How You Can Maximize the Potential of Industry 4.0

Mobile is critical to the success of Industry 4.0, but in it's often overlooked as a starting point.The manufacturing industry is hurriedly chasing digital transformation in a movement called Industry 4.0. This digital revolution is powered by IoT, big-data analytics, smart factories and other technologies.

But many manufacturers are struggling to get to Industry 4.0. So Gartner, in its report, “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for Manufacturing Industries: Smart Factory,” offers advice for companies who want to make the most out of it.

The core of Gartner’s recommendations is that it’s vital for companies to work on “transforming and improving ways in which people, processes and technologies operate to deliver the critical information needed to impact decision quality, efficiency, cost and agility.”

Among the technologies important for doing this, the report says, are “automated things” such as autonomous mobile robots, augmented analytics that use machine learning driven by IoT to automate data preparation and analysis, the “empowered edge” that keeps data processing close to the plant rather than in central IT, and immersive experiences including augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality to help factory workers perceive and interact with the digital world.

The report points to numerous examples of the benefits these kinds of technologies offer, including an automaker using autonomous things to reduce inventory storage by 60 percent, and a factory that can manufacture and deliver a product within 12 hours of receiving the order.

Digital technologies allowed one factory to reduce inventory storage by 60 percent, and another to manufacture and deliver a product within 12 hours of receiving an order.

The Important of Mobile In Industry 4.0

Not mentioned in the Gartner survey, but implicit in it, is the centrality of mobile to the success of Industry 4.0. Here’s how Samsung executive Josh Gibson describes it in a blog post:  “Forward-thinking manufacturing companies are using mobile devices as the platforms through which plant management and workers can access…technologies with ease — and at scale — to create an agile, responsive and truly collaborative environment.”

And Anurag Lal, CEO and President of Infinite Convergence Solutions, says in his blog post “5 Ways Mobile is Driving the Next Wave of Technological Innovation,” that vital to Industry 4.0 is how well IoT and mobile work together: “The key to staying competitive in this new era of innovation is the confluence of IoT and mobile. With IoT’s ability to combine data generation with connected devices, manufacturers can mine through more data than ever before. By combining that data generation with mobile’s ability to provide networks, mobile and IoT will enable increased visibility within the manufacturing market.”

The Best Platform to Help Manufacturing Build Mobile Apps for Industry 4.0

Manufacturers can quickly build the apps they need or mobilize manufacturing forms and processes without requiring additional development resources.To build mobile apps to help get to Industry 4.0, manufacturers need to choose the right platform. Alpha TransForm is ideal for resource-constrained manufacturers looking to digitally transform their businesses. Alpha TransForm and Alpha Anywhere can work independently or together as a single platform and are ideally suited for digital transformation.  Alpha TransForm helps business users craft online or offline mobile apps in minutes that utilize the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture. Manufacturers can pay a low monthly subscription and easily craft the apps they need - or mobilize their existing paper forms processes - and have them running in a secure cloud in days -- without a capital expense or fighting for IT resources.. Learn more about Alpha TransForm, manufacturing template apps and a free-30-day trial.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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