The Industry 4.0 Effect: Why SMEs Should Adopt Smart Technologies Today

Automation Alley
July 13, 2022
Download PDF


Industry 4.0 affects every department in manufacturing, from planning to delivery and beyond. Here are seven reasons why small and medium-sized manufacturers should adopt smart manufacturing now.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, is having profound impacts across the globe, changing how manufacturers operate, how we consume their products, and what happens to those products at the end of their life. It’s also changing how we communicate and interact with one another in a world with more connectivity and data than ever before.  

These changes impact all areas, enhance operational efficiency, predictive maintenance, boost worker safety and virtual training, and promote demand forecasting. Industry 4.0 affects every department in manufacturing, from planning to delivery and beyond.  

With smart and connected technologies, manufacturers can bridge the gap between once separate processes and enhance the organization's transparency via endless actionable insights.   

Here are seven reasons why small and medium-sized manufacturers should adopt Industry 4.0 technologies today:  

  1. Enhanced Efficiency and Increased Profits 

The new technologies that come with Industry 4.0 will help manufacturers increase productivity, reduce downtime, reduce raw materials costs, and boost quality. Predictive maintenance, machine monitoring solutions, and other high-level operational technology will help businesses find solutions to their problems faster and increase profits.  

  1. Centralization of Data 

Like many other industries, the manufacturing industry has been affected by Siloed data because of autonomous departments within an organization. Industry 4.0 solves this problem by offering accessibility to disparate data sources and helping the leadership use data to make effective data-driven decisions.  

  1. Operational Responsiveness 

Small and medium-sized manufacturers need to make accurate predictions to beat the competition and make more sales. Industry 4.0 technology offers the right technology for manufacturers to react to changes in the market monitor product trends and other unpredictable challenges effectively. With this technology, manufacturers have a higher likelihood of responding to market fluctuations successfully.  

  1. Sustainable Industries 

It was next to impossible to track and acquire business insights in the manufacturing industry in the past. However, power consumption, interruption in the supply of raw materials, and energy constraints face the small and medium manufacturing industries. The good news is with artificial intelligence, robots, and machine learning, manufacturers, can tackle these challenges. Industry 4.0 will significantly reduce production costs and make small and medium-sized manufacturers more sustainable and steady.  

  1. Documentation and Traceability 

With Industry 4.0 technology, it's possible to store unlimited manufacturing data in the cloud. Today, manufacturers can convert all manually collected data into digitized forms and store them in the cloud. In addition, they can access historical data via advanced algorithms and create viable solutions for their clients.  

  1. Returning Customers 

Today's customers are evolving, looking for personalized and unique products and services that meet their unique needs. With Industry 4.0, manufacturers can access vast amounts of data and make more customer-centric products. Digitization will help small and medium-sized manufacturers create customized products without extra costs. Due to significant changes in the market, manufacturers will embrace technology to meet rising demand, support product development and after-sales service.  

  1. Increased Productivity 

Industry 4.0 will enhance productivity for small and medium-sized manufacturing companies. These businesses can use big data and analytics to create actionable insights and meet their customers' expectations. The new technologies will also help minimize waste significantly, find areas for improvement and intensify production.  

Automation Alley
Automation Alley

Automation Alley is a World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB) for North America and a nonprofit Industry 4.0 knowledge center with a global outlook and a regional focus. We facilitate public-private partnerships by connecting industry, education and government to fuel Michigan's economy.

Become a Member