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The Fast Pace of Emerging Smart Factories & Industry 4.0

The Fast Pace of Emerging
Smart Factories & Industry
What are Smart Factories? What are Smart Factories?
Smart Factory is referred to as the factory where the physical operations and services are coupled with technology and
digitization, smart computing, and big data to build a system that offers better opportunities for companies based on
manufacturing and supply chain management.
The smart factory is a feature of Industry 4.0 emerging in the Industrial Revolution that aims at real-time data, connectivity,
machine learning, sensors, and automation.
This simply implies that the manufacturing industry requires the hand of technology to help run the supply chain and basic
operations smoothly.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, many industries and companies have witnessed business disruptions as people are staying behind
their doors and every industry that didn’t fall under the category of “essentials” was temporarily shut down. This caused
businesses a lack of resources and the flow of money got them to a place of loss.
On the other hand, where the essentials were on high demand leading people to haul food items, sanitizers, daily-usage items,
and other essential items, it became a challenge for the manufacturing industry to run a smooth supply chain process in the wake
of Coronavirus outbreak.
With people staying home during the lockdown period, it lead them to use technology at a high rate and as the manufacturing
industry was facing a lack of helping hands, it had to move with the help of AI, machine learning, sensors, IoT, robots, and
automation to help solve mass production and balanced demand-supply issues.
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Why do we need Smart factories and Industry 4.0?
In the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, it became quite clear how
the usage of technology can turn a factory smart along with its
Industry 4.0 application.
Why do we need Industry 4.0
It provides production at a fast pace
The process of decision making becomes less onerous
by improving it altogether.
It helps with sharing economy
The quality provided is far better and much enhanced.
Industry 4.0 promises to offer mass customization with
numerous working platforms and employees lending
their hands simultaneously to fulfill the increasing
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The best of it all leads to increased efficiency and productivity which helps in understanding if the plan is to be profitable
or not, quite at a quick pace.
It also provides interactive dialogue with customers simply enhancing the customer relationship through automation
based customer services.
It provides a data-driven supply chain. In an industry where everything works based on the data, big data and data
analytics helps in understanding and analyzing the huge volume of data by making it personalized and protective.
Not just this, it also speeds up the delivery process in manufacturing by 120%, helping in gaining customer’s trust and
maintaining a strong customer relationship. It also speeds up the manufacturing process by 70% in time to get products to
the market, typically balancing the demand and supply chain operations.
Also, using technology in Industry 4.0 such as AI and ML helps in offering predictive maintenance that simply avoids
failures on the factory floor and lets you in on the upcoming issues and trends in the market by simultaneously keeping a
track of every crucial step in operation.
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Not just this, with an access to the factory and cross-market data, the decision-makers can help in predicting,
responding, and adapting to the factory needs and changing market trends
Moreover, As per McKinsey, Predictive maintenance will help companies save $630 Billion by 2025.
Industry 4.0 and the smart factory/manufacturing industry is a whole concept of adopting technology and digital
platforms to get the most of them to deliver the best. Especially when the whole market is low on production and
resources, making it fast to let it reach consumers would help immensely if a technology such as AI, robotics, ML,
and IoT are used.
Also, maintaining a proper internal business operational level will help the business in uplifting its standard and
raise to the normal level it used to be before the pandemic.
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Challenges faced
There are many types of challenges that will occur on the
surface with the adoption of technology using it solely for the
It can be of 2 different typesTechnical Challenges
Communication reliability and QoS
Handling a huge volume of data that too at a fast pace
Cyber Security and protection of data and information
Maturity of machine intelligence and adapting to its
changing environment and skills.
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Whereas, the social impact might contain the following challengesSocial Impact
General reluctance or ignorance by stakeholders to change, adapt to the technology, or practice technology adoption
(this could be due to any reason, personal, professional, or maybe because they want to first establish their brand
again on the same level and go along with the trends).
It may be that many might face the lack of adequate skills-sets
Unemployment could be another challenge.
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Supply chain risk management (SCRM)
The manufacturing industry has fallen under the intense pressure of providing quality based products and services
at a lower cost and in the minimum time possible. The pressure is intensifying from the management and
customers’ side for the fulfillment of the increasing demand due to the COVID-19, which has definitely made it
worse for the manufacturing industry.
When every business takes the ROI as the major leading factor for their business, it is becoming crucial for
businesses to fulfill their customers’ demand and satisfaction, collection of data and transforming it into an
informational and easily accessible form, and branding which altogether brings business value, growth, and
increased revenue.
Here comes the technology that can help the manufacturing industries take a deep breath and unburden its
pressure. The Internet of Things is the technology that brings numerous opportunities for businesses. To enhance
services, to bring efficiency, effectiveness, greater outcomes, improve business operations, help gain valuable
business insights at the right time and connecting machines to bring companies closer to their customers and
delivering ROI.
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IoT brings and delivers all products,
services, systems, equipment,
processes, workflows, facilities,
and people to coincide in a
connected and associated world.
It provides smart, interconnected
products enabling remote
monitoring and services that
provide cost-reduction and
enhanced business outcomes. Not
just this, it helps in improving
business decision-making, product
designing, and manufacturing
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The overall view of a smart factory
Many businesses are now moving on to the smart factory solution for gaining an intelligent production environment.
According to a MarketsandMarkets study, the smart-factory sector achieved a value of $153.7 billion in 2019 and is on
a constant rising state and climbing to a value of $244.8 billion almost every year.
And, the so on-demand and rise in the smart factory solution is due to the ongoing and rapid adoption of technology
and trends over the years. This involves the growing use of the internet of things solutions and industrial robotics along
with the intensified importance of regulatory compliance in the manufacturing industry.
There are many offerings of technology and finding the best one always extracts the effort and fun out of the image of
everything properly maintained and profitable. As per Forbes, a four-stage maturity cycle business can be used to guide
their smart factory efforts.
The first level of maturation includes the smart factory maturation where numerous businesses stand today. With
digitizing and automating almost every operation and business is creating a huge deal of data which however is difficult
to take action on.
As for the second level includes processing data to make it informationally accessible. In this level, the usage of
dashboards and visualization is made accessible to be able to have data easily available and read.
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The third level includes being proactive with operations. It means using tools like artificial intelligence and IoT
to that makes it easier to identify and predict issues and trends that may arise.
As for the fourth level, it includes the machine-driven action/operation, in this level the learning systems using
tools such as machine learning identifies, interacts, and make software adjustments automatically.
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Smart Factory Market Size and Analysis
The smart manufacturing industry is to rise rapidly post COVID-19
due to an increase in the demand for technology and digital
adoption. The market growth depends on the driving factors of
the global smart manufacturing industry including its demand,
products, services, and solutions propelled by the pandemic. This
leads to better management of the manufacturing industry along
with its operations being maintained in the industry ecosystem.
The market growth is driven by the growing & expanding role of
robots and automation in healthcare and manufacturing sectors
Moreover, as per MarketsandMarkets, post-COVID-19, the global
smart manufacturing market size is estimated to grow from USD
181.3 billion in 2020 and projected to reach USD 220.4 billion by
2025, at a CAGR of 4.0%,
As for the largest region accounted for its market growth is the
APAC region and it is to witness the largest share in the growth of
the global smart manufacturing industry from 2020-2025.
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Manufacturing Industry with IoT & Other technologies
Manufacturing Industry is turning into a smart factory with the
rapid adoption of technology and digitization. Technology such as
AI, ML, IoT, Automation, and robotics provides high flexibility and
high productivity.
Industrial robotics and automation is rather into providing every
process to be as easy and effortless as it could be and that too at a
rate that is efficient in all manners without consuming much cost
and time.
IoT technology has helped the manufacturing industry to save
labor costs, increased product revenue, improved product designs,
identified quality issues before they can impact severely, and has
also helped in the predictive maintenance which can be scheduled
when desired.
IoT technology is a whole package of benefits passed onto the
manufacturing industry to gain better outcomes and days after
being struck by the pandemic which brought business disruption at
a great level
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