The concern is how advanced we are in industry 4.0, away from all movements and associations. Are businesses completely set for manufacturing? And in this industrial sense, what does preparation mean to begin with?

In other words, what are the functions, values, technical sophistication, advantages, and realizations (accomplished and desired)? And also where do we begin with Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet? Moreover, as you will find, the answers to these questions are very close to those for all businesses in digital transformation. This and every digital transformation strategy problem. In addition, in the end, digital transformation is a common reality, in every sector, whatever the various technologies or the business context in production. And also where comparable capacities and results are being followed. However, the concept and reality of Industrie 4.0 with the project and specific steps towards the vision, as stated at the beginning of this essay.

Increasing efficiency, Integration, and Optimization of service systems, market processes. Also, the number one Internet of Things use the case from an IoT-spending perspective, which is more than just one path, as described, to digital transformations of output, is still based mainly on the earlier phases of transition and “ripe-of-maturité”.

The First Stages of Maturity in Industry 4.0

The Boston Consultancy Group has discovered this in a December 2016 survey, namely that businesses adopt Industry 4.0 in an independent and ad-hoc fashion.

In every industry that is transforming, if you wish, we see almost the same phenomena. Also, this is the first step toward a more comprehensive landscape of opportunities as companies transition from apparent targets to actual creativity and even perturbation. The following example by the Boston Advisory Company reveals some elements of this wider probability ecosystem, beyond the increased efficiency.

In other words, the MOST manufacturing and production businesses (there are a vast number of exceptions here and there are a couple of them on the web) are still in this stage where there is a will to turn, but there is also a lack of a wider picture, of a broader approach.

Industry 4.0 is at the forefront of the agenda but one or two discrete elements of Industry 4.0 are applied in reality, says the company. Examples of this include massive data files and/or robotics.

This really is the first level of maturity, with an emphasis on the above-mentioned optimization and automation priorities and advantages.

Also, this can perfectly contrasts with IDC’s results on progressive evolution from Internet of Things pilot projects to scalable implementations. All according to which IDC finds that the gain sought from these deployments concentrate largely on internal priorities and operations.

This will remain the case for some time, as the Internet of Things is more seen as logistical and operational than disruptive and internal ambitions, considering the growing numbers of major IoT projects.

The Next Maturity stages in Industry 4.0

In the Boston Consultancy Groups‘ vision of Industry 4.0 as a way to increase competitiveness. And examine how this is achieved in reality – the similarities are obvious. So, what are the next steps of maturity??

The new trend in industrial technology is industry 4.0. Automation and data sharing. Which comprises the Internet of things, cyber-physical networks, and cloud computing. Industry 4.0 is developing a “smart factory”.

Not because of sophistication but in order that improved efficiency above it will lead to greater mobility. Also real-time possibilities, the creation of creative capabilities and genuine creativity, the discovery of potential sources of income dependent on knowledge and services, and many other objectives.

Also, the solutions and problems are similar to all digital transformations. To develop new skills, recognizing and developing competitive advantages and services. This all can have a huge effect on company model, and on the entire industry, needs more than projects and more than competitiveness. And also to find new opportunities in intelligence, staff, processes, and innovation equation.

Industry 4.0 risks and challenges

And here we find these everlasting barriers even in Industry 4.0. Among the following were listed by the Boston Consulting Group:

The strategy concept (for Industry 4.0), the number one challenge.

  • The organization and methods to optimize the results have to be reconsidered.
  • A business case interpretation.
  • Pilot good results.
  • Action must be taken by the company.
  • Management transition ignored too many times.
  • Company culture.
  • A real departmental interconnection.
  • Talent…


All of them are challenges that we’ve seen in so many other places and we want to add at least two (there are more):

  1. The excellence of information management, which includes actionable knowledge and associated information and process excellence. It ensures that employees and clients are appropriate, creative, and promptly available for all desired businesses.
  2. Protection (Cyber) (and privacy). As IT and OT converge, the rising number of attacks in the industrial Internet of Things is a reality. In addition, as a core component of Industry 4.0, one of the key factors behind IIoT initiatives has been security issues and IIoT.

Moreover, the functional, technical, and ecosystem-related challenges are:

  • The integration issues for the IT and OT industries.
  • Questions about data enforcement.
  • Risk management and cost control in challenging times.
  • Completion of the dynamics of the supply chain linked.
  • A greater understanding of and, most importantly, how IT and OT technology can be exploited.
  • Client and industrial partner criteria. -Altering.
  • Rivalry and the accelerated competitiveness of industry 4.0 champions.
  • the everlasting task of the human being (talent, work future, job,…..).

Although leading manufacturers face the above challenges and some already have them, others will have to step up. Also, the Boston Consultancy Group’s study ‘Sprinting to Value in Industry 4.0’ is no coincidence.

lIs the fear of others taking lead as a good consultant? Not? No? Do you have somewhere to start? Yeah, and you can. Is it time for Industry 4.0 in a world where digital transformation is a marathon with many sprints to sprint, even if the fear is a poor adviser? When we look at what we do best we say yes.

Benefits of Industry 4.0

If it’s Industry 4.0, the smart industry, or the industrial Internet, manufacturers have great advantages in changing their process.

We’ve already listed some advantages, risks and obstacles so let’s look at some of the big advantages a little more closely. Several articles in the other articles on this website are further discussed.

Industry 4.0’s key aim is to speed up, productivity and more customer-centric development – and related sectors, for example, logistics – while also moving beyond automation and optimization and finding new market possibilities and models.

Industry 4.0 has most – obviously – advantages, similar to digital manufacturing transformation. It also includes IoT use in manufacturing, business process and business optimization, value-added knowledge ecosystems, digital transformation in general, the Internet, and various topics on our website. Let us however sum up a couple of Industry 4.0’s main benefits.

1. Enhanced productivity through automation and optimization

As stated in Industry 4.0, the first advantage that manufacturers see is process optimization and productivity.

It is also one of Industry 4.0’s first priorities. In other words: cost savings, rentability increase, waste reduction, the automation of errors and delays, the acceleration of output to work more in real-time and depending on the overall value chain, where speed is crucial to all; the digitalization of paper flows; the speed to respond to production problems, etc.

This is the low, but essential, hanging fruit. In addition to the BCG study, the signs are clear that investments are made first in those fields. Again, it is no coincidence that, from the spending viewpoint, manufacturers are investing in development activities in their IoT budget number one (102.5 billion dollars out of  IoT 178 billion dollars in all manufacturing applications in 2016). Industry 4.0 provides different solutions that improve logistics and inventory management from the optimized use of assets and smoother production processes.

2. Real-time data for a real-time supply chain in a real-time economy

In optimization, automation, and improved efficiency, while we just talked about speed, it is also a help in many other ways.

The internal priorities of costing and process optimization rather dealt with many of the efficiency improvements. At the same time, however, many fit into an increased consumer orientation.

Industry 4.0 encompasses the whole product life cycle and, clearly, production is not independent of itself. Many stakeholders engage in the entire value chain and the environment in which production operations work. Both of these are clients. And consumers want increased productivity no matter where in the supply chain they are. If the final consumer needs good products quickly and improves customer experience, quality, service, and product demands at the exact moment that he/she wants, this will affect the entire supply chain, up to and including development.

Speed is also a problem of synchronization, costs, and development of value not just a competitive advantage and consumers’ preferences in an increasingly real-time economy. In addition, consumers just wait.

Once again the crucial role of information and data surfaces.

Industry 4.0, intelligent facilities, supply chains, told clients, alignments: from existing service to product distribution to and from the end customers.

The earlier and timer the data you collect, the more important it becomes, the more valuable the supply chain is. In fact, this is the essence of RAMI 4.0, the Architecture Model Industry reference 4.0, as discussed below, in three dimensions.

3. Higher business continuity through monitoring possibilities and advanced maintenance

It must be replaced if an industrial asset is broken. That takes time, money and very often helps people and engineers move around.

It is not just the robot that breaks up when a major industrial asset such as an industrial robot in a car-making facility comes to an end. Manufacturing is affected, the cost of money and unfortunate customers may be totally disturbed, often. It is the worst fear for anyone, so business continuity is a big concern.

In addition to all substitution, prestige, and prices, orders can cancel and money can throw away with each hour going by. If industrial assets link and track (for example, health monitoring) through the Internet of Things, and problems deal with before the benefits happen. You can set up alarms, maintain assets proactively, control and diagnose in real-time, and engineers can repair problems as they happen from a distance, the list goes on. In other places where products seem to have been created more frequently and a world of new services is available, as we can see trends and observations. In addition, we benefit. No wonder the second-largest sector of IoT investment in manufacturing is asset management and repair.

4. Better quality products: IoT-enabled quality improvement, cobots, and real-time monitoring

We said customers would like speed. This does not mean, however, that they are ready for speed trading quality.

You can also boost the quality of your goods if you’ve got everything in your manufacturing system and its wider ecosystem with sensors, apps, IoT technology, insight systems, AND the client. In particular, the traditional components of cyber-physical (more below) systems and the Internet of Things are important to automation, with quality aspects in real-time monitoring and robotics reducing errors. automation is a major factor in this field.

As already stated, on the reverse side and one of the threats and challenges to be faced. The more automated you are, the fewer people work, in principle. The same applies to other advantages such as maintenance (the less you need engineers for support, the fewer support engineers you need). This is an established problem and issue that we will address later. In the meantime, you know that not all human work can be handled shortly by robots. Wide-ranging businesses expanded robot use and recruited more at the same time. In the sense of efficiency, we mention it because this is definitely one region in which the cobots appear (cobots is a fancy term for advanced collaborative robots or put more simply. Robots that fit a collaboration between man and machine).

5. Better sustainability and working conditions

The human (and social) factor of Industry 4.0 is omnipresent when it comes to people. Furthermore, in considering the opportunity and benefit, the individual, social, and even environmental aspects are central to the Industry 4.0 objectives.

Improve working conditions based on actual temperature, humidity, and other information on the factory or warehouse, rapid identification and safety in the event of accidents, gasses, radiation, etc., improved connectivity and cooperation opportunities (certainly in industry 4.0, as the EU wishes); emphasis on ergonomics and clean air and the clean factory initiatives.

6. Customization for the ‘new’ consumer and Personalization

We all know: the attitudes of customers and expectations have changed. The way we work, shop, and live have changed digital tools.

People have also become more demanding, including in relation to rapid reactions and timely information and distribution as previously stated. In addition, customers want a degree of individualization, depending on the context. For example, take sports shoes. When there have been enough of the colors of the same shoe, we know we want to adopt them anyway.

In addition, there is another phenomenon and conventional supply chains are broken. Consumers are having (and want) more and more opportunities to have direct contact with and the production potential of a company. Digital product platforms as defined, shortened routes between manufacture and distribution, co-creative opportunities, etc. These phenomena are already happening in many manufacturing environments. It’s not just in an environment for the user. Even if it is just a matter of sticking a mark and introducing a custom feature or adapting some feature of the product, we are seeing adaptation in a B2B sense.

If these services are to be delivered on a scale and even become a competitive advantage, automation and multiple process and technologies would become a matter of priority in industry 4.0. A real-life example without revealing the details: a large bank needs to make use, with its own look and feel and features, of specialized office equipment across all its branches (customer-facing context). More examples are available.

7. Improved agility

When we talk about competitive advantages and customization, agility, scalability, and versatility must be discussed.

It is expected that IT services and technology, such as the cloud, will able to provide the same scalability and agility. This is partly linked to the previous customization subject but mainly relates to leveraging technology, broad data, ATIs, robotics, and cyber-physical systems to anticipate and meet seasonal demand, output fluctuations, downscale or upscale possibilities. That is, all the changes can be more or less predictable or can not expect. Because they are more obvious, are more versatile, and can be made with the ability to use assets in the optimum output demand from a time- and scale perspective.

8. New Revenue Models and The Development of Innovative Capabilities

Digital transformation is a matter of several stages, steps, and capacities, as you can read in our summary of our digital transformation strategy.

Processes, certain roles, customer service, expertise, and ability transforms. But ultimately true value creates through the implementation of new, often informative, revenue sources and ecosystems. Which allow for innovative capabilities, such as the use of as-a-customer service, advanced maintenance services, etc.

At the end of the day, Industry 4.0. This is a subject on which we have written quite often. 

Find out more about Industry 4.0 here!