Building an Industry 4.0 business case

Building an Industry 4.0 business case

Every successful digital project starts with the right foundations. Here’s how to build yours.

Many industrial companies are now looking to exploit the potential of the new wave of smart digital approaches, such as advanced analytics, the Internet of Things, and augmented reality. For organisations used to more traditional engineering approaches, however, the first steps into the digital world can require a change in mindset.

As you put the plans in place for your first Industry 4.0 project, here are five things to get right:

  1. Start with real business objectives. Effective Industry 4.0 implementations begin with a clear business objective. Choose an operational pain point you haven’t been able to resolve using conventional methods. The goal of the project should be meaningful improvement to one or more high level KPIs, such as cost, process throughput or overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

  1. Think around the problem. The best way to address a particular issue may not be the most obvious. It’s important to spend time evaluating the potential of a range of digital options before selecting the most promising ones for further development. Taking a broad perspective helps you identify and prioritise the approaches that will deliver faster payback and higher ROI, while also providing the basis of a roadmap for a more ambitious long-term digital transformation.

  1. Put the right foundations in place. Many Industry 4.0 approaches share the same underlying requirements. They include the need to combine data from multiple sources, to store, present and analyse that data in a secure, consistent For any organisation with significant digital ambitions, it makes sense to get those elements in place from the start. Adopting consistent standards and robust, scalable tools early in an organisation’s digital journey can dramatically reduce the need for subsequent rework or reinvention.

  1. Adopt a flexible & agile approach. A key difference between Industry 4.0 and earlier approaches to industrial performance improvement is the ease and speed with which new solutions can be developed, tested and deployed. Successful industrial companies are now taking an iterative approach to the development of digital solutions. They set up and run pilot projects, with a willingness to adapt and refine promising approaches, or to quickly abandon ideas that don’t live up to expectations.

  1. Build momentum. One good digital project deserves another. As you learn to combine data and use new analytical tools, you’ll inevitably discover new and unexpected ways to improve your processes or the performance of your assets. Successful digital projects also attract attention and interest across the organisation, generating new ideas and demand for subsequent digital efforts.

Are you interested in demonstrating real business value from Industry 4.0 in your organisation? For more information about the points discussed in this article get in touch with our Capula Futures team.

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