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Enabling technologies for Industry 4.0

Recently, we have been publishing articles regarding the future of the automotive industry, its technological advances and applications within the automotive ecosystem due to the rise of cyber-physical systems and digitalisation that sparked the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0.

Elements such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data Analysis (BDA) and Internet of Things (IoT) will soon become imperative for the automotive scene and its related services to expand as they function as enablers of Industry 4.0.

In this article, we list down Industry 4.0 enabling technologies that will play a vital role in moving towards the future.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is a concept that is made up of numerous subfields such as machine learning, which focuses on the development of programmes that enable machines/robots to learn, understand, reason, plan and act when exposed to new data within a stipulated parameter.

2. Simulation

Simulation is a tool that enable manufacturers to plan and execute optimal production lines that are highly efficient, cost-saving and productive through the usage of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) software.

AR/VR, when utilised properly, can produce real-time simulation that allow designers and engineers to virtually test out various manufacturing techniques without spending huge amounts of money on real-life testing.

3. Cloud Computing

With cloud computing, many Industry 4.0 technologies can be connected simultaneously to enable real-time data collection and analysis, monitoring and safety control.

Cloud computing does not only increase the efficiency of procedures but also allows certain procedures to be executed remotely further increasing efficiency and reducing cost.

4. Internet of Things (IoT)

Industry 4.0 technologies embody an unprecedented proliferation of sensors and connectedness among these sensors.

Combined with other Industry 4.0 enablers such as AI and BDA, it is now possible to envisage entirely autonomous systems within the automotive industry especially the manufacturing sector.

Read more here: How is IoT guiding the automotive industry towards the future?

4. Autonomous Robots

With the advent of AI, robots can now perform tasks and procedures on their own without the need of human intervention, making them an autonomous entity.

On top of that, these robots are capable of learning new things, working together with humans and making decisions.

Read more here: Application Of Robots Within The Automotive Industry

6. Cybersecurity

The industrial communication is expanding while becoming strongly connected.

As such, digital security becomes a critical aspect that must not be overlooked in the industrial ecosystem.

Security has become even more complex in recent times with the increasing number of devices that are constantly connected.

7. Additive Manufacturing (AM)

As the term “Additive” suggests, AM is a process that describes the building of an object by adding layer-upon-layer of a material.

Various materials can be used, most commonly plastics and metals.

The advent of AM has eased the process of manufacturing by eliminating the intermediary steps in the manufacturing process such as the creation of tool and die.

This leads to more time and cost saved.

Read more here: Additive Manufacturing – A Quick Overview

8. Big Data Analytics

Acquiring data alone is not enough. To ease decision making, data must be analysed in order to make full use of its potentials.

The analysis of big data allows easier planning of strategic marketing, maintains smooth flow of between links within a supply chain, eases the research and development (R&D) phase and can future-proof the automotive industry.

Read more here: Big Data Analytics – How does it help the automotive industry?

9. Advanced Materials

New materials and nano-structures are being developed, allowing for beneficial material properties such as shape retention and thermoelectric efficiency.

The usage of advanced materials in vehicle manufacturing enables car companies to produce vehicles that are lighter, fuel efficient and environment-friendly.

10. Augmented Reality (AR)

Some of the first applications of AR can be found in the delivery of information and training such as the delivery of part replacement instructions to a staff working on-site.

Moreover, AR can improve productivity across the entire automotive value chain from research and design development to manufacturing, sales & marketing and after sales.

The use of AR technology provides immersive step-by-step instructions which lead to cost reduction, time saving, improve quality through the use of less resources.

Read more here: MARii Augmented Reality Workshop – A First-hand Experience

11. System Integration

System integration occurs in vertical systems (within the industry value chain) and horizontal systems (across multiple value chains).

This basically translates to bringing together the components of sub-systems into a single system, eventually achieving end-to-end digital integration across the entire value chain.

It is therefore vital for the local automotive industry and its related services to begin the adoption of the enablers mentioned in the article above.

With the launch of Industry4WRD National Policy on Industry 4.0 last year by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, the direction towards establishing an automotive ecosystem that is Industry 4.0 friendly will be a clear cut for all industry players.

Industry4WRD, is a collaborative effort between the government, industry and academia that aims to pave the way for enhanced productivity, job creation and high-skilled talent pool in the manufacturing sector, and ultimately contribute to the economic prosperity and societal well-being.

Hence, it would encourage development of innovative capacity and capability of manufacturing sector and related services to create Malaysia’s own technologies, products and services.

“It is imperative for us to work even harder and strive with even greater tenacity, greater creativity and effectiveness to ensure very rapid and sustainable growth”, said Tun Dr. Mahathir during the launch of the Industry4WRD National Policy on Industry 4.0, held at Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on the 31st of October 2018.

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