Digitalisation - the first step towards Industry 4.0

The machine building industry is in the middle of a third industrial revolution. Smart industrial machines and the advent of Industry 4.0 mark an era in which machine builders are constantly trying to keep up with the constantly changing technological landscape of our time. Strong investments in new technologies  like IoT are key in staying innovative.

This technological revolution may require a large investment of time and money, however this increased effort is absolutely necessary to create added value for your customers looking for innovation. The good news is that these increased efforts pay for themselves through optimised machine efficiency and cost-savings in maintenance and service, thus showing a quick return on invest(ROI). 

Journey towards Industry 4.0

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That said, where do you start? It does not have to be complicated, instead it can be easily implemented step by step. At Lenze we see the implementation of IIoT-technologies in machines as a journey towards Industry 4.0

We start the journey by building the infrastructure of all future digital-services together with you by first…

Connecting your machines to the Internet

Digitalisation is more important than ever. Most machines sold today already have an advanced control center at their heart, the PLC or programmable logic controller. This machine PLC in combination with HMI-panels, sensors and smart inverter drives provides the most fundamental requirement for industry 4.0  – intelligently controllable machines. 

With this step already done by most machine manufacturers today, it’s time to connect your machines to the internet. This will allow you to benefit from the first stage of industry 4.0 – remote service. Using a remote access solution, like Lenzes own X4 Remote for example, allows you to gain access to your machines for service and maintenance (e.g. diagnostics, software updates, adjustments) as a first step. By setting up a secure VPN connection from your machine to the IoT cloud you’re ready to work on your machine as if you are directly connected on site.

After these simple first steps, you can benefit from

  • increased productivity (e.g. faster service and maintenance)
  • lower production costs
  • the ability to remotely comission machines in the field
  • shorter time to market
  • quicker response to changing customer needs

Added bonus in the long run

This not only allows you to gain greater insights into your machine. It also enables you to store your machines data in the cloud, in order to establish a base dataset that can act as a foundation for intelligent machine services like condition monitoring and predictive maintenance.

Guidelines from the Industrial IoT Maturity Model

You’ve done the first step of connecting your machine to the internet, what now? If you’re unsure about your next steps of the journey towards industry 4.0, take a look at the industrial IoT maturity model below. The model shows the journey from simple connectivity to the ideal of industry 4.0.  Take a moment to think about your current situation. Where are you on your journey from digitalisation to industry 4.0? What steps have you already taken, and where does that put you in the process? Then take a look towards right side of the model, now you know what your next steps could be to move further along the way to Industry 4.0.

The IIoT maturity model

Need help implementing IIoT?

Lenze wants to help you implement your IoT strategy, we will support you along the way with our expertise in industry and digitalisation.

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