OTTO Answers Questions on Industry 4.0

Oct 18, 2017

Cisco Canada recently sat down with industry leaders to ask some of the most common questions about Industry 4.0. The questions come from Canadian manufacturers, many of whom are still skeptical of the true value of Industry 4.0. Cisco set out to provide manufacturers with the information they need from the experts leading Industry 4.0. Matt Rendall, CEO of OTTO Motors was one of the leaders included in this discussion. Below you will find the questions asked in the interview and a few excerpts of Rendall's answers. 

What is Industry 4.0?

In the last decade, massive technology pillars have been in development like cloud computing, big data, and mobile computing. It’s these types of pillars that have enabled the Industry 4.0 movement and, in turn, will allow the vision of the smart factory to become reality. Industry 4.0 is the next industrial revolution that represents the connectivity between industrial equipment and constant data flow to access and analyze centralized information.

How does Industry 4.0 ‘work’?

Automation isn’t new for the manufacturing industry, but it’s at a point now where it is beginning to transform the way factories operate. Since automation was introduced into factories, it’s made it cheaper and faster to produce a wide variety of products and that’s about to climb exponentially.

Automation can span across the entire manufacturing plant and appear in a variety of forms from loading, unloading, kitting, inspection, quality assurance, and more. For example, a self-driving vehicle used for material handling can be integrated into the facilities’ ERP system, which calls it to the loading dock automatically. Once materials are loaded on the vehicle, it is assigned a work order (through the ERP) and moves the material to the next destination. It does not use any infrastructure and dynamically moves through the facility to the destination point, taking the most direct route. It uses a combination of lidar sensors and artificial intelligence to ensure it arrives safely and avoids all obstacles on the way.

Why should I implement Industry 4.0 solutions?

The manufacturing industry has always focused on building out lean processes. Consumers want things faster, cheaper, and expect better quality than ever before. So, it keeps operators on their toes leaving them to ask: how do I build a product with the highest throughput, lowest cost, least amount of material and fastest cycle time? And once manufacturers crack the code on creating a lean process, they challenge themselves to push further through continuous improvement.

"The problem, however, is that continuous improvement has become status quo because everyone is doing it. If you want a competitive advantage, you need to do more than what everyone else is doing."

When we talk about why it’s important to embrace change and technology, it’s in acknowledgement that everyone is pursuing continuous improvement and that status quo is simply not good enough. This reason alone should be reason enough to implement Industry 4.0 solutions – the resulting benefits will move operations into an entirely new playing field.

Does Industry 4.0 help my business? How?

Industry 4.0 solutions improve the efficiency, quality, and utilization of factory operations. The Business Development Bank of Canada released a report in June 2017 that showed 60% of Canadian manufacturers who adopted Industry 4.0 solutions experienced a boost in factory productivity. Nearly 50% reduced operating costs, and 42% improved product quality.

"Simply put, Industry 4.0 helps manufacturers make more, in less time, for fewer resources."

Thank you to Cisco Canada for including us in this industry roundup. To read the complete article, including Matt Rendall's full answers along with the answers provided by his peers and learn more about why Industry 4.0 is critical for modern manufacturers, follow the link here.

Plant Manager Industry4 CTA

By Clearpath Team