Does the Present Pandemic stimulate Industry 4.0?

2 min read

Yes, says the global leaders…a silver lining in this global struggle.

The present global pandemic has wreaked havoc on all spheres of mankind and at the same time giving an opportunity to the global business leaders to implement new digital strategies to drive digital transformation to all levels of the organization. The outbreak has certainly stimulated the Industry 4.0 (also called as Industrial revolution 4.0) to adopt state of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

Industry 4.0 espouses greater trend for automation. The central concepts of Industry 4.0 are Smart manufacturing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Smart factory and dark factories.

The present crisis has invariably disrupted the global supply chain which has an effect on the manufacturing process i.e., put a hold on the production or reduce to production process. As some of the manufacturing companies experience greater reduction in demand for their products while some other companies have seen a monumental increase in demand.

To mitigate the challenges posed by this pandemic, many enterprises are enthusiastic in implementing Industry 4.0 technologies.

Many global leaders are visualizing this crisis as an opportunity to further up the innovation which decreases and embracing the smart manufacturing process to cater to their customer needs in this high clinical demand.

“Industry 4.0 is not only as relevant as it was before the global Covid-19 emergency, it’s actually far more relevant moving forward.”

-John Robinson, Strategic Client Advisor, Digital Supply Chain at SAP.

So what role can Industry 4.0 can play in this pandemic?

– Creating a platform for innovation and to make business more resilient.

– Aids in returning the businesses to normal operations by shortening the recovery phase.

– Make sure that many companies survive in the market.

How can the above capabilities reduce the impact of the pandemic?

– Usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to unremittingly evaluate and plan and re-plan the activities.

– Having a real time visibility of raw materials, finished goods, assets and labors.

– To up skill the workers by using mobile technology and augmented/virtual reality.

– Implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to supplement in non-value added activities which demands for extensive labor activities.

– 3D Printing of materials that are stuck due to exposed fragile supply chain due to the pandemic.

– Helps in enabling remote and virtual working.

– Usage of digital twins and remote support from the OEM’s to improve the availability of assets.

– Usage of drones and autonomous electrical vehicles to reduce the human intervention.

On the other side we can look on how exactly the Industry 4.0 helps in battling the COVID-19 ?

Data-Driven Approach: As more and more interconnected and dynamic networks are available, maintaining the health data is more than necessary. To state an example, Taiwan has taken the advantage of Big data to quench the corona infected cases. They have created a much resourceful data base to predict and trace out the infectious risk with adopting a wide screening protocols across its airports. They have successfully implemented the mobile tracking technology to make sure the highly infectious individuals are quarantined.

Many other countries like Singapore and South Korea have implemented the above-mentioned approach to quell the case load.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): The most talked subject in the tech world has highly helpful in managing the caseload wherever it is implemented. The usage of accurate predictive modelling, many countries were able to access the infectious and mortality rate with the aid of personal, travel and clinical data regardless of their privacy policy. Utilization of AI powered Chat bots is also a very important tool in this type of scenarios.

Robots and Drones: Many countries have used robots and drones which helps in facilitating the delivery of foods and medication to the highly infectious public places reducing the interpersonal contact, one of the prime necessities to battle the situation.

Without any doubt, Industry 4.0 has provided the tools to fight the battle, we must ensure to harness them in an appropriate way.

It is in time that even the developing countries are in a phase of implementing these tools to aid them in suppressing the caseload and in flattening the proverbial curve.

Balakrishna V I'm a Writer, Reader, Thinker, Business Economist, and Doctoral Student.

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