24 April 2018
by the Tetra Pak Editorial team
Today’s businesses are operating in a new era known as Industry 4.0, a technologically-fueled time period in our history where innovation is driving a monumental transformation. Through technologies such as digitalization, automation, and data exchange, food and beverage companies are benefitting from fully integrated and collaborative systems that respond in real time.  In smart factories, alerts are sent before systems fail so that manufacturers can proactively fix equipment, prevent bottlenecks, automate with precision and much more.
 
Industry 4.0 is changing manufacturing from end to end. Food and beverage manufacturers can benefit from this new era by understanding what these new technologies are – and deciding which ones can positively impact their operations.
 
Greater Profitability
Smart manufacturing has empowered food and beverage manufacturers to leverage technology, data, and innovation in ways that seemed impossible just a decade ago. Thanks to the progress made possible through the Internet of Things, Big Data, and the Cloud, machines can communicate with one another across factories; automation can buoy output; and manufacturers can benefit from enhanced food safety, better supply chain management, and greater profitability in a complex, competitive world.
 

The Virtual World Gets Real
Technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual reality have a growing use and influence on manufacturing. A few examples:
  • Virtual reality enables companies to “see” the future so manufacturers can leverage the technology to simulate a potential warehouse or factory.
  • Wearable technologies powered by artificial intelligence enable remote maintenance repairs, thereby streamlining expenses and down time.
  • Automation can be continually refined by machine learning, freeing up employees to focus on other value-added tasks.
     
Industry 4.0 is poised to facilitate efficiencies across the enterprise, from monitoring individual pieces of equipment, to watching how a production line is performing, to conducting an enterprise-wide assessment across several factories and locations. IT networks and systems make it possible for a company to bring together a variety of live and constantly available data points for comprehensive analysis, enabling food and beverage manufacturers to focus on enhanced food safety, quality, and productivity.

Smart Factories of Today
Modern technological advancements are opening up a giant world of possibility for manufacturers. As such, numerous smart factories are in operation today. But while Industry 4.0 solutions are a reality now, many food and beverage manufacturers are still slow to leverage them to better manage systems and product output.
 
In the era of Industry 4.0, the companies that lead will evolve, mining the innovation to streamline and optimize their operations – and ultimately meet the ever-changing demands of customers.
 
For insight into Industry 4.0, download the white paper, “Industry 4.0: Opening a door to new opportunities for the food and beverage industry."

 
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