Some factors that Industry 4.0 should take into account

In recent years the planet has undergone a large-scale digital transformation in record time, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes brought about by the implementation of technology can bring a significant number of benefits in all sectors. This is leading to particular interest in identifying some of the factors to be borne in mind by Industry 4.0 in the future.

There are factors that Industry 4.0 must take into account in order to successfully integrate the changes brought about by connectivity and improve production processes

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The term Industry 4.0 refers to the profound technological transformation that society has been immersed in for a number of years. This is a change that’s affecting important sectors such as health and production. The implementation of smart technologies such as Big Data, IoT and Artificial Intelligence in them has had such a positive impact that it’s brought about a real industrial revolution.

What factors will Industry 4.0 have to take into account?

In the current era of digitisation and connectivity, data have become highly relevant in diverse areas such as economic relations and the different work models, as well as in the new forms of communication.

This massive use of data and the connected environments that produce them are two factors of major importance when it comes to defining Industry 4.0.  challenges that characterise the profile of the professionals of the future, those who’ll have to address the challenges of the future.

– Data security

The merging of physical and digital ecosystems to foster real-time interoperability can generate excellent opportunities. However, this transformation can also pose risks for operating systems.

In the absence of a proper IT security plan for corporate networks, data may become prone to potential attacks and cybercrime. This happens due to the vulnerabilities of the system, as well as the negligent behaviour of the owners and supervisors of the work team.

In order to prevent any negative consequences, companies in Spain must be governed by Organic Law 7/2021 of 26 May on the protection of data processed for the purposes of the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal offences. This regulation obliges companies to adopt security measures to minimise the possibility of this kind of cybercrime or any conduct that facilitates the theft of private data.

Within this context, it’s vital to be able to rely on resources such as firewalls, antiviruses, cryptographic tools and other system protection measures. Similarly, another effective solution for reducing these contexts is the implementation of projects to endow the team with sufficient skills and knowledge to identify potential attacks. It should be borne in mind that Industry 4.0 or connected industry operates in both the private and the public spheres and any loss of data can lead to the suspension of activity and economic damage.

– Productivity and the worker’s experience

Another challenge facing Industry 4.0 is the drop in the productivity of the work teams, something that occurs when the organisation adopts a tool, software or technological resources without providing adequate training and without launching an adaptation process for the workforce.

In order to optimise the technological tools to the full, it’s essential to develop skills within the work team, demonstrating their different functions and, above all, explaining the benefits for the worker’s experience.

In this case, the impact on productivity of a tool within a company will be directly related to the team’s understanding of it. If a company adopts software or a resource consciously and progressively, it will promote efficiency and achieve excellent results.  

– Recruitment of experts

Finding and retaining talent entails a problem for many industrial and technological companies at the moment. Therefore, in addition to promoting an employee culture and training, companies should also consider the need to recruit qualified staff to work on their internal digital transformation.

The labour market still doesn’t have enough skilled professionals to offset the demand in the ICT sector. In addition to the financial offer, companies should provide other kinds of incentives focused on a good working environment, the opportunity to work with leaders in the sector and on projects aligned with the demands of a fairer and more egalitarian society and benefits such as the new flexitime models, the work-life balance, continuous training and real possibilities for growth.

– Automation and robotics

The introduction of innovations such as automation and collaborative robotics into factories must be performed in a way that can be adapted to the organisations’ existing IT systems and tools. As a result, industrial processes are changing and evolving into high-quality, time-optimised and cost-reducing ones.

However, the structures of both the factories and their human teams must form part of this qualitative leap, as the future of connected industry is undoubtedly linked to the implementation of both advances, with collaborative robotics assisting and complementing the workers’ activities and automation making the production systems more competitive.

– Sustainability

Nowadays, sustainability strategies must be present in all the factors affecting the production chains from one end to the other. They’re no longer an option but rather an obligation and a need. Although these strategies involve changes in terms of the incorporation of resources, tools and strategies, thus generating an economic cost, they must form part of organisations’ DNA.

The challenge of verifying the impact

Industry 4.0 routines based on data analytics can improve the productivity of the industrial ecosystem, in other words, the work of the suppliers, customers, investors, etc. and the cooperation between them. Manufacturers, thanks to the information analysis provided by connectivity, can also adapt in real time to the demands of increasingly personalised production and the needs of ever-changing markets.

Moreover, verifying the contribution of the tools makes it possible to identify errors and devise strategies to optimise resources. In this regard, analysing the impact of the tools and verifying their effectiveness is a process that deserves our attention, as it has a negative impact on the economy and creates space for the implementation of more essential tools, conditions and demands.


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