Industry 4.0 Use Cases

One of the best ways to learn about Industry 4.0 is to see it in action. We've worked with our partners to cultivate a list use cases that highlight some of the incredible things Industry 4.0 can accomplish. On this page you'll find how companies just like yours are growing their businesses with Industry 4.0 technologies.

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Manufacturing Company Introduces 100% Reused Powder for 3-D Printing

An industry leader in 3-D printing has created a 100% reused powder. The process, known as Bluesint PA 12, allows selective laser sintering waste (up to 70%) to be recovered so that it can be reused to print new parts. One of the main uses of this process will be prototype printing. The company has already undergone extensive beta testing, with one customer (a local non-profit) using the technology to help produce community shelters. As 3-D printing becomes more popular, the company believes manufacturers will be looking to reduce their environmental footprint.

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Manufacturer saves close to $60 per brass fixture part with 3D printer

A manufacturer of flow monitoring equipment for measuring the flow rates of fluids and gases was able to streamline their business processes, saving time and money, by experimenting with 3D printing technology. The company logged 1,000 hours on the 3D printer over the course of a year, printing everything from test fixtures and assembly fixtures to prototype parts, decreasing the load on their manufacturing output and increasing turnaround times for both functional parts and prototypes. 3D printing was also able to improve assembly efficiency, allowing the company to make fixtures and tools for its assembly team. In addition, it allowed the company to respond more quickly to clients' customization requests. Although the company did not find the 3D printer useful for high-volume production, they have found ways to use the technology to facilitate product development by proving concepts. In one case, the printer allowed the team to quickly test the viability of converting a metal component to plastic. The 3D printer has also saved the company money. A brass fixture that used to cost $96.50 to produce decreased to $37.51 per piece.

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3D printed silicone

The ability to 3D print electrically conductive silicone, and/or silicone elastomers and epoxy thermosets in a single print. And silicone of different hardness can be combined in a single print.

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Simple Addition of Robotic Component to CNC Machine Creates 70% Revenue Increase

A small machine shop operating a 10,000 square-foot facility with 10 employees provides precision machining and plastic injection tooling to various industries. The company recently saw an opportunity to increase efficiency by installing a robotic component to their CNC machine. The move, which was both a big cultural shift and a substantial capital investment for the company, paid off in a 70% increase in revenue. The company has been able to pass cost savings onto customers, increase sales volume and diversify into the medical and aerospace sectors. The company has also invested in improving worker benefits each year. It's created a better experience for skilled workers, since the robotic system assumes many repetitive tasks. Freed up form repetitive tasks, workers can better focus their energy and talents on moving automation forward. That's been essential as the company competes to retain workers amid a shortage of skilled machinists.

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Augmented Reality Training Provides Better Engagement, Learning Retention, and Outcomes

Looking to broaden its training strategy, an organization turned to a technology provider to implement augmented reality solutions that included immersive, 3D training and task performance tools. Trainees had the ability to learn wherever they were located in interactive environments that simultaneously engaged them in all modes of learning—including visual instructions, aural cues, synthetic voice narratives, multi-media images, and realistic, immersive full-scale 3D digital representations. Furthermore, quizzes and tests allow trainees and instructors to track their progress. The organization had a control group of trainees go through their legacy training and an experimental group who used the augmented reality solution. The organization reported that the augmented reality group achieved an 8% higher score than those using only the legacy training program. The organization expects to see substantially higher results and benefits with increased integration.

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