woodworkingnetwork.com | March 2019 | 38 |
system would optimize according to
the new situation. It would check the
availability of all required materials
and parts, including the suppliers’
systems. It would sideline current pro-
duction orders to allow the now more
urgent priorities to be manufactured
first. If the optimization recognizes
sufficient unused machine capacity it
might advance an upcoming mainte-
nance and service call on the machine,
but not until the service technician
and the required spare parts are con-
firmed. The system would then inform
the worker or the management what
the recommended course of action is.
Is this Utopia? Not anymore. The
manufacturing industry is moving
toward this competence.
Can we wait until this trend passes
and life returns to normal? Let us
answer the question with a question:
Could your business survive if you
didn’t invest in the technology brought
by the Third Industrial Revolution
(computers, software, CNC machines,
etc.)? The answer to both questions
is NO! If we know we need to address
Industry 4.0, the next question is how
quickly we need to act?
This depends on many factors. Are
you currently in a comfortable position
with no market pressures? Do your
competitors have no interest in modernizing their plants? Do you foresee
little or no competition from Europe,
South America or Asia? Do you have
strong competitors close by as in your
state, in the USA or from your neighbor countries? No, well, in that case,
you, have lots of time!
But that would be the real utopia.
We all need to start addressing this
subject. This does not mean you need
Seven key areas that include all aspects of the business all need to be addressed simultaneously to get your company ready to adapt Industry 4.0.