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4 Myths of IIoT and Industry 4.0

Recently, we had the pleasure of participating in the speaker series with the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium to discuss the 4 Myths of IIoT and how Industry 4.0 is collecting real-time data on older analog machines.

Business owners interested in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are looking for ways to explore an asset performance management system for engaging employees, connecting machines and increasing productivity.  In today’s world, attracting, retaining and empowering employees through new technology must be a core focus.

Let’s take a few moments and break down the 4 myths of Industry 4.0 and IIOT.

Myth 1 – Old Machines Need Replacing or Upgrading

Manufacturing is facing a few significant hurdles, one of which is maintaining legacy equipment and cost competitiveness in today’s market.  Purchasing new equipment may not be in the budget and not knowing your hardline product output are reasons why companies turn to FreePoint to bring the new wave of Industry 4.0 to their business. As described in a recent Forbes article:

“Industry 4.0 replaces redundant legacy systems, such as those for operations management and enterprise resource planning, with a single, enterprise-wide, interoperable whole — which is much less expensive.”

– Reinhard Geissbauer

Being able to understand a machine’s output, support your employees to modify behaviours and make business decisions backed by your company’s machine data are all possible by utilizing new technology harnessed by FreePoint. Try out our ROI calculator to realize your company’s hidden potential utilizing the legacy machines on your plant floor, today.

Myth 2 – “Big Brother is Watching”

If you have an established workforce, the myth of being ‘watched’ by new technology is a real concern. How do you address this concern and gain commitment from your employees? Adding machine monitoring to legacy machines isn’t about second guessing or not trusting your employee. With real-time reporting, operators can feel empowered by the collection of data to support and share their concerns with management.

“Industry 4.0 brings that same fine-grained awareness into the machines themselves; it makes the value chain self-conscious. The machines can be programmed, for example, to detect when they are wasting material, taking an inefficient supply chain route, or going awry in some other fashion. They can bring that information to the attention of company leaders, in the same way, that a GPS navigator can relay information about traffic congestion to help a driver change course en route.” 

– Reinhard Geissbauer, Jesper Vedsø, and Stefan Schrauf

The machine data being collected is visualized on monitors across your plant floor and is a collection of 1’s and 0’s relative to the machine production. Operators can see a visual representation of their shift and narrate their downtime which is easily communicated with management. With this tool, employees are helping to identify machine or process problems and are part of the solution.

Myth 3 – Data is Complicated & Requires Special Knowledge

Introducing new machine monitoring technology into your business is easier than you think. Whether you are the millennial that has grown up with technology embedded in your daily life or the more experienced worker who may not be as familiar with changing technology, the narrative reporting system is clear and easy to operate.  In a study completed by a Deloitte survey last year of more than 10,000 human resource and business leaders around the world, 77 percent said they would “retrain people to use new technology or will redesign jobs to better take advantage of human skills.”

By tailoring the implementation and training to the roles and responsibilities of each group of employees, it is easy and relative to everyone. For example, operators are trained on how to narrate their shift and activities, not on generating reports which generally is a management-only activity. With our easy and intuitive dashboard, each position and person within your company can have tailored access to only those actions required of them to avoid any unnecessary downtime or issues from settings being changed accidentally.

Keeping the introduction of new technology simple to understand and use for every member of your team is the most important factor in a successful deployment.

Myth 4 – Technology Eliminates People

Technology has impacted many areas of our lives, new industries have emerged, jobs have been redesigned and opportunities arise to do something new and unique constantly. Part of advancing technology has also allowed the increased visibility to the value of your employees.

With this emerging new technology and the application in the manufacturing industry, jobs are not being lost, rather technology is creating additional skilled positions at a faster pace. As technology continues to evolve and new applications are identified in the manufacturing sector, employees are enabled and a critical asset in the evolution of Industry 4.0 and IIOT.

With continued investment in the skills required of employees to remain on the cusp of new manufacturing technologies, owners can ensure the longevity and profitability of their business. In an article written for Manufacturing Tomorrow, Porfirio Lima, CEO and Founder of Sensai shared “History has shown over and over again through each of the industrial revolutions that the fear of losing jobs is unfounded. Experts agree that technology creates more jobs rather destroys them.”