Technology and innovation have a tendency to gain tremendous momentum, bringing about innovative changes that cause significant disruption for industries. Those businesses that choose to fight or simply can’t keep up with change share the same dismal fate of falling out of competition. Those businesses that embrace disruption stand a better chance of riding the wave perceived chaos, better equipped to secure position in the state of industry that follows. So far there have been four major upheavals in industry, the most recent of which being coined Industry 4.0.
As if the news of US-imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum didn’t upset a large enough portion of beverage manufacturers already, the most recent developments in US-China trade have left winemakers, along with US-based manufacturers of 127 other products, with a sour taste in their mouths.
Earlier this year, the White House sought to enact tariffs on countries it had described as taking advantage of the US trade policy for some time. In an effort to revitalize US-based metals manufacturing, the order to formally enact tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, as high as 25 percent and 10 percent respectively, was signed last month.
Manufacturers are implementing technological advancements to enhance automation processes every day. We call this latest wave of rapid development Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution. While modernization presents numerous opportunities for growth and process enhancement, experts are increasingly aware of their need for heightened security in an increasingly insecure digital landscape. Manufacturing and other industries are taking a closer look at cloud-based ERP and unified systems to address vulnerabilities.
With the industrial robot population on course to reach 1.7 million by 2020, enterprises the world over are reevaluating how they approach managing a mechanized workforce. To address modern manufacturing operations’ increasing reliance on automation and robotics, the C-suite is preparing to welcome a new designation among its ranks: Chief Robotics Officer.
Addressing An Increasingly Automated Workforce
While the concept may be a new one, a study conducted by Myria Research, a Massachusetts-based research and advisory services business, puts projections of the emerging CRO position in 60% for Fortune 500 executive teams. Beyond that, the Chief Robotics Officer Research Scenario predicts the Robotics & Intelligent Operational Systems (RIOS) technologies market to reach $1.2 trillion globally by 2025. The figure is tremendous when compared to the firm’s $63 billion market valuation in 2015. However, companies cannot afford to discount the increasing prevalence of RIOS in their own daily operations as well as those of their competitors. The projections include full hardware, software, and services segmentation in the figure, which represents a 30% CAGR to 2020 and 40% from 2020 until 2025.
The latest component of Industry 4.0, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), maybe be an unfamiliar concept now, but soon these three words will be on the lips of operators big and small all over the world. RPA is already generating substantial revenue savings for businesses, with $50 million recovered in 2017, with a projected compound annual growth rate of more than 60% through 2026. Coupling this emerging technology with a business-centric solution like ERP systems will ensure your workforce is free to engage in the more demanding aspects of your operations, all while automation handles the rest.
Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) costs can cripple a manufacturer’s bottom line, especially when the required work compounds problems by impacting production to a significant degree. Implementing a dynamic ERP solution, like Epicor ERP, can address the issue before it becomes a problem. Through an effective mix of Quality Assurance and Asset Management modules, Epicor has built a powerful solution to specifically tackle the tasks associated with maintenance management, from Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) to multinational corporations.
Manufacturers and distributors have access to data on a scale that has never existed before and the two are leveraging the insights gleaned from that access to pursue new innovations in automation and systems that are reshaping the face of these industries. Pairing innovations like these with a robust ERP solution is the most effective way to ensure your business is prepared to address emerging trends that can reshape your industry overnight.
First, there was industry 1.0, the emergence of mechanization, as well as water-, steam-, and fossil fuel-powered systems. This was followed by mass production of goods, assembly line manufacturing, and electricity powering it all in Industry 2.0. With 3.0 came computers and automation using robotics. Today, we’ve reached the next milestone in revolutionizing Industry. Connecting established trends and emerging technologies between automation and data exchange in manufacturing is Industry 4.0. Also referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, it is focused on bringing cyber-physical systems into the mainstream and placing them at the forefront of the manufacturing industry.