With the new tech era that we are living in the last years, traditional manufacturing is surrounded by new ways and resources to transform their business model. Data analysis, intelligent and autonomous machines, web connectivity and 3D printing, are leading the way to the new industrial revolution, Industry 4.0.

There are two words that can define this new revolution, integration and robotization. The integration of all the processes that are used in the company, beginning with a vertical integration between commercial and logistics, and end in a horizontal integration between the client, the factory and the suppliers. The robotization exchange some human interaction in the industrial process to machines interaction.

The industry 4.0 can give a lot of important changes to a factory but the outputs and the value proposition can be very different from company to company. The vertical integration can give a quick time of response from an input due to the fast communication between all the process stages and the efficient data analysis. The horizontal integration can give high flexibility to the manufacturing and offer a complete transparent process to our stakeholders. Value proposition from this two types of integrations can be very different and must be carefully analyzed within markets. For example, in a high output standardized manufacture, the process flexibility can be a non-relevant point in the short/median term of the factory.

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Risk reduction and competitiveness improvement are some of the outputs from Industry 4.0. For the smaller companies, a complete business model can be made to adapt all the company process to the opportunities that are in the market for use. For bigger companies, extracting data from all the parts of the process is essential to the business monitoring, continuous improvement and integration between different market segments.

The high-tech resources that we see nowadays in the market are part of the revolution. Nanotech, mobile technology, drones and robots, AI, sensoring, clean energy and 3D printing, are all part of the integrations that lead to the new era of manufacturing. The technologies are not new but the easier use and the continuous descent in prices, start to give the opportunity to implement them on manufacturing. To use and apply them, the companies need an IT infrastructure, an IT support and an Engineering support.

Industry 4.0 is all about connecting the real with the virtual world.