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In the previous blog posts we have seen that Consumer Products manufacturing companies are challenged to increase productivity while producing individualized products with high quality in an environment of constantly changing and varying consumer demand. Unpredicted events like the Covid-19 crisis increase the need for a resilient supply chain.

The given examples of the Consumer Products industry show that many companies recognize Industry 4.0 as a strategic priority to turn these challenges into opportunities. Industry 4.0, or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), is about industrial transformation using new digital technology that makes it possible to gather and analyze data across machines and business systems, enabling faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes to produce higher-quality individualized goods at lower cost.

Technology innovations like the IoT, edge and cloud computing, Big Data lakes, artificial intelligence, sensors, autonomous systems, and cobots are drivers for the change.

The way humans work in production will change, with workers getting tailored information and decision support with smart devices.

Industry 4.0 for profitable growth

The production software stack will see a shift from transactional production execution to data-driven business process execution and optimization. All sensors, devices, machines, and so on will be connected. Data infrastructures enable an enormous amount of operational data to be ingested, processed, and analyzed. Application modules using container technology will be distributed between cloud and edge. Edge computing enables execution of cloud-managed application modules at the production site to ensure reliability and low latency of business-critical functions. Integration will be much higher as, for example, automated guided vehicles interact with production lines and warehousing systems. With this level of connectedness, it is key that the architecture principles guiding the solutions are secure, interoperable, portable, open, modular, affordable, and extensible.

Creating value from Industry 4.0 requires an Consumer Products specific approach as business goals and challenges vary by industry and even by company. Industry 4.0 will radically change production and the equipment will become highly autonomous.

SAP is an active user and a major contributor to various industry standards and related open source projects and can help Consumer Products manufacturers to reach a constant and profitable growth.

To learn more about SAPs Industry4.Now initiative click here.

Read previous blog posts of this series: