“In the next five years, 85% of the industries in Thailand that fail to adapt to the 4.0 era will no longer be competitive, and 53% of the SMEs might be forced to shutter their businesses!”
Director of Manufacturing Automation and Robotic Center, Thai-German Institute
Image courtesy: motor-bw.de
The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) seems to be drawing attention from the whole world. This wave of revolution will usher in an era where automation systems in manufacturing are connected to the internet, enabling the devices across a production system to communicate and exchange data. Many factories have already transformed into smart factories, where machines are capable of communicating with relevant parties, displaying statuses, and indicating required maintenance time. As all this data can be controlled in real time and readily accessed even when the user are not right in front of the machine, resources management planning through network systems has now been made possible, resulting in enhanced production efficiency and reduced costs. These changes are what companies should be equipped to handle if they are to maintain their capacity to cater to a diverse range of consumer needs.
Image courtesy: www.primusthai.com
No manufacturers will deny that they would like to reduce production costs and increase their profit margins. However, would it not be better if there were technologies that allow them to save production costs and reduce raw material consumption while also achieving better quality and remaining environmentally-friendly, so that they could offer additional competitive advantages to their clients?
At Chinaplas 2018, “Industry 4.0” was a major topic that drew attention from businesses around the world that were looking to develop their products, machinery, and services. A highlight among the exhibited innovations was Freeformer by Arburg, a German manufacturer of injection-molding machine. Using an additive manufacturing technique, this 3D printer prints out a 3D CAD model layer by layer until the entire piece is formed, obviating the need for molds, which are both costly and time-consuming to produce. In addition, there was also a manufacturing demonstration of an iPhone 8 case with ALLROUNDER 420 C GOLDEN EDITION, which is a liquid silicone rubber injection (LSR) technology with a cycle time of 20 seconds. This machine can also transmit data to other machines and servers in the production system as well as record data in real time.
Also a highlight at the fair was the continuous compression molding machine CCM 48SC by SACMI, an Italian manufacturer of plastic cap molding machines. The 48-cavity machine can produce 2,000 caps per minute and currently has the shortest cycle time in the industry.
In addition to efficient production technology, big data analysis is also critical, as it will afford us with insights into problems and enable us to identify areas where efficiency can be increased. This real-time data will also allow us to analyze which processes need to be reviewed in particular in order to minimize costs while achieving higher quality products.
Are you ready to become a smart factory for smart consumers?
Did you know?
- 0 refers to the age of manual labor and agriculture
- 1.0 refers to the age of steam engines, which reduced the need for human/animal labor
- 2.0 refers to the age of electricity and the birth of mass production
- 3.0 refers to the age of computers and robots, with increased automation in production
- 4.0 refers to the age in which automated systems and the Internet of Things converge, resulting in finer production design, and in which digital technology enables machines to communicate with each other.