Industry 4.0 is the next step in the evolution of technology in industry. In the last century, manufacturing technology progressed from Henry Ford’s assembly line to computerization — taking physical data and digitizing it. Then automation was introduced, and now, with Industry 4.0, value is being added through artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous systems and analytics. Smart manufacturing employs these technologies to drive greater efficiency and productivity in manufacturing across industries. The backbone of this digital transformation consists of industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) systems that instruct, manage and monitor machines, equipment, processes and supply chains.
Today, sensors, machine-to-machine communications, AI, machine learning, augmented reality and sophisticated analytics drive improvements across the industrial value chain through real-time operational data and insights in a smart manufacturing environment. Combining these technologies requires data orchestration — the capture, transformation and delivery of relevant data — into each of these processes.
The level and quality of this orchestration within the industrial IoT (IIoT) ecosystem is a critical component in a manufacturer’s ability to improve operational processes, boost production, drive greater efficiency and take advantage of new service opportunities.