Workplaces have undergone a significant change in recent years with the introduction and implementation of manufacturing facilities that are intelligent, efficient and, most importantly, safe against accidents or machine failures resulting from human error.
This leads to higher levels of worker productivity and better quality of products for customers who expect things to be made right when purchasing them!
Changes and interconnections like these have a name: the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. Learn more in this post from the experts in industrial machining at HARtech.
From the first to the third industrial revolution
Industry 4.0 has been described as the fourth industrial revolution of our time. This means that three others precede it. Let’s take a little leap in time to learn more.
Steam engines were instrumental in mechanizing production during the first industrial revolution. This new way of doing things increased efficiency and mechanized tasks previously done using manual labour or with the help of animals.
This new technology created assembly lines and mass production, which are critical for understanding how modern economies work.
With the third industrial revolution, automation has become a significant player in the industry. The use of information technology and electronics for automating production has made this period particularly interesting for industrialists and electromechanical professionals.
What is the fourth industrial revolution?
Unlike previous industrial revolutions, Industry 4.0 is not a result of any technological breakthrough but rather comes from using new technologies to connect and synchronize different systems across factories.
Digital technology integration in all industrial machinery company functions, such as production, procurement and logistics, is possible and offers many advantages that we will see later.
Where is Industry 4.0 now?
Quebec manufacturing companies have been integrating new technologies into their plants for several years now. Quebec is helping its companies develop their plants and services, unlike other provinces that are having more difficulty or concern with making the shift to Industry 4.0.
Even Quebec companies have difficulty competing with European or Asian companies at the international level. Industrial companies in these regions have considerable advantages in applying new technologies in their production processes.
There is no need to be pessimistic, though. Companies that have not yet taken the plunge still have a chance to benefit in the future. It is now easier and more accessible to follow and lead innovation in the Industry 4.0 era.
What are the main goals of Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 applications were designed to support a wide range of needs and requirements at different expense levels, complexity or functionality. Below are some examples.
- Equipment and machine control: Install wireless sensors on your machines and equipment to monitor production and collect real-time data.
- Production process optimization: Using advanced analytical software to identify the best possible solutions for improving production.
- Improved maintenance: Use machinery that is capable of planning maintenance schedules.
- Reducing paper consumption: Digitization of internal documents to reduce paper consumption, resulting in cost savings and environmental benefits.
What are the challenges of the 4th industrial revolution?
This fourth industrial revolution brings many advantages and poses some challenges for companies. Here are some the biggest challenges:
- Learning new skills: Training employees to participate in the company’s advancement is essential to staying current with new technologies and processes. The arrival of Industry 4.0 makes it possible to develop new skills required in the modern world (data management, security and programming, etc.).
- Data Security: Cybersecurity is becoming even more critical for machine maintenance companies that integrate digital into their facilities. Connecting all the components of this new smart factory creates significant IT security risks, making it necessary to take significantly greater measures than before.
- Considerable investments: Integrating your facility into the 4th industrial revolution is not easy. It takes significant investment, but it will quickly pay off. The average Quebec company invested 7 to 9% of its sales to integrate these new technologies into its facilities.
At HARtech, we continually evolve
The fourth industrial revolution enables you to track your production with precision, improving the quality of your products. Using machine maintenance alerts can reduce equipment downtimes.
At HARtech, we chose to be a part of this industrial revolution by improving our machining, welding and plating equipment. This means better quality and faster execution for our customers.
Contact our team if you have a small or big project for us! We look forward to talking with you and answering all your questions.