Industry 4.0 implementation roadmap

Industry 4.0 implementation roadmap for a painless takoff

There are essentially two components in an Industry 4.0 system:
1. A machine monitoring system that collects data electronically from the machine, and stores it in a database (picture 1).
2. Software that automates or improves various activities with the data stored in the database (picture 2). The Database of machine activity created by the machine monitoring system in picture 1 is used by various software modules in picture 2.
Your Industry 4.0 implementation roadmap involves just these components.

Industry 4.0 implementation roadmap - component 1
Picture 1: Machine monitoring and data collection

Industry 4.0 implementation roadmap - component 2
Picture 2: Software that uses data collected from the machine

To implement Industry 4.0, the very first requirement is to start collecting data electronically from your machines and storing the data in a database. Once this is done, you can then start using the data for various Industry 4.0 applications. Vendors for the two components are typically different, because they involve two very different technologies. The first component involves Hardware sensors, IIOT, Cloud computing and Big data management. The second component involves software for running organizations – finance, stores, HR, logistics, etc. It could also be specialized software for preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance, SPC, part traceability, etc. In fact, you probably already have most of the software in the second component, in ERP or other software.

The implementation is ideally done in multiple phases. As you get each phase going, you learn from your mistakes and fine tune the system so that the organization is ready for the next phase. Luckily, Industry 4.0 lends itself beautifully to implementation in phases.

Here is an Industry 4.0 implementation plan that you can use as a starting point. The time frames may vary from firm to firm, and you can decide on yours based on your size and working culture.

So where do you start ?

Phase 1, 2 and 3: Install a machine monitoring system that can provide data to other software. Implement the low hanging fruit in Phase 2 and 3 – production and productivity monitoring and improvement.

Phase 4: Improve the functioning of your existing ERP or other software by getting them to interact with the database of the machine monitoring system. E.g., the machine monitoring system gives the ERP software accurate and real-time data on production quantity, machine status, downtimes, rejections, consumables usage, etc. The ERP software gives the monitoring software data on work orders, schedules, part and operation details, personnel, etc.

Depending on what your end aim is, you can stop at any of the phases, or even jump phases or mix them up.

LEANworx Industry 4.0 system does Phase 1, 2 and 3. It is designed for SMEs, and is plug and play. Which means it is very economical, and you can get your system going in a matter of hours instead of weeks or months. For your Phase 4, LEANworx has features that enable you to easily connect the software (ERP, scheduling, logisitcs, etc.) to the LEANworx database for 2-way communication.


Breakfast garnished with some quirky humour

When I feel like a big carnivorous breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausages, etc., one of my favourite places in Bangalore is Church Street Social. Portions are big (important for a gourmand like me), there’s humour in the décor and the menu, and it’s a fun place. Your napkin is a roll of toilet paper; some of the seats are old wooden seats from some demolished movie theatre; you can buy merchandise with their brand at a counter labelled Maal.

Industry 4.0 implementation roadmap - component 3
My plates, before and after

The menu has its bit of humour too – note the ‘Hungover breakfast’, with a discount for ‘those who were here last night’ (and presumably got drunk there).

Occasionally (when the craving for this kind of food hits me), I land up there late-ish on Sunday morning. After a heavy breakfast I waddle out of the place, my paunch leading the way, and head out to whatever the rest of the Sunday has in store for me.

By the way, here’s the difference between Gourmet and Gourmand (both words of French origin).
Gourmet: a person of refined taste and passion, who enjoys eating high-quality food.
Gourmand: a person who enjoys eating a large quantity of food (like your truly).

About his blog from LEANworx: Plug-and-play Industry 4.0 system for MSMEs.

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