Industry 4.0 for SMEs – does it make sense ?

Industry 4.0 for SMEs: Benefits and affordability

Industry 4.0 is primarily data collection directly from machines, followed by analysis, and action/reporting, all done automatically by software. The key Industry 4.0 components are a sensor that collects data from the machine, IOT and Cloud computing. None of these is high tech or expensive today. Industry 4.0 for SMEs not only makes sense, but is an absolute necessity !

Industry 4.0 for SMEs is an absolute necessity, and very affordable

Industry 4.0 Benefits in SMEs
Here’s a big pain point in a small scale manufacturing firm: The firm is run by a single owner with no management hierarchy. Productivity is high when he is in the shop floor. When he is not, machines are idle a lot and production is low. He however cannot be present all the time. He has a lot of other work to do outside, like meeting customers and vendors, going to tax offices, going to the bank. The first shift is supposed to start at 6 AM, but the machine is only switched on at 6:30. Lunch and tea breaks extend 15 minutes beyond their scheduled times. Night shift production is always low. There are frequent complaints of power shut down or machine breakdowns, no raw material, no tools. Of these, some are systems issues and some are work ethics issues. In most shop floors machines are typically down 30 to 40 % of the time, but the owner has no idea how long they are down, or why.

An Industry 4.0 based machine monitoring system enables the owner to know exactly what is happening on the shop floor. He knows the extent of downtime and the causes of downtime, can fix the issues and improve profitability. All this without even going to the shop floor. He can track his machines from anywhere, at any time, on his mobile phone, tablet or laptop.

There are a variety of benefits. You can:
– Reduce downtimes caused by work ethics and systems issues.
– Improve production quantities.
– Improve machine utilization, OEE.
– Reduce rejections.
– Reduce consumables usage (inserts, coolant, power, etc.)
– Cut down the number of shifts to produce the same quantity
– Reduce capital expenditure on new machines.

Here are a couple of blog posts on the benefits:
Cost reduction benefits.
Production and productivity improvement.

Industry 4.0 for SMEs not only makes sense, it is an absolute necessity to run profitably.

Industry 4.0 Cost in SMEs

There are a variety of systems available in the market. Many of them are very affordable by SMEs, and are available even on monthly payment. LEANworx Cloud, for example, is designed for SMEs. It costs only as much as a cup of coffee per day, and saves you 5 to 10 times the amount every day. It takes about 15 minutes to connect to each machine, and you can start seeing reports and getting alerts immediately.


A really shady bar

One lazy Sunday afternoon in Delhi, I had a great lunch in Khan Market and then popped over to Thugs for a drink. Thugs is a bar in Hotel Broadway near Chandni Chowk. It has great ambience, with old style furniture and decor themed on Hindi movie villians. The menu is a tribute to the biggest villians of Hindi movies and their sidekicks – Ajit and his Mona, Shetty, Gabbar Singh, Mogambo.

There was a blank ‘today’s dialogue’ blackboard, so I asked for a piece of chalk and wrote ‘Boss, maal ayela hai’. Soon after, under this, some clever employee wrote the name of a beer that they were promoting. Isn’t it strange that in Hindi movies the bad guys are responsible for all the most memorable lines? “Kitne aadmi the?”, “Mogambo khush hua”, “Lilly, don’t be silly”, etc. Who ever remembers stuff that the good guys said ?

I spent a great 2 hours with Mona Darling (see the menu below for what it means), sitting there soaking in the great ambience and entertaining myself looking at the pictures of villians around.

If you’re a fan of the villians of the 70s and 80s, and a fan of C2H5OH, you must go to Thugs sometime.

Interested in a Plug-and-play Industry 4.0 system ?
See LEANworx, from our group company.
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