Industry 4.0 is the termed coined for the new approach to the fourth industrial revolution enabling “smart” manufacturing using technology that was previously not available
Every manufacturer has the potential to integrate machine learning into their operations and become more competitive by gaining predictive insights into production.
Machine learning’s core technologies align well with the complex problems manufacturers face daily. From striving to keep supply chains operating efficiently to producing customised, built- to-order products on time, machine learning algorithms have the potential to bring greater predictive accuracy to every phase of production. Many of the algorithms being developed are iterative, designed to learn continually and seek optimised outcomes. These algorithms iterate in milliseconds, enabling manufacturers to seek optimised outcomes in minutes versus months.
In many manufacturing companies, IT systems are disparate, which makes it difficult for cross-functional teams to accomplish shared goals. Machine learning has the potential to bring an entirely new level of insight and intelligence into these teams, making their goals of optimising production workflows, inventory, Work In Process (WIP), and value chain decisions possible.
Machine learning is revolutionising product and service quality by determining which internal processes, workflows, and factors contribute most and least to quality objectives being met. Using machine learning manufacturers will be able to attain much greater manufacturing intelligence by predicting how their quality and sourcing decisions contribute to greater Six Sigma performance within the Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) framework.
Manufacturing as a service
The vision of Manufacturing-as-a-Service will become a reality thanks to machine learning enabling subscription models for production services.
Manufacturers whose production processes are designed to support rapid, highly customised production runs are well positioning to launch new businesses that provide a subscription rate for services and scale globally. Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), electronics providers and retailers whose manufacturing costs have skyrocketed will have the potential to subscribe to a manufacturing service and invest more in branding, marketing, and selling.