Industry 4.0: the future of manufacturing industry

Currently, there are several debates on how the European manufacturing industry has adapted to the new era of Industry 4.0. The following article will analyse how the Fourth Industrial Revolution has reached our days, what its main advantages are and how it will affect the future of packaging machinery manufacturers.


How has the Industry 4.0 reached our days?

The First Industrial Revolution began in the mid-18th century with the use of mechanisation and steam power. These advances led to increased productivity. With the discovery of electric power, assembly lines and mass production, the Second Industrial Revolution (19th century) was born. Mass production achieved higher output, faster and at lower cost. In 1969, with the advent of the Third Industrial Revolution, automation was introduced thanks to computer technology and the advance of electronics.

Today, less than 50 years after the birth of Industry 3.0, we are in front of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. Production systems are fully equipped with the latest computer technologies and cybernetic systems, which allow constant connectivity and high digitalisation of production processes in packaging lines.


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Industry 4.0 and its advantages in the manufacturing industry

One of the main concerns of customers is technical support. As a manufacturer of packaging machinery, you have to offer them an effective and immediate response at all times. Industry 4.0 has led to the development of virtual technical assistance, capable of meeting customer requirements at all times, regardless of the physical distance between the manufacturer and the customer and time zone. Along these lines, one of the advantages of virtual technical assistance is that technical “visits” are carried out remotely without the need to travel to the customer’s site in person. In addition, it generates a cost benefit, since thanks to virtual technical assistance it is not necessary to stop the line.

The entry of Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing industry has brought with it multiple benefits for machinery manufacturers. On the one hand, manufacturers have their employees producing in the factory and at the same time, they can remotely visit customers whenever and wherever they need to. On the other hand, they have the need to monitor the operation of the machinery at all times. That is why having real-time production information and feedback from customers, products and processes helps to analyse machine performance and failures, compare results and finally, to know what actions and possible improvements can be implemented to improve efficiency.


The future of packaging machinery manufacturers with the advent of Industry 4.0

With the advent of Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing industry, the future of packaging machinery manufacturers is up in the air: is the market ready to operate with this new technology and permanent connection?

We are facing a new paradigm. With Industry 4.0, we have moved from selling machinery to selling services. As packaging machinery manufacturers, we manage to control and improve the efficiency of the lines with technology that allows data collection and analysis. This data allows us to take corrective action to deliver innovative packaging solutions.

With the influx of new technology, changes in demand and the effect of the pandemic, the manufacturing industry has been transformed. Not only have there been new trends in packaging materials, but also the manufacturing industry has introduced the concept of “pay-as-you-go”. That is, the customer pays for a service that produces a benefit for him, in this case, having machinery at his disposal that ensures the highest efficiency. The manufacturer’s responsibility is to control the operation of the machinery and to assure the customer of the efficiency of his line at all times.

In conclusion, a key objective of machinery manufacturers is to establish a commitment with customers to ensure the efficiency of the line. And with Industry 4.0 this is possible.


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How Industry 4.0 helps collaboration with your customers

With the changes introduced by Industry 4.0, the customer will not want to take the production risk, and it will be the responsibility of manufacturers to control production and ensure efficiency at all times.

Machine acceptance will take a back seat and concepts such as ensuring efficiency, precision and speed will be essential aspects to meet customer needs and requirements.

Finally, Industry 4.0 is an opportunity for machine manufacturers, as it allows for continuous interaction with customers. Thanks to virtual technical assistance, any issue can be resolved remotely, without the impediments of distance and incompatible schedules. In addition to obtaining statistical data that allow processes to be improved, resulting in greater satisfaction and long-term relationships with customers. Industry 4.0 also helps to reduce operating and maintenance costs.

Industry 4.0 technologies allow the supplier-customer relationship to be closer, fostering collaboration to achieve product and process innovation and finally, to be part of the production chain of customers and contribute to the growth of the packaging machinery market.

For more detailed information, see the Barcelona Packaging Hub webinar where our partners discuss the arrival of Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing industry. We are working on English subtitles, please enable automated subtitles on YouTube.


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