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  • What is Industry 4.0?
    It is a term coined by the German government to cover what they saw in 2011 as a coming revolution in manufacturing. Industry 4.0 is a name given to explain about the current trend of digital data exchange, advanced automation and robotics independently operated through cyber physical system(CPS) in the industrial technologies.
  • What are the key differences between Industry 4.0 working principles versus Industry 3.0 since some of the technologies already been there for quite sometime ago?
    The key differences are incorporated into the design principles of each technological tools used in adopting the technology such as inter-operatability, real-time digital data transfer & status, decentralization, connectivity, autonomous, & virtualization.
  • Will Industry 4.0 adoption eliminate human dependency and human will loose their job?
    Yes. It will eliminate on job that required human task such as repetitive task and complex job which human can’t do anymore due to technology advancement and product quality requirement. Yes, human will loose their job IF they don’t change the way they think to acquire new skill set. Similarly, if we look at the banking sector when it goes on more ATM machine and online banking, more new job opportunities been created in the upper stream level and that could also be the same for other industries.
  • Industry 4.0 will require a lot of investment, what’s the ROI?"
    ROI will depends on how comprehensive we analyse the benefits of adopting the new technologies in the company. The end goal of adopting the new concepts is to improve the company top and bottom line performance indicator such as sales and profitability. Therefore, we must maximize the potential of the new technology to the fullest such as by applying COBOT for example can replace not just one person but can replace 3 person if you run on 3 shift. Furthermore, the COBOT can be multi-tasking for more than just one operation with some simple re-layout and potentially can replace up to 9 persons with just one COBOT. By, replacing with COBOT, you can forget about discipline issues, attitude issues, supervisor issues, administrative of the workforce and more. All these factors must be quantified and every single saving on time and labor hours will translate into direct cost saving.
  • I’m now still in Industry 2.0, should I skip and go direct to Industry 4.0?"
    Yes or No. Depending on what is your end goal for your business as well as for your product road map. You need to understand your product road map strategy on how does the product evolve overtime and what kind of manufacturing technology which could produce the best productivity and increase the level of manufacturability of the future platforms.
  • Why should I choose to migrate into Industry 4.0?
    It’s not a question whether we are ready or not but whether do we want to be on the same boat or not and not being left out far behind by those who lead.Those who start LAST could have died first in this transformation. Can we answer TOMORROW question today? If the answer is NO, then its time to CHANGE towards the new journey of Industry 4.0
  • What should be the first step when migrating into Industry 4.0?
    First step is to equip yourself and your team with the knowledge so that you can develop your approach and strategy. Without proper knowledge and training, you won’t be developing the best strategy to deploy the new concepts. It’s like introducing a new product which need step by step systematic approach.
  • What are the pillars means and does it means I must implement all in order to achieve the Industry 4.0 status?
    The pillars whether it’s IIoT, Big Data Analytics, Cloud, Augmented Reality and etc. are just the enabler of the new technological tools for you to adapt and adopt towards achieving your business goals and objectives. Even when we apply simple IIoT sensors to the machine to monitor the temperature, it must be able to perform three basic functions on top of complying to the design principles; Measure, Analyse and Act (MAA). Without these three functions, it means nothing. As simple application of MAA can also applied to monitor through the tower light of each machines so that we can know all the machine status, real-time, analyse it and taking necessary action to correct it between RED, YELLOW and GREEN status.
  • What are the key challenges to implement Industry 4.0?
    Many challenges and obstacles but the most important thing is people mind-set and attitude towards change. Change is the only constant in business in order to be successful. The mind-set will include everyone in the organization at all levels. Other challenges include, skill’s up-skill and re-skill, financial strategy, budgeting, understanding the design concepts, selecting the best solutions and service providers, and etc.On top of the challenges dealing with the people change process, there are some others challenges as below; Security: Perhaps the most challenging aspect of implementing Industry 4.0 approach is the Cyber security risk since everything are connected through ONLINE network. Cyber theft must also be put into consideration. In this case, the problem is not individual, but can, and probably will, cost producers money and might even hurt their reputation. Therefore, research in security is crucial. Capital: Such transformation will require a huge investment in a new technology that doesn’t sound cheap. The decision to make such transformation will have to be on CEO level. Even then, the risks must be calculated and taken seriously. In addition, such transformation will require a huge capital, which alienates smaller businesses and might cost them their market share in the future. Employment: While it still remains early to speculate on employment conditions with the adoption of Industry 4.0 globally, it is safe to say that workers will need to acquire different or an all-new set of skills. This may help employment rates go up but it will also alienate a big sector workers. The sector of workers whose work is perhaps repetitive will face a challenge in keeping up with the industry. Different forms of education must be introduced, but it still doesn’t solve the problem for the elder portion of workers. This is an issue that might take longer to solve and will be further analyzed later in this report. Privacy: This not only the customer’s concern, but also the producers. In such an interconnected industry, producers need to collect and analyze data. To the customer, this might look like a threat to his privacy. This is not only exclusive to consumers. Small or large companies who haven’t shared their data in the past will have to work their way to a more transparent environment. Bridging the gap between the consumer and the producer will be a huge challenge for both parties
  • What's the different between Industrie 4.0 (Germany), Made in China 2025 (China), Industrie du Futur (France), IIC (USA), and more..."
    "Made in China 2025" is the industrialization master plan to comprehensively upgrade the Chinese industry sector. The master plan draws direct inspiration from Germany's "Industrie 4.0" platform. However, the Chinese effort is far broader, as the efficiency and quality of Chinese producers are highly uneven. The master plan was published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in May 2015.China's State Council has recently unveiled the national plan, which was authorized by Premier Li Keqiang. "Made in China 2025" is the first 10-year action plan of two following Five Year Plans designed to transform China from a manufacturing giant into a world manufacturing power. The related Chinese slogan is “China needs to grow from big to strong”. The “Made in China 2025” strategy thus is a ten year target plan, which identifies nine tasks to be strengthened by Chinese national, provincial and local governments and Chinese state-owned enterprises. While Industrie 4.0 has become a planetary buzzword, the program “Industrie du Futur” has obtained little attention from the global press, the public or industrial players. The first phase of the program was launched in 2013 by Arnaud Montebourg, then the French minister of reindustrialization. The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) was founded in March 2014 by a few companies AT & T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM and Intel. New Internet technologies are to be jointly promoted, although the approach is not limited to the industrial sector. Further initiatives are in Japan under the name „Industrial Value-Chain Initiative“ (IVI). Initiators are a few major Japanese companies. So, everything are moving on the same journey towards better industrial evolution in term of efficiency, productivity, quality, flexibility, manufacturability and safety.
  • What it means by OT and IT convergence?
    As the Industry 4.0 approaches, one of the concepts disrupting the manufacturing world is the convergence of IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology). Operational technology supports physical value creation and manufacturing processes, such as the devices, sensors and software that are required to monitor and regulate the operation of manufacturing plants and equipment. Information technology combines all necessary technologies for information processing. While this shift in the industry may have many on edge, this convergence will fill many of the gaps that currently exist. In IT circles, “OT” is sometimes used to describe the black box or isolated nature of many automation organizations and technologies. The convergence of IT and OT technologies has gained traction with the onset of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and for the technical organizations today that have responsibility for manufacturing technology, pinpointing where the convergence of IT and OT occurs in your company, really depends on the mission of your technical organization. For industrial organizations the prime directives can usually fall into two broad categories. One type of organization may have a mission to serve the information and automation technology needs of operations and provide reliable sustainable infrastructure, while the other broad category of organization provides something distinctly different – such as create value for the business through IT and technology enablement. Technology enablement might improve capital utilization and provide a resultant return on investment. These financial drivers can be enhanced by improving the speed, capacity, quality, and efficient use of human resources.For example in the past, IT personnel are the one who perform the trouble shooting and repair when come to network connectivity but when more machinery are connected through the network, it will be more efficient to re-assign this role to the OT personnel for faster response and wider job scope.
  • How many technology pillars needed for Industry 4.0?
    There are no specific number of pillars or program that a company must used in order to achieve a status called " Industry 4.0" or "Smart Factory". The most important aspect of adopting the new approach is to be able to improve the company performance through the used of new technology advancement in the area of digital data exchanged, advanced automation, advanced robotics and advanced digital system integration through Cyber Physical System. Cyber-physical systems provide factories with increased connectivity between management level and the production floor. They’re able to monitor the manufacturing process in real time and make decentralized decisions based on data fed back through these networked machines. The autonomous networking of machines and systems along with the inclusion of big data analytics could help predict maintenance issues or system failures and react to them accordingly. Saving valuable time and money for companies. These technologies are also revolutionizing the way things are designed, demand for mass production and even product lifecycles.So, the key technology that drive these transformation are the pillars such as the IIoT, Digital Supply Chain Network, Horizontal/Vertical Integration, Additive Manufacturing, Augmented Reality, Cloud, Cyber Security, Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Autonomous Collaborative Robot.
  • What are the design principles for each technological pillar to support Industry 4.0 transformation?
    The design principles allow manufacturers to investigate a potential transformation to Industry 4.0 technologies. Based on the components above, the following are the design principles: Interoperability: Objects, machines and people need to be able to communicate through the Internet of Things and the Internet of People. This is the most essential principle that truly makes a factory a smart one. Virtualization: CPSs must be able to simulate and create a virtual copy of the real world. CPSs must also be able to monitor objects existing in the surrounding environment. Simply put, there must be a virtual copy of everything. Decentralization: The ability of CPSs to work independently. This gives room for customized products and problem solving. This also creates a more flexible environment for production. In cases of failure or having conflicting goals, the issue is delegated to a higher level. However, even with such technologies implemented, the need for quality assurance remains a necessity on the entire process Real-Time Capability: A smart factory needs to be able to collect real time data, store or analyze it, and make decisions according to new findings. This is not only limited to market research but also to internal processes such as the failure of a machine in production line. Smart objects must be able to identify the defect and re-delegate tasks to other operating machines. This also contributes greatly to the flexibility and the optimization of production. Service-Orientation: Production must be customer-oriented. People and smart objects/devices must be able to connect efficiently through the Internet of Services to create products based on the customer’s specifications. This is where the Internet of Services becomes essential. Modularity: In a dynamic market, a Smart Factory’s ability to adapt to a new market is essential. In a typical case, it would probably take a week for an average company to study the market and change its production accordingly. On the other hand, smart factories must be able to adapt fast and smoothly to seasonal changes and market trends.
  • How much the investment needed in order to kick-start the transformation?
    It cost you ZERO to get the ball rolling. The first thing to do is to change the people mindset and come out with strategy. Establish all the current baseline in your business and organization and identify the key area which need improvement and can give QUICK WIN such as low hanging fruits. Brainstorm on the root cause of the current issues and define our the new Industry 4.0 technological tools can help to eliminate the root cause of each problems and what should be the break-even point in order to justify the new investment. So, all these activities does not require any new investment but again the most critical part of it is PEOPLE MINDSET towards technology driven initiative must be at the TOP. Top management must take the leadership role and define the end goal and provide the direction and resources and promote the new culture and motivate the TEAM.
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