minolta offers businesses a line of services and capabilities to build a connected factory. To remain front-runners in the digital manufacturing landscape, companies must adopt industry 4.0 practices and initiatives to support an efficient manufacturing floor and benefit from the enhanced organisational operating productivities and significant operational cost improvements. Find out how Konica Minolta can help.