In terms of industry 4.0, Italian companies have seized this opportunity, by improving the performance of their companies, general finances, and protecting the environment. Let’s find out how they did it.

The term industry 4.0 indicates a trend towards industrial automation that integrates some of the new production technologies to improve work, increase productivity, and boost the production quality of plants.

In reality, by carefully observing the national landscape, the term industry 4.0 is often a confusing term. It is clear to everyone that we are experiencing a real industrial revolution, which is already beginning to radically change the world of business and industry.

We are accustomed to the use of highly advanced technologies in the field of scientific research and other areas. Applying IoT technologies and Big Data to the world of Italian SMEs seems incongruous and, yet, it is this transformation that is taking place.

Responding to changes taking place throughout Europe as a result of the regulations issued in the field of industrial energy monitoring, companies are beginning their journey towards machinery that is capable of learning, communicating with each other, and interacting with humans. They are now a part of the world of Big Data, additive manufacturing, and the intelligent exploitation of energy resources. Using a single term, Italian companies are now doing industry 4.0.

Three industrial revolutions

The world is familiar with industrial revolutions. We have had three of them in the course of our history. The first was linked to the use of steam machines – a complex world, where human strength was beginning to be replaced by machines, where old workers were converted into new, more professional ones.

The second industrial revolution was directly linked to mass production and the third to the birth of information technology. This third revolution laid the foundations for what we now call industry 4.0. In this fourth industrial revolution, machines are no longer simple executors of a process but are interconnected and able to communicate electronically by using the network that has been built over time (Industrial Internet of Things).

State and industry 4.0

It is obvious that change is not always simple and we must be aware that the vast majority of Italian companies have a history of more than 10 years. Above all, the fleet of machines, to date, is also composed of machines that are not technologically advanced but still produce excellently and have not exhausted their workload capacity.

We also highlight that the transition to technology involves considerable economic expense, which in times of global crisis, often leads to reluctance for change on the part of companies with respect to investment in technology and new machinery. These companies given that those already present, even if not highly innovative, achieve optimal results.

Be that as it may, the Italian State has thought carefully about this and in a bid to encourage change towards industry 4.0 has issued a call for tenders favoring SMEs in particular, which today represent nearly the entire Italian production sector.

Pros and cons of the transition

As we have read so far, industry 4.0 allows for global improvement in industrial performance and efficiency. But what does this specifically entail? It is often difficult to gain insights on industrial processes because there is no visibility for the processes themselves and there are no IoT tools that allow you to visualize them.

Failure to optimize industrial processes is costly. This makes reporting and notification activities much more laborious.

The advantages of industry 4.0 are translated ultimately in terms of productivity. From prototyping to production, every aspect is controlled and managed in real-time with almost immediate response to any crisis.

Imagine you have a machine with a small breakdown. This is hidden until the moment it stops production and forces the manager to budget a lot of resources to “fix the damage”. Industry 4.0 and its solutions avoid all this because specific sensors make it possible to extract the production data from the machinery, send this to the cloud and immediately report alerts and alarms in order to plan appropriate strategies to stop the problem and solve it.

Maintenance and repair are thus improved and optimized with evident economic savings. Another benefit of industry 4.0 is the intelligent exploitation of energy resources in order to avoid waste and protect the environment as per EU regulations. Industrial energy monitoring implies an effective reduction in energy consumption and consequent economic savings.

Zerynth’s solution

How do you officially join the Industry 4.0 world? Zerynth offers a complete end-to-end IoT solution, which includes hardware, software and cloud services, and is capable of monitoring old and new generation machinery.

You can manage the KPIs of your machinery and easily integrate them with the other software currently present in your company. Our tools are available as-a-service, on-premise, or on dedicated industrial PCs, depending on the specific needs of your business.

Our platform reduces implementation time by using a flexible and modular edge device, along with an easy-to-implement Python / C development environment.

Zerynth boasts a team of IoT experts and guarantees dedicated support throughout the implementation phases.

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About the Author: Lana Vukovic

Lana is a Classics graduate who got bored of ancient Greek and Roman texts and got into new technology instead.

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