Tired of hearing all about why you should take the step towards i4.0? Read on to find out why you SHOULD NOT.
"i4.0" holds different definitions for different people. The digitalisation of manufacturing. Big data. Smart factories. Etcetera. But no matter how we explain it, there's one thing we cannot run from. Technology.
This is probably the nth time you are reading about i4.0, so you already know all the Why's. Real-time data, quicker analysis of data, greater accuracy of data and so on, we could be here all day.
How about the Why Not's? Here are 4 reasons to NOT hop on this bandwagon.
1. Technology is daunting.
Since the dawn of time, we have been living in a competitive, ever changing and fast-paced society. Add technology to the mix and most of us refuse to admit it, but we are at a loss. No matter if you are Gen X, Y, or Z; unless you are one of the techies, let's face it: technology is a scary concept.
Not many of us have the capacity to make this move towards i4.0, which requires us to be more than bold, but also something even more terrifying, to have the monetary means to take this step - which deserves a whole other point of its own.
Reality: It takes guts to admit what you don't know, and even more guts to take action to embark on a journey of discovery - a discovery of technology. Granted, it requires a huge investment - time, energy and money. However, think about where we will be without technology. Technology has touched every aspect of our lives, every waking moment. We need technology, so we need to progress with technology.
Deciding to take the first step today by no means implies that you need to digitalise your whole factory tomorrow. Start small. Start with finding out your options and deciding what you are looking to achieve with i4.0.
Taking this first step towards i4.0 will most definitely give a high ROI.
2. Technology is expensive.
Now for the sensitive issue of money. Needless to say, technology is extremely expensive. More specifically, in this case, industrial technology can cost you an arm and a leg. Ask anyone in manufacturing and without batting an eyelid, they will tell you that an average machine easily costs upwards of a few hundred thousand dollars. On top of this, who will want to invest even more in a technology that is foreign to them, based solely on a few success cases and word of mouth? No one.
Reality: Machines have sky-high costs, and despite that, we have to schedule regular maintenance to prevent timely breakdowns. Worse still, we dedicate hours of energy and manpower to track their performance manually, collecting data which we ultimately doubt. So, tell me, what's the way around this problem? You and I both know that the answer lies with i4.0 - letting technology do the work for you.
But yes, easier said than done. Undoubtedly, many have the perception that the price of such Industrial IoT systems that turn ordinary factories into smart factories, will amount to the cost of a few machines as such technology providers, too, charge exorbitant amounts for their smart systems. Or do they?
Let me enlighten you. For those of you out there who are looking for a no frills system that simply gets the job done, is plug-and-play ready, and most importantly, affordable, please read on here. Cost should no longer be an issue now that a solution has been presented to you. Give it a shot.
If you are still reading this, you are probably looking for even more reasons to turn a blind eye to the capabilities of i4.0 and how it can revolutionise your factory. Read on.
3. People may lose their jobs.
This may be the greatest i4.0 danger of all. What will you do, when you no longer need to have people running around the factory and monitoring machines manually, gathering data that you do not trust? What will you do, with all the extra pairs of hands now that you have freed them up with the implementation of i4.0?
And what will you do, about all the additional product that you will now be able to manufacture due to the increase in Overall Equipment Efficiency?
Reality: It is much easier and more worth your while to put the extra hands to better use, in terms of identifying the roots of problems encountered during production, instead of having them manually collect data from machines. Why have someone to manually collect data, which is expensive, time consuming and inaccurate, when you can have technology do it for you at a much more affordable price for higher quality data?
Using technology in this aspect is much more cost-effective, accurate and reliable.
The only obstacle keeping you from achieving productivity levels like never before is your own perception of change.
It is time to make a change.
Which brings me to my final point...
4. Change is intimidating.
Despite all the change happening around us, us humans are habitual creatures - most of us prefer to remain in the status quo, where we feel the most comfortable. Why take risks when you are doing fine where you are?
Reality: Change, albeit unnerving, is very much necessary. Without change, we will still be living in the stone age, stuck being cavemen, with grunting as our means of communication. Change brought us the first three industrial revolutions and is bringing us the fourth, whether we like it or not. It is up to us to embrace it.
If not now, then when?