Ali Rıza ERSOY
Member of the Executive Board and Assistant General Manager
WHAT IS INDUSTRY 4.0?
Also known as the fourth industrial revolution, ‘Industry 4.0’ means transformation of all components within manufacturing facilities into global networks. Thanks to the communication among smart devices, a more efficient working environment is created. First introduced in Germany, this concept allows communicating machines to perform quality control on products and to identify deficiencies in the manufacturing process faster. In this process, big data analyses can be performed at smart facilities to make manufacturing more efficient.
INDUSTRY 4.0 INITIATIVES BY SIEMENS
Believing that industrial manufacturing should become more professional in order to enhance efficiency, quality and digitalization, we, as Siemens Turkey, continue our efforts towards this aim. One of our main objectives is to ensure efficient manufacturing, shorter time-to-market, and more flexibility in the Turkish industry. Although Industry 4.0 is still in its elementary phase, many components of this vision are already embodied within Siemens.
There are many examples to our Industry 4.0 initiatives, including our fully integrated PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) software, which we call the Digital Enterprise Platform. With the PLM software, all functions such as product design and manufacturing sequence planning have access to the same data. Within the scope of the Digital Enterprise Platform, we offer various products associated with Industry 4.0. Our factory in Amberg, Germany is a good example of the flexibility of manufacturing diverse products at a single facility. In addition, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory preferred to use our PLM software in the design of Curiosity rover, which was sent to Mars.
As Siemens Turkey, we aim to gather professionals and academics involved in industry under the umbrella of the Industry 4.0 Platform, which we sponsor as a guide for Turkey in the Industry 4.0 revolution. Through the ‘Industry 4.0 Platform’ built to guide corporations in the transformation process to Industry 4.0, we aim to help every member and stakeholder to share know-how and experience. As the first of its kind, the Platform will include the roadmap for Industry 4.0, advances in manufacturing technologies, and integration of these technologies to Industry 4.0.
Furthermore, we continue to keep Industry 4.0 on the agenda through university events, congresses, symposiums, and other events.
IS TURKEY READY FOR TRANSFORMATION TO INDUSTRY 4.0?
After the emergence of Industry 4.0 in Germany, many countries with large-scale economies, including the US and China, have started to make investments in this concept in cooperation with large manufacturers of their regions. Considering their investments, I believe Turkish industrialists have a chance to grasp the Industry 4.0 revolution by making necessary investments in technologies, making the best of their existing facilities and resources.
INDUSTRY 4.0 AND THE EMPLOYMENT PROBLEM
One of the greatest concerns about Industry 4.0 is the loss of employment due to the widespread use of robotic systems. Remembering the third Industrial Revolution, we see that these concerns are not realistic. During that revolution, use of automation in the automobile industry increased but this did not lead to a rise in unemployment. To the contrary, new and innovative employment areas were born with the economic growth, creating new professions, such as repair of robots and machines in automation, thus leading to new employment opportunities. Considering these processes, we expect the same pattern with Industry 4.0. In the long term, we estimate significant increase in the demand for qualified labor in IT and mechatronics, as well as the rise of new professional areas.
FUTURE IMPACT OF INDUSTRY 4.0
With Industry 4.0, welfare will be positively increased in the future. It is claimed that the year 2020 will see 16 new professions which we do not know yet. The risk is that training will be required to transform the existing blue collar labor force, which we refer to as “low skill”, into “high skill” labor (qualified labor with high skills) in 5 to 10 years. And our universities will have to train the future youth for these new professions.
IMPACT OF INDUSTRY 4.0 ON MANUFACTURING COMPANIES
At smart factories built upon Industry 4.0-based manufacturing processes, automation processes will help devices and machines to regulate the manufacturing processes automatically. Following any problems at any stage of the manufacturing process, failures will be automatically identified and corrected on-site. We can see that the system can operate in full capacity and without problems.
Furthermore, cyber-physical systems will make a difference in manufacturing, R&D design, and marketing processes. All feasibility activities will be performed via simulation activities to be conducted before the installation of the facility.
Industry 4.0 will improve efficiency by creating solutions that we cannot even dream of today and by improving the use of resources. We believe promising solutions will be generated.
Our studies and calculations indicate that, with Industry 4.0, time-to-market for new products will be decreased by 25 to 50%, engineering costs will be reduced to 30%, and energy efficiency will be increased up to 70%.