Industry 4.0 has been called the ‘Fourth industrial Revolution’, but unlike the first three, this revolution will be implemented at all sizes of manufacturing operations, not just large-scale corporate ones.
ManufacturingTomorrow.com talks Industry 4.0 with Bob Mayer President, IMSI/Design
Bob Mayer | IMSI Design
Are you familiar with the term Industry 4.0 and if so what does it mean to you and your company?
Yes, I am familiar with the definition and I think it means an opportunity to sell more seats of our 3D design software into the manufacturing community. From a development perspective, we need to be able add more cloud-based collaboration to our products as well as insuring our CAD models integrate well into the manufacturing process.
How is your company set to benefit from the buzz about the factory of the future?
With Cyber-physical processes and systems in place, the ability to do smaller scale, yet cost-effective manufacturing at a more local level. This in turn means that product design and manufacturing applications like TurboCAD will have an even broader appeal to engineers and designers. Industry 4.0 has been called the ‘Fourth industrial Revolution’, but unlike the first three, this revolution will be implemented at all sizes of manufacturing operations, not just large-scale corporate ones.
What applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) are you or do you plan to implement in the near future?
We develop application software, so I don’t see us implementing integrating software/hardware systems.
How do you interpret the term “Connected Manufacturing”?
Connected, to me means more real-time feedback from the manufacturing floor on the production taking place. This includes feedback loops between the smart machines or robots performing the manufacturing and other IoT sensors used on the shop floor. This feedback from the floor will be able to be more instantly evaluated and give the manufacturer the ability to make changes to process to better optimize production.
Do you think Industry 4.0 will bring more (but different) jobs to the industry or will it result in a large loss of employment?
The latter at a ‘blue collar’ level, but more at a ‘white collar’ level, as Industry 4.0 manufacturing can be done by much small companies.
Can you give us some examples or scenarios that help to convey the benefits of Industry 4.0 to others in your industry?
As stated in #2, I think that this will only increase the demand for seats of 3D CAD/CAM applications
How about scenarios to convince the general public that Industry 4.0 is a good thing for their future?
More localized, just-in-time manufacturing will mean more efficient and less energy intensive production. Parts need not be sourced remotely and have to be shipped to a manufacturing location. Rather, they can be created locally. Also, with advances in additive manufacturing, there is a lot less waste of production materials, compared to processes employing subtractive manufacturing methods. Again, that lowers production cost and is more environmentally friendly.
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