Constantly evolving customer needs are transforming the manufacturing processes globally. This is driving a new industrial revolution commonly referred to an Industrie 4.0 (I4.0). Industrie 4.0 is a platform that enables the unification of information amongst participants in the entire value chain - from product inception to design, manufacturing, services and even refurbishment. The end result will be a grand system in which all processes are completely integrated and will exchange information in real time.
Frost & Sullivan has been analysing Industrie 4.0 and strongly believes that there is an urgent need to understand the end-user perception to benefit from the changing business landscape.
Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation & Process Control Practice Director Muthukumar Viswanathan explains: "Industrie 4.0 is fully set to answer the challenges lying ahead. An enormous transformation in the industrial landscape can be foreseen. Companies that fail to pre-empt this transformation will be left behind. Their products or solutions may become obsolete and eventually disappear."
The functional pillars of Industrie 4.0 are Big Data, Internet of Things, Internet of Services and Integrated Industries. Frost & Sullivan has paraphrased these four pillars into three main aspects: Technology, Collaboration & Processes. A key advantage of applying this new concept for customers will be the possibility of having customisable products made at affordable costs.
Mr Viswanathan explains: "In order to remain profitable in the current competitive landscape, companies and value-chain participants should adapt to the changes by applying radical transformations both in business and technological aspects. Suppliers will need to reinvent their process operations and other capabilities in order to sustain in the rapidly evolving market. There will be new and unconventional companies with radically new business models making a foray into the industrial space. Traditional industry boundaries are rapidly blurring owing to the nature of applications that may sprout up during the course of Industrie 4.0".
Industrial vendors are currently trying to imbibe the idea of Industrie 4.0 within their product framework, and aspire to reposition their existing systems in line with this new industrial paradigm.
Frost & Sullivan is currently planning to fill the missing end-user link in the Industrie 4.0 story through dedicated end user-based focus groups. With this initiative, Frost & Sullivan aims to understand end-user perspectives on Industrie 4.0 and emerge with actionable intelligence for all suppliers in the industrial value-chain.