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Industry 4.0 is propelling manufacturing into novel territory. New technologies are continuously emerging but some existing ones are accelerating the trend.

While Industry 4.0 makes sense for new sites and production lines, most manufacturers are unlikely to outlay significant capital to replace every part of their existing infrastructure. But you don't have to. The intermediary period of intelligent information-driven manufacturing (iDM) is where existing devices will be connected across the entire value chain to deliver real-time improvement insights. We’re calling this “Industry 3.5”, because it’s the stepping-stone to realising the gaps while working towards Industry 4.0.

The best place to start is gaining visibility of your line. Identify every single machine or process (from raw materials to finished and packaged goods) not currently “connected” and understand what information is immediately accessible. This will tell you where opportunities to optimise, change and improve are, ensuring you deploy automated, connected solutions in those parts of the process that will bring the greatest rewards.

By understanding and harnessing the technologies driving Industry 4.0, you can start reaping the benefits of a connected factory, particularly in terms of better decision making. So start small, but plan big.

Find out more about these technologies by reading the full story here

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