IIoT Adoption in Manufacturing Operations

Industry 4.0 or the Next Industrial Revolution?

Human and robot hands reaching out, network

Industry 4.0 or the Next Industrial Revolution?

Do you consider smart manufacturing as part of Industry 4.0 manufacturing or as the next industrial revolution? How do manufacturers today prepare themselves for what is to come? Every manufacturer wants to believe that their processes are the most efficient, productive, and profitable. However, that’s not typically the case because even the smallest imperfection or amount of down time can affect operations in the present and future. When unknown downtime occurs, it sets back delivery times and elongates backlogging. To address even the smallest of imperfections on any shop floor, SHOPGRID®’s platform core can identify where, when, how, what, and why a part, tool, machine, or piece of equipment produced a product not within set parameters.
Over the past several years, smart manufacturing has been integrated into various manufacturing industries to improve operations and increase productivity. However, many people on the front lines of manufacturing don’t fully understand what it is, how it works, or its relevance to their organization. To define smart manufacturing in the broadest way, smart manufacturing is the use of real-time data and technology identifying when, where, and in what forms information is needed by machines and people. The way to view smart manufacturing is a fully-integrated interactive digital collaboration platform that responds in real-time to meet the changing needs, demands, and conditions in the factory, supply network, and customer orders.

The core concept behind smart manufacturing is being able to connect, communicate, share, and address any step throughout the manufacturing process, whether that be in the beginning, middle, or end. Smart manufacturing benefits manufacturers in many ways beginning with increased sales, reduced costs, and improved efficiency. Other benefits include flexibility, scalability, and agility to help manufacturers grow and accomplish their goals in a realistic time frame. Smart manufacturing brings together small, medium, and large-sized manufactures, and provides them the ability to access new and growing forms of business intelligence that is relevant to their industry.

A smart manufacturing platform allows manufacturers to integrate existing and future plant data, systems, and simulations across the entire shop floor, including all manufacturing functions. This means that a secure network of servers on the Internet manage, process, and store all data and analytics, and its often accessible remotely. By using the internet, as opposed to on-premise storage options, it eliminates the need to purchase and maintain large IT infrastructure that requires continuous support and maintenance.
Smart industry control concept.Hands holding tablet on blurred automation machine as background

Now, how to prepare for a smart manufacturing platform involves knowing the difference between what is needed and recommended but not required. To begin, make planned equipment purchases with a view towards smart manufacturing. Most newer machines and equipment today offer data collection capabilities. Another way is to confirm a consistent way of capturing data and pulling that data as close to real-time as possible, so it is most relevant when it’s time to make a decision, address a problem, or provide an answer. These two approaches alone provide companies a competitive advantage when making decisions and addressing challenging issues. Starting small in a new style of manufacturer helps ease operators, engineers, administration, and management into the concept of smart manufacturing without diving in all at once. In addition, it’s a relatively low-cost investment they can use in the future when adapting new technologies, software, and systems.
No floor is too small for SHOPGRID®
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PIA’s flexibility to build the SHOPGRID® platform to fit our exact needs has made it impossible to leave them. We will simply not find this versatility anywhere else.
Justin S
If you care about customer service and problem solving, the SHOPGRID® team will blow you away. They are always there for their customers, no matter the time of day.
Brett Z
Over the years, PIA has totally transformed our operations with SHOPGRID®. We are more profitable and efficient because they are constantly innovating for us.
Andrew H
When we were in a time crunch, we knew who we needed to call. The SHOPGRID® team deployed their platform ahead of schedule and saved the day for us.
Bill G
SHOPGRID® is the most all-encompassing manufacturing operating system I have seen in all my career. It does more than just monitor and report. It can also control the entire shop floor.
Eric A
The team at PIA has never backed down from one of the challenges we have thrown at them, and they have always delivered.
James P
I can not tell you how great it is to not have to settle for an out-of-the-box solution! Custom software from PIA has made our lives so much easier.
Kyle K
Scrap went down and productivity went up when we started using the SHOPGRID® platform!
Scott A
With the ability to standardize all of the screens on the plant floor, SHOPGRID® has significantly shortened our training time for new employees.
Jack M
SHOPGRID® is the best system to help extract actionable data to make better decisions and improve the production process.
Kevin M
As we continue to grow, SHOPGRID® has been vital in helping us stay organized and creating visibility from the shop floor up to management.
Jeff T