When you are in a position to be responsible for ensuring the full potential operation of a manufacturing plant, you cannot ignore the talk about ‘Industry 4.0’ and ‘Industrial Automation’. Industrial Automation should not be treated as an obligation. It is a productive combination of improved digital capacities, smarter machines, and sensible cross-channel communication.
Since 2018, we have witnessed a huge digital change. Starting from decentralized cloud-systems to self-directing machines, we have seen it all. However, it is not yet that common. Most plants are slowly approaching towards adopting Industrial Automation. All plants are individually trying their best to make their production line as compatible as possible. They know they need to cope up with the developing, advancing technologies. This way they can slowly optimize their production process. Over the next few decades, a huge transition is expected to take place in the industrial world.
So, how do you begin your journey towards optimizing production-lines in the most cost-effective way possible, alongside assuring long-term ROI benefits? We have come up with 5 effective ways. This can help you set your plant up for new Industrial automation technologies:
1. Consolidate a Single Virtual Server :
Finding a cost-effective storage and data processing solution for your plant is a very difficult job. Also, the solution you choose must comply with the rules and eventualities of your industry. To get started with industrial automation applications, you first need to upgrade a server to a virtual option.
If your plant is exclusively running on physical servers, you don’t need to go virtual right away. There is a very convenient side of Industry 4.0. Most of the software integrations available will integrate with your existing hardware. You will have the option to invest in just one virtual server. Similarly, you can layer software integrations on to it. Most importantly, a single server reduces your costs while maintaining a realistic adaption curve. There are several server options. You can easily consult a process automation expert about the suitability of your server.
2. Arrange for basic Industrial Automation security :
Possibilities of cyber threats increase with an increase in communication on virtual servers. There is nearly no way to avoid this. The easiest thing you can do is to apply two-factor authentication (2FA) for employees. A generic password is not secure enough to protect your data. It’s just a matter of getting the accurate settings implemented and maintaining a protocol that requires every employee to follow the 2FA procedure at all times. This could seem like a dreary matter at the beginning. Therefore, once it becomes a habit, this could bring forth a huge difference in the cyber-security and production office of your plant.
3. Your next purchase must be a Smart Machine :
If you are a new business or you have not adopted automation solutions yet, then it is likely for you to not be in a position to have a completely automated line of smart machines generate highly customized production orders while communicating with and rectifying each other. However, if you are planning to buy a new machine, you should find an automated, optimized one. It must also have decentralized communication abilities. This will be a smart investment that will benefit your plant in the future.
Smart machines are mostly virtually independent of any human intervention. These machines can easily fit into the demands of individual production requirements. This ability of smart machines creates a scalable production process. With smart machines, not only can you produce a larger variety of products, but also enjoy a significantly faster production process.
If your existing machines are working fine and your production is doing fine, you may not replace your existing machines right away with smart machines. Instead, it will be best to go for a smart machine for your next upgrade. Get an automation expert to advise you on the suitable machine, technology, and compatibility with existing plant systems.
4. Implement technological upgrades :
You need to choose your automation products very wisely. You want such applications that help your systems to be compatible with future technological integrations. But, this does not mean that you have to replace all your old applications, programming, and platforms all at once. Most Industry 4.0 automation tools are created in a manner such that they can function on top of your existing process. Also, they do not disrupt the processes you have built to date.
5. Optimize a specific significant plant-process :
The concept of divide and rule works well in this context in a very optimistic way. Just like the idea of upgrading one server at a time, the best idea is to be focusing on just one plant process at a time as well. This could involve optimizing your shipping procedure or optimizing any specific production process. You need to keep in mind: while you experiment with the optimization strategies, you are not just looking forward to gaining a huge return on investment. It is your responsibility to help your employees get comfortable with the new automation system. You approach slowly, with considerable transparency. So, make sure that you include every employee in the process to run them successfully.
Industry 4.0 is generating a world where employees and managers can allot prosaic tasks to the smart machines and rely on them to make processes faster and more effective. Hence, no manufacturing plant should hold back and fall behind in this industrial evolution. To be a part of this evolution, have a look at https://www.innovationfactory.app/