By Jay Ratliff, Senior Solutions Consultant
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the introduction of technology like automation, cloud computing, and augmented reality in factory management will impact processes for decades to come. The current rate of manufacturing innovation is unprecedented, to the point that many have labeled this era the Fourth Industrial Revolution – or Industry 4.0.
If Industry 4.0 technologies have yet to arrive on your shop floor, they soon will, driven by rising demands on factory resources. For factory managers raised on manual processes, this shift might seem negatively disruptive – managers are cautiously optimistic, but also somewhat adverse to mastering new processes, and perhaps a little panicked about how these changes will affect their staff.
For those factories beginning to leverage Industry 4.0, the terms and concepts regularly tossed around by experts can seem abstract. Don’t let that dissuade you from experimenting with new solutions. The first step in successfully implementing Industry 4.0 technologies is understanding what they are and how they can be utilized.
Let’s start with the basics: defining three pairs of critical Industry 4.0 terms that are often confused: (1) IoT & IIoT; (2) Data Mining and Predictive Analytics; and (3) Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning.