Could simulation be the key to de-risking Industry 4.0?

With the advent of Industry 4.0 technologies, you’ll soon be able to accurately build simulations of entire plant’s operations, as well as implementing real-world data into these models.

IIOT Industry 4.0 HSO Machine Learning Technology Industry 4
With the rise of Industry 4.0, you’ll soon be able to accurately build simulations of your entire plant’s operations, as well as implementing real-world data into these models.

Recently we’ve been exploring Industry 4.0 and looking at ways the manufacturing industry might change in the future.

Our last article on autonomous robots might have left you wondering whether letting robots loose in your factory is going to end in tears – but hopefully this blog can help put your mind at ease.

3D simulations are already widely used in manufacturing to test individual manufacturing processes without suspending operations for testing.

Unfortunately, complete production lines are too complex for even the most advanced simulation tools to handle, but this is swiftly changing.

Inventory, machining, assembly and other processes can now be assessed within a simulation model, providing information that can help you preserve or improve value at the lowest possible cost.

And if you spot potential issues you can test them in a stress-free virtual world before implementing any changes.

Simulation at scale

With the rise of Industry 4.0, you’ll soon be able to accurately build simulations of your entire plant’s operations, as well as implementing real-world data into these models.

This makes the potential of simulation practically endless because with the right data you’ll be better able to predict future outcomes.

If you’re able to run real-time simulations of your entire factory in the cloud, you could configure your simulation to include new machines giving you a real-time answer to whether additions will make a difference to productivity and profitability.

You could run simulations on the impact to production if a worker takes a sick day, or test how productivity is affected by extra resource.

A fully interactive three-dimensional simulation of a factory also opens a whole world of opportunities for training employees and onboarding new starters.

With big changes coming thanks to Industry 4.0, it’s comforting that you won’t be rushing into a new age of manufacturing with your eyes shut.

Simulation will provide the opportunity to test and refine any changes you’re thinking of making to your production processes, without real-world costs or risks.

HSO The Manufacturer Smart Factory Expo 2017