It’s well-known that the manufacturing industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation into the digital age, using a suite of technologies that go by the term Industry 4.0. Using IoT, mobile devices, the cloud, data analytics and more, the factory floor is becoming a highly efficient, automated place, tied directly to the rest of an enterprise’s infrastructure and supply chain.
Not so well-known, though, is a secret weapon that can speed up the move to Industry 4.0 – low-code and no-code development platforms. Smart manufacturers are increasingly using these platforms to help power Industry 4.0.
Manufacturers face significant problems hiring enough experienced developers to write the applications and mobile apps that are at the core of Industry 4.0. Low-code and no-code platforms solve the problem, by letting citizen developers and those on the factory floor write apps. They also make it easier for professional IT staff to write them.
The Industry Week article “Citizen Developers on the Shop Floor,” provides several examples of how manufacturers use no-code platforms. Using such a platform, Orlando-based Nautique Boat Company built apps to track, in real-time, the manufacturing process using IoT sensors in order to improve productivity and reduce errors.
The Nautique Boat Company isn’t unique. Other manufacturers are using Industry 4.0 techniques to gain a competitive advantage. The IQMS Manufacturing blog post, “Top 10 Predictions for Manufacturing CIOs In 2019” says, “CIOs and their teams who are the most adept at integrating analytics, Business Intelligence (BI), real-time monitoring, and quality management are growing on average 10% faster than their peers.”
“CIOs and their teams who are the most adept at integrating analytics, Business Intelligence (BI), real-time monitoring, and quality management are growing on average 10% faster than their peers.”
In addition, the survey found, “CIOs who can create a unified data model and power it using IoT platforms will grow the fastest and have the greatest time-to-market advantage with new products compared to peers.”
Scott Benting of Alpha Manufacturing Solutions explains how no-code and low-code platforms can help manufacturer do all that. “Low-code and no-code development platforms are manufacturers’ secret weapon for getting to Industry 4.0,” he says. “It’s hard to find experienced developers who can do the hard, complex work of gathering data, writing the right apps, tying the factory floor to back-end systems and more. Low-code/no-code platforms lets non-developer manufacturing experts do all that — and also improve the productivity of IT staff.”
He adds, “Low-code/no-code platforms have other benefits as well, including increasing employee engagement, helping manufacturers do more with less, giving skilled developers the tools to work faster, reducing app backlogs, and integrating new technology with legacy systems.”
Low-code/no-code platforms have other benefits as well, including increasing employee engagement, helping manufacturers do more with less, giving skilled developers the tools to work faster, reducing app backlogs, and integrating new technology with legacy systems.”
The Best Tool for Getting Manufacturers to Industry 4.0
Alpha Software products are ideally suited for enabling digital transformation at manufacturing companies. 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 on the production floor, in warehouses, or at customer sites. Manufacturers are using Alpha TransForm to:
- Increase worker efficiency by reducing the hours spent on each daily activity.
- Capture the knowledge of more experienced workers in intelligent apps that can guide less experienced workers.
- Lower risk by eliminating data-entry mistakes and delayed access to critical data
Companies are finding that they can realize all these benefits by turning paper forms -- such as quality inspections, non-conformance reports, safety checklists, etc. -- into modern mobile apps. Learn More.