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The path to Industry 4.0 is not through massive projects

The path to Industry 4.0 is not through massive projects

It used to be simple for IT guys, they sat at a computer, wrote codes, and invented what more they could program for the client.Today, this approach does not work. Everywhere, there are presented visions of places robots and artificial intelligence will be deployed. Economists are overwhelming us with billions of sums to illustrate the rate of progress that we will not avoid.

For many Czech manufacturing companies, the industry 4.0 a vague term, which it is only imagined to come once. They are struggling with outdated software,inflexible thinking of their bosses, and little added value that does not generate such profits so they could modernize the whole factory. The freshest experience telling us about the way of the Czech manufacturing industry to the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 is visiting the production hall, where the workers record the number of scrapes with colored crayons on square paper at the end of the shift. The management is still sticking firmly only to Excel, refusing any clever solutions, no matter what shift in production it could bring.

It is obvious, the path to the Internet of things does not lead in such environments through huge massive projects, but through the little things that make it easier for people to work and simplify organizing the operation. IT companies that want to win customers and succeed in this environment need to be able to offer solutions of tiny everyday problems.

Examples of such tiny solutions are readings of technological variables such as pressure, temperature, etc. at inaccessible locations, or leakage monitoring or flooding warnings in large objects or along line structures.

So the IT guys willy-nilly have to get out of their chairs and go out to companies. They need to know each operation and propose meaningful solutions on the basis of specific experience. There will be not other way for them but dealing with people in factories, asking workers and foremen in productions for things that delay them, do not work what people swear about the most in the factory.

A good solution in practice is, for example, a smart tool issue office, which does without the classic stamps or paper receipts and issue slips. The tools in this issue office are equipped with a small module that makes it possible not only to monitor its current location but also to be aware of its actual use. It is possible to track crates or pallets with material in a similar way.

The earlier IT mantra ‘Does not even ask us how we do it anyway, you would not understand it anyway.’, is changin in the way of thinking – less intellectually, more into dungarees. IT simply has to come down to those who will feel results of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things the most.
Answered by Tomáš Rutrle, the director of Komix

The article was published in Euro (Section Economics, Finance, Law) on January 29, 2018 on page 35

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