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Data and AI are the foundation of Industry 4.0

The fourth industrial revolution is happening right now. Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing the way companies source raw materials, manufacture their products, distribute those products, and improve them. Manufacturers are integrating technologies such as AI and Machine Learning, cloud computing and analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) into factories and throughout their processes.

Smart production facilities are using sensors, robotics, and embedded AI to eliminate inefficiencies and improve productivity. Imagine the power or combining operational production data with information from your ERP, customer service system, supply chain, and HR applications. With such integrations, one LRS customer can predict the most cost-efficient location amongst its many international facilities to manufacture their large agricultural devices. Their model considers dozens of factors including raw material cost and inventory location, labor price at each locale, shipping and delivery costs, and currency exchange rates.

This is just one example of how Industry 4.0 and AI is flushing out inefficiencies while improving quality and profitability. Using your data, LRS sees other key areas manufacturers can immediately improve:

Connected Supply Chain: Digital transformation delivers intelligence across the extended supply chain. As the number of sensors and trackers grows, so does the ability to innovate traditional supply chains. Most manufacturers can use data for improving supply chain operations, but it has been done only looking at internal facilities and operations. Industry 4.0 technologies such as cloud data management, ubiquitous built-in sensors, and Blockchain mean that you can extend visibility of your value chain to multiple levels deep and improve the ability to predict lead times, cost of components and materials, and even your impact on the environment.

Intelligent Enterprise Asset Management: Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) is critical for keeping your operations running. Companies that have implemented Industry 4.0 can have thousands of IoT-connected devices in smart manufacturing facilities. To meet the demands of customers and Industry 4.0, those machines must have maximum uptime to ensure efficiency and profitability. EAM makes business continuity a reality through remote monitoring of equipment and leveraging that data for predictive maintenance and extending asset lifecycles.

Product Lifecycle Management: Product Lifecycle Management entails much more than managing a product from concept to market withdrawal. When done correctly, integrated data helps your design and supply chain teams agree on the requirements to innovate new products. Access to enterprise data lets you eliminate latency, reduce supply chain risk, and adhere to compliance standards that drive faster business innovation.

We know that silos continue to be the largest inhibitor to turning data into something actionable which drives informed decisions and infuses intelligence throughout all levels of an organization. The technology driving Industry 4.0 is irreversibly tied to data and using it to train AI models and other types of technology. The need for data has created a necessity for flawlessly collecting, organizing, and analyzing it.

If you are interested in learning more about how LRS can help you use all of your data to build AI and analytical applications that drive better results, please contact us to request a meeting. Not there yet? We also offer strategic roadmapping services and can help you build an information architecture that will support your current and future analytical applications.

About the author

Steve Cavolick is a Senior Solution Architect with LRS IT Solutions. With over 20 years of experience in enterprise business analytics and information management, Steve is 100% focused on helping customers find value in their data to drive better business outcomes. Using technologies from best-of-breed vendors, he has created solutions for the retail, telco, manufacturing, distribution, financial services, gaming, and insurance industries.