When it comes to deploying software solutions for Industry 4.0, companies are primarily aiming to reduce their maintenance, repairs, and failure costs and improve their production output. This finding was highlighted in a Bosch Software Innovations survey of 181 production managers from manufacturing companies, including some Bosch plants. Specifically, companies say they hope to achieve this through functionalities that help them monitor deviations in their production processes.
Some clear findings emerged from the survey conducted by Bosch Software Innovations. Asked which key performance indicators (KPIs) they would most like to benefit from Industry 4.0 software solutions, two thirds of the companies surveyed (66 percent) said their goal was to cut their maintenance and repairs costs. Reducing failure costs was cited as another goal by 60 percent of the respondents, and half of those surveyed said they hoped Industry 4.0 software solutions would improve their production output. Two areas where companies expect the most leverage are technical downtime and performance losses (e.g. cycle time losses). “These results clearly show what production managers want from Industry 4.0,” says Daniel Hug, Head of the Vertical Manufacturing and Logistics at Bosch Software Innovations. “As a lead supplier of software solutions for connected manufacturing, we need to focus on those goals – and as a lead user, that’s exactly what Bosch is doing in over 100 pilot projects in its own plants.”
Respond promptly to cut time and costs
To improve these KPIs, the Bosch plants and external companies that participated in the survey highlighted the need for functionalities that increase transparency in the production process. The most important functionalities cited by the respondents were monitoring deviations, visualizing production data, and providing relevant information for the job in hand. These functions give managers a better insight into their production processes, allowing them to detect and rectify deviations, downtime, and performance losses promptly – and even prevent them from happening in the first place.
“This isn’t just some vision of the future,” Hug emphasizes. “We’re already delivering lots of successful projects that use our software solutions.” For example, Process Quality Manager by Bosch Software Innovations is helping an auto manufacturer monitor the quality of safety-critical tightening processes. The individual tightening tools are connected up in a system, enabling them to send data to the software package on the torque and rotation angle of the tightening processes. This data is analyzed and visualized in real time. The transparency and systematic analysis of the data helps the company detect non-conformance trends early on, then isolate the causes and take prompt corrective action – in some cases before the failure has even occurred.
You can download the results of the Industry 4.0 study here.