Sreeram Srinivasan, Syrma’s CEO, recently delivered a presentation at the prestigious ELCINA CEO summit in Bangalore, India, billed as the annual get-together of the top leaders in the India’s electronics manufacturing community. Building upon the conference theme of profit from Internet of things (IoT), Sreeram shared his thoughts on the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. With advanced networked automation already bringing rapid changes and higher productivity to the factory production floor, Sreeram looked at the extended impact of this new intelligence age on the manufacturing world and beyond.
Industry 4.0 represents an unprecedented convergence, if not eventual interdependence, of three primary elements: IoT, the digital revolution, and aggressive start-ups. IoT represents the explosive worldwide growth of connected devices spanning home automation to remote diagnostic services, resulting in exponential demand storage and data processing and analytics. The digital revolution is the continued expansion of online infrastructure with high-speed Internet access forecasted to grow sharply worldwide over the next decade. In light of a rebounding global economy, the next generation of aggressive start-ups is poised to deliver innovative IoT solutions, focusing on automotive, education, healthcare, and industrial markets.
Data Analysis is the Key to this Era
In the previous industrial revolution, oil became the world’s most valued commodity; however, oil only made money through rigorous logistics and processing from crude oil pumped out of the ground to the nearest refinery to the corner gas station before pumping into the end user’s car. Every step along the way represented a significant value add. In this intelligence age, data is being monetized in much the same manner as oil. Raw data is virtually worthless until it undergoes a full refinement process: from collection to analytics to organizing and storage to incorporation into more appealing end products.
For electronics manufacturers, this means those who ignore the growing demand for actionable smart products will be left behind the curve. Few companies will solely manufacture hardware products without also developing the embedded intelligence necessary to facilitate efficient data mining, analysis, and delivery in desirable, easy-to-use forms. Now is the time for global OEMs to establish, or re-evaluate, their long-term strategies for successfully riding the wave of Industry 4.0. We recommend manufacturers stay mindful of three key areas:
- Think big while staying nimble to quickly scale to new technology
- Understand the global mega-transformation now underway
- Interconnect technology and market expertise with supply chains
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