Introduction and Summary of The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Implementation and Change (Industry 4.0).
Australian Industry Group’s new report focuses on the digitalisation of Australian business. Various SMEs are experiencing success with Industry 4.0 strategies. Innovative companies are implementing strategies and new approaches to manage their operations. They are achieving more efficiency, improving productivity as well as their bottom-line performance. Investing in and implementing these technologies has led to positive results. This included positive changes for customers, staff and culture.
Australian energy retailer AGL has leveraged both predictive and response data and analytics. They were the first to use technology to reach out to vulnerable customers. The analytics identifies customers who may be showing early signs of hardship. This helps orchestrate customised communications to raise awareness of various support options available. Access to AGL’s hardship programs is also communicated. At a more macro level, the role of technology at AGL continues to evolve. This includes automating outcomes to create efficiencies in delivery. As well as learning and allowing humans to focus more often on value-add tasks.
Brisbane-based B&R Enclosures has been investing in an Industry 4.0 strategy. B&R’s first digital transformation focuses on improving the factory floor. This is making information transparent throughout the production process to improve decision making. It also lowers costs and increases service. They apply Industry 4.0 principles and technologies to product design and development. This is to achieve digital continuity, reuse of information and real-time collaboration. These projects signify a big change. A shift from large production-centric manufacturing of commodity products. And a move towards a more customised, smart and competitive manufacturing model.
Construction and engineering firm Laing O’Rourke has developed and implemented transformative technologies. Implementation of the LORAR+ augmented reality platform is one example. And development of Toolbox Spotter, a modular safety system powered by artificial intelligence.
Adelaide-based manufacturer REDARC recently finalised a $22 million factory expansion project. This includes investment in Industry 4.0 advanced manufacturing capabilities. And new state-of-the-art surface mount technology, new advanced testing, and validation equipment. As well as universal robotic technology and a new enterprise resource planning system.
Traditional steel fabrication company Watkins Steel in Brisbane has embraced advanced processing robotics. They recently introduced virtual reality (VR) and emerging technology as a new feature. They paired VR to point clouds generated from their laser scanning. This enables users to walk through existing buildings and overlay design models.
150-year old engineering company Weir began investigating digital and data analytics years ago. They began as a stand-alone mechanical equipment manufacturer. And now they are a supplier of advanced smart systems, products, and services. From simple site-based detection systems to advanced remote monitoring. And predictive maintenance, automation, and control. Weir has developed a range of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This includes edge and Big Data-enabled smart products and services.