A part of our multi-part industry 4.0 series

The time of data driven business is eventually reaching an all new high. By using Information industries have been able to not only secure a constant growth but reach new top lines in revenue and develop fully new business-models.

Especially in the manufacturing sector one key term found his way into the daily business of managers: Industry 4.0.

This – fourth – industrial revolution, the idea of which was originally created by Bosch, has the goal to combine automatization and data exchange in manufacturing.  By using so called cyber physical (production) systems (CP(P)S) and building a network, which enables a cloud-based collection and exchange of data, factories are able to step their game up and become a “smart” factory. These elements broadly describe and define the idea of Industry 4.0.

The current trend has multiple impacts on the manufacturing sector. By the collected data and computation power some hard-core analytics and intelligence can be extracted and used for the identification of improvement potentials within the production process. Also the increase of the interaction between a human and a machine can not only lead to an increase in productivity with subsequent cost reduction, but also enable fully new dimensions of work-experience on a daily basis.

Furthermore, there are promising chances in the exploitation of new business models. We from Consult& believe that by changing, supplementing or even newly developing your current business model to a data-driven one, can lead to a non-marginal increase in revenue. But also the inclusion of service-oriented or individual products can be promising. In their study about the economic potential of Industry 4.0  in Germany BITKOM estimates a CAGR of 1.7% until 2025, which is an additional value add of some 80 billion euros, especially in the departments of machine manufacturing, chemical and process engineering, automotive, electronics and information technology.

But as all new concepts come with pro’s and con’s, there are some challenges that need to be tackled before entering the world of 4.0. The most significant point to be considered is Cybersecurity. As machines and elements become intelligent, they basically turn into nothing else than a PC. And once a device turns into a PC, its network becomes enterable, controllable and breakable. The consequence is quite obvious, once we consider the inevitable connection of machines and networks, necessary for the creation of a smart factory.

Due to our client-concentration on start-ups, as well as small and medium sized enterprises, we believe that an implementation of 4.0 as a whole might not always be profitable for some businesses. Nevertheless a top-done analysis of the possible 4.0 approaches in your company can also reveal potentials for improvement on other corners and even have an impact on multiple levels of your business.

Mario ist Teil unseres Consulting-Teams und Operations Experte bei Consult&

Mario Jankovic

Innovation Philosopher, Consult&