We are in the midst of the fourth Industrial Revolution, advancing from manual manufacturing through to automation and onward into autonomous operations.
If talking about Industry 4.0, AI, robotics and the Internet of Things makes you nervous, don’t worry. Martin Davis, my guest on Episode 8 of the TechTalks podcast, is here to demystify it all for us. A Chief Information Officer, he is the managing partner of DUNELM Associates, which provides IT strategy services with a specialty in advanced manufacturing.
You don’t need advanced degrees in computer science or engineering to take advantage of this evolution.
“If you think Industry 4.0 is just about the technology, you couldn’t be further from the truth,” Martin says.
What it comes down to, he explains, is using data from your machines to make better decisions, faster.
That sounds pretty straightforward. But Martin says that data collection is a first step many organizations still haven’t taken. Without a solid base of reliable data on, say, how often a piece of equipment is idle or down for maintenance, you don’t have a clear picture of how your machines, people and overall operations are running or where the bottlenecks are. Without that, you can’t make sound business decisions, including, perhaps, to automate or invest in new technology.
Martin points to a client who did some basic data collection and was shocked to find all of their equipment was running below 50% capacity. That must have been a pretty striking discovery!
When they then looked at their operations, they discovered a process problem that was easy to address.
If you’re new to all this, Martin suggests you start simply by gathering data, the foundation for Industry 4.0, which is the relationship between your cyber or computer assets, and your physical ones.
For more on this episode of the TechTalks podcast please follow the link below: