Industrial digitisation - more than just a trend?
In the 1970s, automation found its way into the industrial sector. Customers demanded a greater variety of high quality products and shorter delivery times. This was made possible through the use of electronics and IT in the production and procurement of industrial plants. Since then, manual work steps have been taken over by machines and IT has gained a foothold in the supply management of companies - the beginning of the third industrial revolution.
Today, we are in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution - also called Industry 4.0. On the Internet, in trade journals, at events and trade fairs, you hear many of these buzzwords related to Industry 4.0: "smart factory", "cyber-physical systems" or the "Internet of Things". Behind many of these trend concepts are intelligent, networked technical systems. The foundation for this was laid years ago by parallel developments in the fields of electronics, software engineering, networking and mechatronics. But how does our daily work change and what do we need to pay attention to in the future?
In the future, designers and engineers have to adapt to globally networked production sites where the production of required parts virtually controls itself. The individual parts or components then report their condition back to design engineers over their entire life cycle for improvement and maintenance. This means that maintenance intervals are no longer cyclical, but rather situational. For this purpose, spare parts must then be available quickly to avoid long downtimes. In the future, companies will achieve this only through a close relationship with their suppliers and a sophisticated digital supply chain concept, such as that found at MISUMI. We already allow you to choose from and order a wide range of products with more than 9 million standard, purchased, and custom parts online. OCI interfaces (Open Catalogue Interface) are already being used today for closer networking between suppliers and processing companies. This technology is based on a product data interface for the exchange of product data sets between the customer's enterprise resource planning system (e.g. SAP) and the supplier's online ordering systems. The advantages of these interfaces are obvious:
- reduction of procurement and process costs
- simpler, standardised ordering processes
- transparent supplier management
- error minimisation
Ultimately, industry 4.0 not only provides new opportunities and possibilities – the project is also a challenge for production systems and machines. Adaptability plays a particularly important role here, since the products to be manufactured can change constantly. In plain English, this means that the production of industrial goods in the future will be more customised, more flexible and faster and thus change the areas of responsibility of designers and engineers. Stay tuned: in the future we will be giving you regular outlooks about future issues. For we also have a clear goal for the MISUMI’s future: a large variety of products through the latest manufacturing technologies, custom configuration on our online platform and quick ordering and delivery through digital networking with our customers.
MISUMI … Precisely Meeting Your Demands.