IoT Worlds

Industry 4.0: Reimagining manufacturing operations after COVID-19

The infrastructure for industry 4.0 has already changed the activities of fabricators before the pandemic.

Particularly in parts of the world where the original influence of COVID-19 has begun to fade, significant disruptions continue to remain a reality for some time to come, with executives constantly under new pressures. For example, in a recent McKinsey survey of Asian suppliers, sudden material scarcity challenges (45% of respondents), sharp demand declines (41%), and workers unavailability were common problems (30 percent).

However, long before the pandemic, uncertainty became the watchword for supply and manufacturing leaders. When companies transition to the next standard, administrators face the longer-term question. How do they cope with COVID-19 from production and supply chains?

Most notably, as already seen in the rapid reaction to the crisis, it will definitely be even more digital. Industry leaders exploit solutions Industry 4.0. nerve center or control towers have adopted a 39 percent strategy to improve end-to-end supply chaine accountability and about a quarter of automation projects to eliminate workers’ shortages caused by COVID 19 are rapidly monitored.

The watchword is “Acceleration.” Industry 4.0, which involves networking, advanced analytics, automation, and robotics in advanced manufacturing, gathered traction before COVID-19, allowed businesses to turn industry in everything from manufacturing productivity to product customization, improving speed to market, service efficiency, and developing new business models.

Two-speed adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies

But in the sense of a crisis such as COVID-19, the position of Industry 4.0 is much more important. The players who use digital solutions are better suited than their fellow players during crisis to deal with disaster.

When businesses learn about rebuilding operations and muscle building to solve future crises, they would take advantage of emerging technology. According to the new McKinsey study of production and supply chain experts, 93 percent of businesses expect to concentrate on the durability of their supply chain.

Two conflicting factors – the need for flexibility and agility in coping with the crisis to overcome the limitations placed by cash conservation. May nevertheless render the upswing in technology adoptions asymmetric. There are likely to emerge three archetypes of adoption routes.

Such as tracing the well-being of staff, implementing healthy distancing on the ground and encouraging digital communication, rapid implementation of quick-wins technologies. That help businesses react and adapt to changing requirements. Digital job orders Improved operator service focused on fact and case stores depending on easy and cheap retrofit automation will now become more common outside of the current technology networks of businesses. For example, digital performance management (DPM) was a common early use case in several industries. Its including many small precision engineering companies, where DPM’s pilots have contributed 40 to 70% to improve productivity.

Some Industry 4.0 moves can be accelerated without major technology investments.

For solutions like digital twins, and logistics integration, the middle class needs simple information technology (IT), operational technology (OT), and data architecture is more likely to see varying acceptance rates. Companies with essential skills, such as management structures, IT/OT stacks, data sector, or data-lakes, will speed up while other organizations. Particularly SMEs and businesses with a more challenging financial or condition. May be slowed until these foundations are laid or discovered.

A separation is already visible in many automation systems in adoption. Historically, Chinese businesses have introduced industrial robots almost three times as rapidly as in other countries. In first quarter of 2020, traction seems to have shrunk as robotic revenues in China declined by 20% relative to same time in 2019. But in our latest poll, over a third of China’s respondents said that their firms are speeding up their automation programs. As compared to just 16% in Asia and 18% worldwide.

Adoption is most likely to be postponed with solutions involving larger capital spending and uncertain or long-standing payback times. For starters, blockchain, the new automation technologies, and nanotechnologies.

Industry 4.0 : A resilient, digitized future beyond the factory’s four walls

Companies may use digital solutions through the four walls of a facility to resolve end-to-end supply chain problems relating to manufacturers. Or production plants’ interruptions, service concerns in the control of industrial health threats, and distribution challenges in transport modes or warehouses. In addition, companies are able to incorporate digital solutions.

Planning for operations

The main feature in manufacturing and supply chains — forecasting — has historically been carried out in silos for the management of demand, supply planning, production planning, distribution planning, and S&OP by separate personnel. End-to-end exposure has been pushing businesses to smash into interrupted global commercial flows and supply chains. The future effect of optimized planning is also more clear. However, a more advanced theoretical methodology and teamwork across various functions and stakeholders are also needed.

Take market forecasting into account. Traditional forecasting algorithms rely on reasonably simple mathematical methods to extrapolate prior demand, relying on the presumption of the relationship between independent (e.g. prior sales) and dependent (future) variables. In comparison, businesses have typically used only domestic results, possibly in accordance with recent market patterns and prospective order consumer signals. A conventional demand forecasting mechanism is crippled by an external shock of COVID‐19 magnitude.

By comparison, autonomous planning depends not only on internal data, but also on external data from vendors, clients, meteorological forecasters, population sources, and wider economic metrics to complement artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. The inclusion of these additional factors allows businesses to respond more quickly to shifting conditions and external shocks. Advanced analytics can also refine preparation through the whole supply chain in such a manner that conventional analysis methods have not been possible using a siloed method.

Making the products

The COVID-19 interference with production comes from various outlets, including protected distances, phased worker presence, and restricted travel of foreign workers inside and between countries. New technology may help to minimize the consequences, improve staff protection, ease of service, competitiveness, and product consistency in a number of ways.

Boosting employee safety and operational continuity

Digital technologies that allow remote work and collaboration and prevent non-critical employees from leaving their homes become necessary. More sophisticated solutions such as computer vision algorithms and wearable devices also help keep the distances secure. When production activities resume, beyond simple touch and smartphone app monitoring and video conference applications.

Improving productivity and performance management

Data collection is manual, using pen and paper, or simple tables, in most businesses and especially in small and medium-sized enterprises. This method is vulnerable to mistakes and imprecisions that inevitably intensify throughout the crisis tension. Digital technologies help manufacturers to automate data collection by inserting sensors or directly tape the PLCs to collect data and view it on live dashboards. Digital solutions may also be used to automatically collect data.

Supervisors will then remotely and in real-time track factory output. Where required, they can deploy interventions, attend successful performance improvement sessions, adjust everyday plans to fulfill client needs, and enhance both job quality and organizational efficiency — all remotely.

Additional work capability may be improved with process control and physical automation or robotics. Brownfield automation in current companies has, in some cases, been a more attractive means of handling staff vacancies and reducing future expenses due to unmet orders. Robots now distribute raw and semi-finished products to separate assembly lines of one industrial manufacturing business. Which helps the manufacturing team handle a decreased employee thus avoiding direct interaction with workers in production and materials management.

Industry 4.0 : Increasing asset utilization and efficiency

Wearable devices, including ARV glasses, will increase remote maintenance support as if operators require off-site help due to travel constraints. This improves computer access and the downtime of services.

Even with skeleton crews, automatic equipment surveillance and process control systems will also improve operational continuity. These systems will further refine process parameters and operational equipment, improve overall cycle efficiency and higher performance, consistency, energy, and throughput. A particularly desirable prospect for continuous process industries where process parameters must be tracked and optimized continuously.

Improved quality

New technology will go a step forward in quality control, in addition to optimizing day-to-day activities. In machine vision algorithms, for instance, automated consistency and quality management can using predictive algorithms. That alleviate worker availability restrictions while increasing accuracy and quality control thresholds. Furthermore, as SKU is increasingly critical for finished goods and raw materials, consistency ensures end-to-end traceability. Industry 4.0 innovations can be useful, from easy scanning of bar code to RFID monitoring and blockchain.

Delivering the finished goods

Logistics collaborators are also responsible for the difficult and diverse process of supplying completed products to consumers. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, transport models reduced and additional complexity was introduced. For example, new packaging specifications and a safe, contactless ultimate-mile distribution. In this respect, digital and analytical tools will improve both demand and supply visibility for logistics services and enhance real-time efficiency.

Industry 4.0 Logistics

A remote logistics control tower can create a live view of results from loadings at the warehouse to the unloading at the distribution point at all stages of outbound logistics. In conjunction with automated fleet management, route planning, and carrier analytics, these techniques will improve the financial, management, and distribution of resources while maximizing transportation assets. These improvements collectively will contribute to improved organizational flexibility in crisis management.


Warehouses provide various automation intervention possibilities. They include shuttle systems, automated material stocking, and collection systems, intelligent racks, smart selection robots, and cobots, and automated, smart sorting, picking, and packaging systems, as well as warehouse inspection drones.

A digital twin can help to design optimum warehouse operations and to build a digital replica of a warehouse to consider the effects of various digital technology. Other solutions from Industry 4.0 will also benefit warehouse staff, including software to make it both faster and more reliable to obtain multiple orders and exoskeletons to prevent damage from constant handling of heavy-duty products.

A triple transformation recipe for Industry 4.0

Before the COVID-19 epidemic, there was broad optimism for Industry 4.0. 90% of McKinsey respondents persuaded of the importance of the technology. As a major element in their organizational development planning, even Industry 4.0.

The possible asymmetry after the pandemic has prompted certain businesses to cease to introduce their Industry 4.0 cash saving strategies. While some leaders have increased their implementation, in particular by using business continuity cases. Such as automatic preparation, the monitoring of digital results, remote digital work and automation to minimize contact between individuals. Consequently, the case for more digitization at scale will undoubtedly better than ever, as more companies recover from the recession.

However, it is difficult to transform in size. Our analysis, which spans over a decade back, shows that nearly 70% of programs are not meeting their specified goals. Our new Industry 4.0 study, carried out by late 2019, showed that most businesses stayed locked in a pilot pit since their Industry 4.0 travels started. Only 44% carried out on-site deployments, with only 38% looking at horizontal integration outside the factory’s four walls.

Nevertheless, all small and medium-sized companies and MNCs have grounds for optimism. The World Economic Forum and McKinsey partnered to recognize 44 places in the world as “Lighthouses”. Industrial facilities with a major organizational effect and where digital innovations applied on a scale. 14 locations were known as end-to-end lighthouses. Which were digitized from vendors to distributors, then logistics, and finally consumers throughout the whole supply chain.

The lighthouses involve large and small enterprises in both emerging and mature economies with greenfields as well as brownfields. The common theme among them is the holistic approach to their journey—a “triple transition” of industry, technology, and business.


 The first step is to explicitly express ideal future state of enterprise which is not technologically in best mood. But connected to its corporate plan and priorities. A desirable business case uses for the discovery of pilots and optimizes by applying the pilots.

It gets more difficult, though, to illustrate a compelling business case when extending beyond the four walls of the warehouse. For starters, convergence in the supply chain saves money when hidden costs take into account sometimes not directly. Understanding these challenges allows companies to build a positive business case that convinces vendors to begin a journey of incorporation.

Industry 4.0 Technology

Many businesses would need, if not most of them, to review their IT and OT systems and update to have the power they need to help advanced technical and analytical uses — particularly the Internet of Things. It is important to provide a scalable, over-the-top IT stack. In the same way, updates to IT/OT systems by vendors can require to incorporate data horizontally end-to-end.

Companies will use external service suppliers to update the IT/OT platform and incorporate numerous customer cases across a partner network to help them carry out the digital transition. Partnership structures can be different between contracting, recruitment, and strategic relationships. Effective ecosystems incorporate a combination of starters and existing infrastructure and service providers.


Without bringing humans into the middle, few digital transitions will work. There are four main ones.


An orphan will end up with a digital transition without a definite owner. A cross-functional team and management systems can then assist accelerated implementation.

Top-management commitment

When led by leading figures, changes begin to take place with a tale of impressive progress to benefit the organization. To maintain a flagging momentum, leaders should celebrate easy successes and mistakes. That allow the business to lose quickly and learn quickly.

Digital capability acquisition

Where applicable, capability shortages can fill by recruiting and updating existing staff to even specialized digital positions. Such as computational translators, computer technologists, data scientists, or IoT architects.

New ways of working

The use of agile work approaches allows teams to accomplish success in the new world by leveraging software, systems, and best practices.

The pandemic at COVID-19 posed international humanitarian issues involving new cooperation. When businesses continue to rebuild in next routine cycle, they have a chance to reimagine a digital, resilient activity for future. Early progress shows that businesses will start to travel in market in 4.0 in a small way and then gradually ramp up. If they contribute to the transition of Industry 4.0 according to their competitive climate and strategic goals.

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