What are some of the Cost-Saving Benefits of Industry 4.0 to the Manufacturer?
Often called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0 technologies enable businesses to create smart factories that are more efficient, more productive, more flexible and more responsive to the customers. But, many manufacturers balk at the imaginary costs and complexity of introducing them in their factories. Also, the disinformation campaign by people who are afraid that robots will replace humans has made many workers hostile to them.
Robots can work 24/7
One of the major components of Industry 4.0 are industrial robots. While they are not as smart as humans and do not have the capability to make critical decisions, they can perform high-precision tasks without a glitch and also work 24/7 without a break, which is something that cannot be said about human workers. They also do not get hurt and do not take sick days. This means the factory will be operating nonstop throughout the year. The latest and most advanced robots can make job-specific decisions, which means less human intervention. Thus, using Industry 4.0 can greatly save costs.
Improved product quality
Traditional factories lose a lot of money on returned substandard products. Using Industry 4.0 can reduce or eliminate those costs. Real-time monitoring and quality control allow data to be collected from every point of production. This helps determine and control the conditions that affect the quality of products while production is in process, for example, determining the optimum temperature and pressure levels ensures the best quality and helps eliminate waste. This can help reduce or eliminate defective or substandard products, which means fewer products are returned for failing to meet specifications.
Reduced accidents and injuries
Accidents and injuries cost manufacturers a lot of money every year. Most accidents happen because of negligence, human errors, and defective equipment. In a smart factory, robots do all the dirty and dangerous jobs while humans monitor them from a safe distance. Robots do not get hurt -- at least not in the way humans do. Damaged robots do not need to be hospitalized; they can be quickly repaired and put back to work. Severely damaged robots can be replaced with new robots. They need no financial compensation. There will be no costly medical bills and lawsuits. Thus, companies can save a lot of money by using Industry 4.0 technologies.
Reduced operating costs
All manufacturing companies want to reduce operating costs for the simple reason that lower operating costs mean higher profits. Industry 4.0 technologies make that possible without having to lay off workers and implementing any drastic cost-cutting measures. Real-time monitoring and quality control help reduce waste. Waste is a big problem in many traditional factories. Predictive maintenance prevents costly repairs and downtimes. Automation saves labor costs, increases production, and ensures quality. All these combine to reduce operating costs.
Higher competitive advantage
Industry 4.0 technologies provide businesses with a competitive advantage over companies that have not adopted them. Smart factories can operate 24/7. Robots and automation handle all the precision work. Real-time monitoring and quality control ensure higher product quality and reduced errors, and critical decisions are made without wasting time. From receiving orders to shipping products, the entire process is automated, which means a smaller workload, faster fulfillment, and increased customer satisfaction. All these translate into reduced costs.