Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Plant Engineering: Industrie 4.0 Challenges, and its Potential

Andy Cannon, Director of Business Consulting
Andy Cannon, Director of Business Consulting

An Industrie 4.0-focused article by Andy Cannon, Ghafari’s Director of Business Consulting, recently appeared in Plant Engineering. In “Industrie 4.0 Challenges, and its Potential: Meet the Cultural Changes Head-on to Derive Benefits”, he discusses the next wave of process innovation, Industrie 4.0 – a cyber-physical system that facilitates more precise and timely decisions in a manufacturing environment based on actual events rather than interpretation – and the challenges associated with implementation.

“A complex system like Industrie 4.0—sometimes described as ‘Lean on steroids’ requires a careful approach to integration within a culture of existing processes, technology and people,” he writes. “With automation and technology, Industrie 4.0 is more comprehensive, faster, and more accurate than anything else to date, but culture is still key.”

As Andy describes, company culture can be the greatest obstacle in implementing the Industrie 4.0 model, regardless of the organization’s size. Industrie 4.0 practices are largely data driven, making data management and accessibility essential. Organizations must orient their data to function to support the rules-based and AI decision-making afforded by the new real-time performance monitoring capabilities. Most companies already struggle with data management, particularly midsized companies that have gaps in their data management strategies that preclude the full implementation of new technology.

“Companies must invest in sustainably maintaining the management of the master data that allows systems to run at optimal levels” Andy says. “This is a substantial investment, but well worth it: if competitors are managing master data more effectively and they achieve true Industrie 4.0 capability first, they will have a distinct advantage over those who haven’t gotten there yet.”

Read the full article here.