Industry 4.0

You better learn!

We could not do without extremes yet! It involves Industry 4.0 drivers, the sphere which definitely demands for detail understanding of processes and tools of new industrial revolution.
31 march 2019

However, the wholesome advice to learn hardware is sinking in persistent hype around digitalization, big data and its analyzing methods, end-to-end integration of technological processes` management, operational management of manufacturing, digital twins, global higher-level platforms etc. The “drift” based attitude, without learning the fairways, usually brings dire consequences. Idle equipment that was bought for the purpose of being in trend; the amount of forces to organize big data collection and total inability to process these data.

Huge funding that were channeled into IT standalone are yielding digitalization of chaos. And most certainly there is no productivity growth and efficiency improvement. This time pendulum swings to another extreme – neophytes` enthusiasm and sanguine hopes give place to disappointment and complete rejection of innovations. There are plenty of skeptical comments about additive technologies, internet things, AR/VR, artificial intelligence etc in industrial publications and profiled groups in social networks.
It's not so very serious when coach experts are talking things like these, but sometimes pessimism is possessing people with a technical background and creative thinking, who took some knocks at first attempt to establish these drivers, when something goes wrong. Like what? In some cases it was agreed to save money on consulting, so they have tackled establishment on their own and made one of common mistakes for this situation – for example, logic in conversion to model of Industry 4.0 was not followed, the material flow administration was not well-adjusted etc. Some were involved in command and control methods that they have met a total resistance of employees. Others just have stopped halfway because the payback of established changes has disappointed their expectations.
This is frustrating for the last, in particular, they as a rule are among the companies that are intended to come up to Industry 4.0 level, to enter and consolidating the positions on the international market. It`s tops permanent members of forums and exhibitions with a focus on new technologies establishment, digitalization etc. They always learn the world leaders` practices. While visiting foreign enterprises, they pay attention on modern equipment, technical processes and then they are trying to repeat it. But technologies are merely the tip of the iceberg, the foundation upon which everything else rests are organizational culture and motivation of employees. The principals of this culture are never giving up and keep advancing. These determine world leaders.
Is it possible to avoid these extremes and dead-end roads and to get maximum return from established innovations? Certainly yes, and the advice is the same: you should better learn. However, that still is a problem. The question of human resourses for new industrial paradigm remains open. Some universities are thinking of implementation of subject specialism connected with artificial intelligent technologies. Unfortunately, most of our universities do not have enough infrastructure and room for practice. Post-graduate professional education and retraining also are not as successful as should be. One of trends in recent years is a creation of centers of competence, on the various dimensions, with holdings and corporations support. Thus, these centers are working on 5-10% of its capability at best: there are no specialists, methodologies and training strategy. While those enterprises already have had employees whose specialties and knowledge are slowly becoming out, most of those people are ready to retrain and become a source of efficiency not challenges. Now it is time to remember about such terms like human assets and Human Development Index. Promotion of these indicators may play a key role in innovative development. So the relevant task is to establish conditions for employees` education and retraining, raise their motivation, there won`t be any results without it.
Perspectives of domestic industry development depend on how successful it can establish digital tools. Synthesis of IT and real manufacturing with the aim of profitability increase of particular enterprise and national economic in the whole – is a strategic aim for the state and business. Only by consolidation of forces of interested structures - profiled ministry, department, development institutes, state corporations and institutes - may yield results.
We already have some movements towards consolidation. What is particularly valuable that it happens not only on the top. One of the most important events of the beginning of 2019 is “Leaders in digital manufacturing” club, organized by Solver, Autodesk and The Moscow School of Management Skolkovo. It is informal group of professionals of highest level, who are certainly able to highlight key points in digital process of domestic manufacture, and above all to unite the most powerful specialists, who are able to synthesize IT with real manufacturing and create a competitive product.
Journal “Intelligent Manufacturing” in this case is a linking element and established platform for creation of new ideas and concepts, business communication, where you can and should share with knowledge and experiences.
P.S We worked under this issue of journal without our founder and chief editor Genadij Klimov. “Intelligent Manufacturing” journal team will do our best to keep and further develop this unique project.