How Does Industry 4.0 Benefit CNC Machining?

How Does Industry 4.0 Benefit CNC Machining?

by Alex Noah — 2 years ago in Machine Learning 4 min. read

Industry 4.0 is the current fourth industrial revolution that promises to restructure manufacturing methods and professional positions to support positive changes. Before the new revolution, Industry 3.0 also reorganized production strategies but needed cutting-edge technology to achieve higher productivity. 4.0 focuses more on using diversified technology and smarter systems like the Internet of Things, machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence to better the manufacturing ecosystem.

Essentially, the development has to be integrated with CNC machining to transition the sector into a more competitive status in the current and future markets. Like other industries, machining is growing fast towards a better, connected, and more simplified network system to replace traditional and old systems, limiting massive data flow. Industry 4.0 and its benefits for CNC machining are hot topics in the manufacturing sector.

For that reason, this article delves into the revolution’s benefits for CNC machining, with clarity on its specific components.

What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 refers to the change regarding the production of different things, thanks to the digitization of the manufacturing sector. Three primary factors drive the industry:

  • Integration
  • Data Collection
  • Customer Success

The development dates back to the first Industrial Revolution that mechanized production processes through steam power and water. 2.0 mechanised various processes through steam power and water. Industry 4.0 happens to continue what 3.0 started by adopting computers and smart systems. Some key components fueling its system include:

The Cloud

The industry 4.0 supply chain relies upon the cloud to generate data. Ideally, it produces real-time insights requiring precision and speed, E2E visibility, and capacity for instant access. The Cloud meets all of those demands because of the advanced technology industry 4.0 needs to enhance functionality and data management. The network’s unlimited storage capacity and short reaction time also make it agile for the next generation after industry 4.0. What’s more, right now some companies use the cloud to achieve the online CNC machining quote. Users can easily get automatic quotes by uploading their design files.

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The Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT is a grandiose concept connecting devices to the internet and to each other throughout the supply chain. The technology is embedded in equipment that can communicate with other people and devices through the internet. Currently, orgasm companies use the IoT vertically to communicate with the manufacturing control system, although the intelligence is limited. It works in another phase to communicate across departments. Humans, sensors, and devices are integrated throughout the workspace, just like IT system software. Consequently, industry 4.0 leverages the IoT for transparent, visible, agile, and more streamlined operations.

Cyber Security

The supply chain is very vulnerable because it depends on interconnected data and devices. The leaders in the chain first have to build and actualize the adoption of connectivity protocols and reverse communication in a company. Even though the protocols provide a strong defense line, other systems have to support and complement them to protect critical industrial systems and manufacturing lines. For this reason, a system supporting rigorous identity access demands the need for industry 4.0 in an enterprise to prioritize cyber security.

Smart Factory

The concept of a “smart factory” integrates intelligent autonomous mobile robots to connect factories together for seamless operations. Individual production steps are linked from the planning stage to their actualization in the field. However, these robots are still in their infancy stages because the technology is expensive and has limited capacities. The two limitations are improving in the 4.0 supply chain with the possibility of humans and autonomous robots interacting with each other in the near future. Robots will massively revolutionize the supply chain when 4.0 fully capitalizes on machine learning.

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The Impact of Industry 4.0 on CNC Machining

The components above in industry 4.0 are changing operations in CNC machining companies. Multiple software and smart technologies reduce downtime and increase turnaround times, increasing productivity in factories. Similarly, the adoption of the 4.0 revolution is also high because enterprises are looking to reduce operation costs, the possibility of component errors, and improve efficiency.

In light of that, CNC machining also benefits from Industry 4.0 in the following ways:

Collaborative Human-Machine Interfaces

While upgrading manufacturer equipment and machine versions in a company improve overall performance and daily operations, it is not enough. The same goes for the communication protocols in an interface incorporating humans and machines. In the future, staff will work side-by-side with collaborative robots to perform daily operations in a safe and stable environment. However, this goal will only become tangible with a couple of improvements in the human-machine interface. People will be able to remotely operate machines and send instant commands with a reporting system for real-time alerts to operators from anywhere.

Top-notch Quality Assurance

Quality assurance is crucial in a manufacturing company and focuses more on equipment and machines in use. When machines fail, the production efficiency reduces and becomes inaccurate, leading to product losses and delays. As such, a quality assurance strategy is important for manufacturers to check equipment, components, or final products for minor defects and errors. Industry 4.0 and its subsequent technologies improve this process through real-time quality assurance and suitable elements for quality inspection. The revolution also collects and combines quality information and the conditions for production processes.

Reliable Operations

Traditional production processes are unreliable because of high costs and labor demands. On the other hand, modern developments like Industry 4.0 integrate innovative opportunities in the form of preventive maintenance. The maintenance team in a company can prepare for machine errors and defects by using real-time data streaming. They then solve buds in their enterprise and resolve other issues without interfering with the operations. Such failures are identified using big data solutions, i.e., algorithms and predictive models focusing on potential failure points invisible to the naked eye.

Incorporate Industry 4.0 into Your CNC Machining Business

Industry 4.0 is the new wave of diversification in the commerce and manufacturing industries. Entrepreneurs are seeking new technologies to make their production processes more efficient, regardless of the obsolescence of workers. That includes making communications seamless for highly predictable and profitable results at the end of the manufacturing process.

Ideally, the staff in your company will require good training and time to adapt to industry 4.0 in your CNC machine business. Training employees will implement significant changes and system transitions because computer-based systems require manual operation and monitoring. That said, it would be best to ensure everyone is on the same page before implementing Industry 4.0 in CNC machining.

Alex Noah

Alex is senior editor of The Next Tech. He studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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