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Industry 4.0 solutions

Steer your business to success and unlock the value of Industry 4.0 and IIOT software from SAP across your entire supply chain.

Make Industry 4.0 your everyday reality

With Industry 4.0 solutions and technology from SAP, you can bring data-driven processes and operational flexibility to the entire business. 

Apply four winning strategic initiatives from SAP by putting intelligence into products, factories and logistics, assets, and people.

  • Intelligent products can be built and configured to meet customers' unique needs and use sensors to report on their operational health.
  • Intelligent factories use advanced technologies to run autonomously and deliver mass produced or individualised products at scale.
  • Intelligent assets link all operational processes and enable predictive maintenance of equipment.
  • Empowered people have the tools and information they need to do their best work.



Learn how Norfolk Southern is reimagining Asset Management with Industry 4.0

SAP provides key solutions for Industry 4.0

SAP's supply chain management portfolio brings all the Industry 4.0 capabilities together across your ecosystem. Combine the power of digital manufacturing in factories and plants with end-to-end business process execution across the supply chain.

Develop connected, self-aware products that are capable of sharing information about their health, location, usage level, storage conditions, and more.

The data these smart products share can help you improve everything from product quality and customer service to logistics and R&D. They can also anticipate service needs, receive remote upgrades, and open the door to new, service-based business models.  

Smart factories or digital manufacturing is the utilisation of real-time data analysis, AI, and machine learning in the manufacturing process.

Smart factories use sensors on equipment to acquire and process real-time data, intelligent manufacturing allows manufacturers a complete, 360-degree high-fidelity virtual data-driven integrated view of all operations—from suppliers and supply chains, through equipment, processes, and manufacturing practices, to final product testing and customer satisfaction.

Intelligent assets reduce downtime and increase efficiency throughout the supply chain

With intelligent assets, technicians can monitor asset performance in real time, anticipate and prevent downtime, employ dynamic and predictive maintenance, take advantage of digital twins, and tightly integrate assets and business processes. SAP solutions enable you to easily onboard assets, optimise predictive maintenance, and more.

No amount of automation, AI or ML will supplant the ingenuity of the human mind.

Empowering a business’ most valuable asset, people, is critical to success in Industry 4.0. Enable your people to manage complex tasks and unforeseen events with ad hoc decision support. Use IoT-enabled monitoring, geo-fencing, and real-time analytics to improve health and safety.

See what analysts are saying about Industry 4.0

A Guide for digital transformation in Manufacturing

Uncover how to overcome supply chain disruptions and future-proof your manufacturing processes in this IndustryWeek white paper. 

Take a fresh look at Industry 4.0 for manufacturing

There have been many significant changes in the realm of industrial manufacturing and Industry 4.0. What hasn’t changed are the laws of economics. Find out how you can build a robust business case to realise the maximum value of Industry 4.0.

Achieve maximum value with intelligent asset management

As manufacturers adapt to changing economic and competitive pressures, many are adopting an Industry 4.0 mindset with a focus on transitioning from an automated to intelligent manufacturing and intelligent asset management mindset.

Frequently asked questions

Industry 4.0 is built on nine technology pillars. These innovations bridge the physical and digital worlds and make intelligent and autonomous systems possible. Businesses and supply chains already use some of these advanced technologies, but the full potential of Industry 4.0 comes to life when they’re used together. These technologies include:

  • Big Data and AI analytics
  • Vertical and horizontal integration
  • Cloud computing
  • Augmented reality
  • Industrial Internet of Things
  • Additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing)
  • Autonomous robots
  • Simulation or digital twins
  • Cybersecurity

Intelligent products: Develop connected, self-aware products that are capable of sharing information about their health, location, usage level, storage conditions, and more. The data these smart products share can help you improve everything from product quality and customer service to logistics and R&D. They can also anticipate service needs, receive remote upgrades, and open the door to new, service-based business models.

Intelligent factories: Run smart factories – highly digitalised, largely autonomous facilities that take full advantage of advanced technologies such as Big Data, AI, robotics, analytics, and the IoT. Also called Factory 4.0, these plants are self-correcting, employ smart manufacturing 4.0 processes, and make it possible to deliver customised products cost-efficiently and at scale.

Intelligent assets: Almost every physical asset deployed today has built-in sensors – which, when connected to the IoT and analytics, are game changers for enterprise asset management. With intelligent assets, technicians can monitor asset performance in real time, anticipate and prevent downtime, employ dynamic and predictive maintenance, take advantage of digital twins, and tightly integrate assets and business processes. 

Empowered people: No matter how autonomous your systems are, you will always need people. Empower workers with technologies such as AI and access to live sensor data – so they know what’s happening on the shop floor and are ready to make quick decisions and handle issues as they spring up. Wearable devices and augmented reality apps can also help people solve problems, monitor their health, and keep them safe.

Vulnerability to cyberattacks: With the increased connectivity and use of Big Data in Industry 4.0, effective cybersecurity is paramount and should be considered at every stage of implementation, not as the last step. By implementing a "Zero Trust" architecture and technologies such as machine learning and blockchain, companies can automate threat detection, prevention, and response – and minimise the risk of data breaches and production delays across their networks.

Fear of job losses:
There is no question that the fourth industrial revolution will change the workforce. But it’s not repetitive labour that leads to innovation – it’s ideas and creative thinking. Digitally augmented workers are freed up to use their heads instead of just their muscles. In 1980, there were only a few thousand computer programmers in the whole world. Today, there are more than 20 million. While many physical tasks will be taken over by robots, many more tasks will be created to run a digitally enhanced business.

The technologies you start with will depend on which processes are the most critical to your core business model – and which areas of your company stand to benefit the most from transformation. When getting started, companies often focus on one core technology at a time. By their design, Industry 4.0 solutions deliver a lot of robust Big Data and insights that can help you accurately assess their ROI and benefits. This makes integrating subsequent areas of the business an increasingly smooth process.

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that we can’t always see what’s coming. And while we can’t predict the future, we can take steps to ensure that we’re more resilient and better prepared for it.  The best in-memory ERP systems are scalable and support unlimited workloads, and Industry 4.0 technologies are developed specifically to ramp up to support future growth and adapt to unexpected change.

Questions? Get in touch!

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