We live in a time of intense and continuous change. Robotics, big data, artificial intelligence and 3D printing give way to new products, global commerce, and competitors fighting to meet consumers’ ever changing needs.
The rate of change is hard to imagine.
Only 12% of the companies that were on the Fortune 500 in 1955 are still there (e.g. General Electric, IBM, Coca-Cola Enteprises). More than 88% of the companies from 1955 have either gone bankrupt, merged with, got acquired or they still exist but have fallen out of the Fortune 500 list. Many of the companies on the list in 1955 are unrecognizable today (e.g. Armstrong Rubber, Cone Mills and Pacific Vegetable Oil).
A study from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University estimates that 40 percent of today's Fortune 500 companies on the S&P 500 will no longer exist in 10 years. Just imagine: a fast decade and 40% of those companies are gone giving a way to new entrants like Tesla and AI company Nvidia lately.
Working in the fourth industrial revolution
First came steam and the machines that mechanized some of the work our ancestors did. Next was electricity, the assembly line and the birth of mass production. The third era of industry came about with the advent of computers and the beginning of automation, when robots and machines began to replace humans on those assembly lines.
And now we enter Industry 4.0, in which computers and automation will come together in an entirely new way, with robotics connected remotely to computer systems equipped with machine learning algorithms that can learn and control the robotics with very little input from human operators. And sensors gathering information of processes performance constantly feeding AI powered analytics systems that in turn finetune the connected processes and machines to achieve the best possible performance for the assets involved. Industry 4.0 brings fine-grained awareness into the machines themselves; it makes the value chain self-conscious.
The question is not if Industry 4.0 is coming, but how quickly. At Fluid we believe that the early adopters will be rewarded for their courage jumping into this new technology, and those who postpone the change will face it eventually.
Industry 4.0: Opportunity is now
What we are talking about with Industry 4.0 is basically the way that big data analytics, combined with the Internet of Things, can produce extended opportunities for industries. When robotics, 3D printing, data analytics, the Internet of Things, and digital fabrication are joined together, they integrate the physical and virtual worlds.
The benefits should be self-evident.
When increasing the level of basic function automation in our work environment we can free up competent workforce’s time and transfer focus towards higher value tasks. By reducing amount of dirty, heavy and repetitive tasks we increase job satisfaction and safety as well.
We’ve seen this happening at Fluid’s customers when they have changed the way how lubrication oil is used today. Deploying online monitoring, analytics and treating oil as an asset unleash the benefits discussed. Shift from constant oil changes towards managing it frees up our customers valuable time for more productive activities and parallel leads to better job satisfaction and safety.
Same applies to operations. Knowing better how machines and operations perform we can optimize the performance of our assets, time maintenance activities and increase operational reliability to totally new levels.
All this boils down to the bottom line. Working smarter, not harder should be visible on the last line of our calculations. We can decrease costs on many fronts even new tehnology has its opportunity cost, we can avoid unnecessary maintenance breaks, have better throughputs and more engaged personnel contributing to new revenue streams. And this applies both the factory floor and office.
Energy and resource savings with CO2 reduction are another form of benefits that Industry 4.0 brings along. Critical to many businesses in an era of dramatic changes in our environment.
This is something we are happy to witness within our customer endeavours when physical factory environment activities and the virtual analytics work seamlessly together. Fluid’s solutions are a prime example on how to achieve higher reliability and reduction in costs and waste oils.
And the winner is…the customer
We at Fluid think the lesson to be learned from this creative destruction that results in the constant churning of Fortune 500 companies over time is that the process of market disruption is being driven by the endless pursuit of sales and constantly evolving customer desires. To win this race it can only come from authentic customer experience comprising of high quality products, services, competitive pricing and great customer care.
Read more how Fluid Connected Oil Solutions accelerate Industry 4.0 adoption.