Industry 4.0: all mobilised for continuous improvement

The Internet of Things optimises industry operations while also providing  financial benefits.. But what about employees working in this industry? Nicolas Thuilliez, responsible for the excellence operational offer and Industry 4.0 leader at onepoint, explains his views.

AMMag – What role does the Internet of Things play within Industry 4.0? What opportunities does it provide?

When the implemented solution is bidirectional, IoT (Internet of Things, NDRL) provides information everywhere and at all times, a great example of this is the French company Mecatherm, which manufacturers  the automated bread oven. Not only does it allow you to  operate it remotely , but also warn you  of a breakdown, even potentially before the breakdown actually occurs. This generates  considerable savings.Data collection also helps the designers and manufacturers identify the equipment’s weaknesses, and overcome various technical challenges. In addition, the Internet of Things impacts manufacturers’ business models, and even engineers in charge of creating a production line. As of now they can provide a service, associating a functionality and an availability instead of a machine combined with an after-sale service. The revenue it generates currently  fluctuates based on the quantity  of machines sold, but will become stable in the foreseeable future.. Remote control and predictive maintenance can replace a manufacturer’s internal services, who will thus be able to transform its movable assets into services. This will improve company profitability and improve the capacity to invest.

AMMag – Do the designers and adopters of iOT solutions predict there will be enough users in the future?

In short, you are asking me what the place of human beings will be within the new technological expansion. Well, there are different options to adopt in order to avoid certain activity deletion. Maintenance and equipment usage are good examples as they represent respectively 80% and 20% of IoT usage. A maintenance technician monitors the equipment, will diagnose problems and fix technical issues. This is why technicians are valued. However, computer technology will soon be able to predict diagnostic problems and fix technical issues which will therefore make a technician’s job obsolete. This position and role is therefore going to evolve. There will be less troubleshooting, better identification of technical issues and technical improvement, while production and data entry will become more automated. Operations will thus be able to focus more on process enhancement regarding manufacturing for instance.

IT teams being initially the ones who lead digitalisation thus need to be aware and smart with this challenge. HR employees will also be confronted with this problem so that technical progress does not lead to employees’ exclusion, who are often the ones that are less equipped to work with technology. Here, Gadzarts has an important role to play.

About Nicolas Thuilliez

Nicolas is trained in in lean processes, SixSigma as well as design thinking that serves as a new method of stimulating innovation. His career is in solving process optimisation challenges and  performance improvement within industry and logistics sectors. Nicolas Thuilliez first worked for Thales (three years), then for ProConseil (12 years) and finally for Weave (six years). Since 2018, he has been working at onepoint, specialising in corporate digitalisation.