Is Industry 4.0 only for large firms, not affordable by SMEs ?
Industry 4.0 is primarily data collection, analysis, and action/reporting, all done automatically. The key Industry 4.0 components are a sensor that collects data from the machine, IOT and Cloud computing. None of these is high tech or expensive today.
Here’s a big pain point in a small scale manufacturing firm:
The firm is run by a single owner with no management hierarchy. Productivity is high when he is in the shop floor. When he is not, machines are idle a lot and production is low. He however cannot be present all the time. He has a lot of other work to do outside, like meeting customers and vendors, going to tax offices, going to the bank. The first shift is supposed to start at 6 AM, but the machine is only switched on at 6:30. Lunch and tea breaks extend 15 minutes beyond their scheduled times. Night shift production is always low. There are frequent complaints of power shut down or machine breakdowns, no raw material, no tools. Of these, some are systems issues and some are work ethics issues.
In most shop floors machines are typically down 30 to 40 % of the time, but the owner has no idea how long they are down, or why. An Industry 4.0 based machine monitoring system enables the owner to know exactly what is happening on the shop floor. He knows the extent of downtime and the causes of downtime, can fix the issues and improve profitability. All this without even going to the shop floor. He can track his machines from anywhere, at any time, on his mobile phone, tablet or laptop.
So the answer to the question to the original question is : Industry 4.0 is for any size of firm, SME or large corporate. The Industry 4.0 applications implemented may vary – a small firm may only do production and productivity improvement, while a large one may do scheduling, logistics, predictive maintenance, preventive maintenance, etc. – but it can benefit everybody.
Which brings us to another question: “Is Industry 4.0 affordable by small firms?”. Here again, there are a variety of systems available in the market. Many of them are very affordable by small firms, and are available even on monthly payment. LEANworx Cloud Industry 4.0 based machine monitoring system, for example, costs only as much as a cup of coffee per day, and saves you 5 to 10 times the amount every day.
Want to know more about how LEANworx can help you implement Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing rapidly and economically ?Click here.
A really shady bar
One lazy Sunday afternoon in Delhi recently, I had a great lunch in Khan Market and then popped over to Thugs for a drink. Thugs is a bar in Hotel Broadway near Chandni Chowk. It has great ambience, with old style furniture and decor themed on Hindi movie villians. The menu is a tribute to the biggest villians of Hindi movies and their sidekicks – Ajit and his Mona, Shetty, Gabbar Singh, Mogambo.
There was a blank ‘today’s dialogue’ blackboard, so I asked for a piece of chalk and wrote ‘Boss, maal ayela hai’. Soon after, under this, some clever employee wrote the name of a beer that they were promoting. Isn’t it strange that in Hindi movies the bad guys are responsible for all the most memorable lines? “Kitne aadmi the?”, “Mogambo khush hua”, “Lilly, don’t be silly”, etc. Who ever remembers stuff that the good guys said ?
I spent a great 2 hours with Mona Darling (see the menu below for what it means), sitting there soaking in the great ambience and entertaining myself looking at the pictures of villians around.
If you’re a fan of the villians of the 70s and 80s, and a fan of C2H5OH, you must go to Thugs sometime.