Mobile Communication – a key feature of Industry 4.0

Production facilities as well as industrial processes and procedures are experiencing the “fourth industrial revolution” through the arrival of mobile terminals, real-time applications and the Internet.

Industry 4.0 is now reality and every day business.

But where does this development come from and why should we deal with this new kind of industry at all?

Companies are always on the lookout for new ways to increase operational efficiency and employee productivity. Rapid response to changing customer requirements is also a challenge that needs to be mastered professionally. In addition to the economic advantage, the focus of the companies is also on a consistent, if not increased, quality and safety in order to offer the customer an appropriate added value.  

How can these objectives be implemented?

The foundation for achieving these requirements are advanced functions and applications such as mobile communication, digital networks and real-time technology.

Over 70% of employees in today’s industrial manufacturing plants do not have an assigned workplace. Nevertheless, they must be constantly reachable, informed and able to act.

With the help of industrial smartphones or tablets, a large number of employees can be informed of processes transparently and simultaneously. Obtaining feedback in real time as well as directly communicating changes like re-planning of project plans or process flows, increases the efficiency in the workplace enormously.

What are the main advantages of the new technologies?

The digitalization brings a lot of benefits. Where written notes and reports have been used previously, modern communication and processing technology are now more common. Online workflows, for example, help to protect our environment by not wasting any paper. They also save time and money because time-consuming steps like signing paper forms are shortened and error rates are reduced.

A further, cross-process advantage is the possibility of decentralized control and remote maintenance of various systems. Let’s say a production worker faces a problem or an unknown error message is displayed. With a mobile terminal he can inform the control center in real time, for example via video chat. The responsible person in the control center immediately knows the facts and can provide remote assistance to solve the problem. This way, neither the production worker nor the person in the control center have to leave their workplaces.

This example shows that by using mobile devices maintenance can be carried out more efficiently and potential production losses and costs can be reduced to a minimum.

In addition to that, personal protection and safety is increased. Data on position or location of personnel is automatically provided of every person who has a smartphone or tablet on hand. In case of an emergency missing persons can be located and found more easily.

In conclusion you can say, mobile communication allows the distribution of information to the right target groups at the right time. At the same time, the rapid retrieval of important information is facilitated. With add-ons such as specific apps, the portfolio of functions can be extended extensively. There are almost no limits for the user.

What are your experiences with Industry 4.0 and mobile communication?

We would like to know more about it and would be very pleased about your contribution in our comments section.

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