Hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa, the trade and industry hub of sub-Saharan Africa's escalating economic prowess, the Manufacturing Indaba 2018 will be set amidst the exciting backdrop of Industry 4.0 which aims to open a gateway of opportunities for existing and prospective manufacturers in the region.
Known as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, the term Industry 4.0 is an embodiment of innovative technologies that are spearheading the computerisation of manufacturing. This revolutionary digitisation has already taken European industries by storm, with German manufacturers expected to make a staggering yearly investment of $150bn to integrate Industry 4.0 frameworks into their existing business operations and practices.
The benefits of Industry 4.0 span across several areas such as cost, productivity, profitability and operations that manufacturers are actively seeking to control, streamline, optimise or enhance. The onset of Industry 4.0 and IoT will be followed by a complete digitisation of factories and manufacturing units that, in response to the unique needs of individual customers, will merge elements such as customised product design, manufacturing processes and final delivery to maximise customer satisfaction levels.
Embracing Industry 4.0 equips manufacturers with revolutionary competitive advantages, by overtaking traditional manufacturing methodologies and replacing them with improved material requirements planning (MRP) models and cloud manufacturing execution systems. Industry 4.0 will enable businesses to leverage these advanced technical capabilities to increase productivity whilst maintaining peak quality standards and reducing errors, thereby decreasing waste.
Furthermore, aspects relating to human resources in manufacturing will also experience a change as analytics and algorithms lead the sequential functioning of machines, while employees monitor the ongoing performance thereof. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will also offer superior levels of safety to manufacturing facilities. People are restricted to the tasks they can perform in dangerous environments, whereas machines demonstrate higher levels of competence in such situations, thereby reducing the number of workplace accidents along with Workman’s Compensation claims.
Similarly, Industry 4.0 and IoT initiatives will empower industrialists to improve on their Manufacturing Process Optimisation, whereby M2M (machine-to-machine) communications, shared data and advanced analytics promote greater cooperation among all stakeholders along the entire value chain. In addition, the manufacturing industry will observe a vast reduction in time spent accumulating feedback on products and services. With the automated closed-feedback loop being a fundamental element of Industry 4.0, smart systems make more allowance for flawless record-keeping, thereby increasing tracking capabilities, while controlling liabilities, warranty expenditures and recalls.
Analysts expect that these drastic changes in the manufacturing landscape will be integrated into the entire supply chain, thereby optimising processes and activities, and consequently promoting efficiency and innovation for years to come. In essence, existing and prospective industry players can expect to reap even greater revenue and profit from their investment, by successfully assimilating Industry 4.0 and IoT into their systems. By promoting industrial safety, automated machinery enables producers to decrease medical claims of workers, reduce downtime, and save on long-term capital expenses.
This year’s Manufacturing Indaba aims to collectively introduce and infiltrate Industry 4.0 and IoT principles into Sub-Saharan Africa’s promising manufacturing industry. By connecting conference delegates with influential speakers who have expert knowledge on this subject matter, the conference will allow participants to get a taste of the exciting developments in this arena. Attendees will learn how to implement Industry 4.0 and IoT techniques within their own business environments, allowing them the opportunity to increase profitability and place themselves in prime position to secure other competitive advantages made available through the implementation of these techniques.
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