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Preparing for Industry 4.0

The shift to digital manufacturing will require a mix of new technology to enable increased integration and automation.

The shift to digital manufacturing will require a mix of new technology to enable increased integration and automation.

Image courtesy of Protolabs.

Manufacturing is rapidly evolving as the world enters what is generally referred to as Industry 4.0—a fourth industrial revolution enabled by cloud computing, digitization, artificial intelligence, mobility and low-cost data storage. As this wave of change continues, governments and individual companies are exploring ways to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart factory concepts to stay competitive.

In a white paper titled “Data, Digital Threads, and Industry 4.0” published on the company website, Protolabs has outlined how software and technology can be used to truly digitize the manufacturing environment.

In the paper, Protolabs describes the shift to digital manufacturing, which represents a new way of sharing data across the entire product lifecycle to lower costs, accelerate development, and improve part quality. Integrated platforms are emerging that creates a digital thread in place of previously siloed data across manufacturing, design, simulation and shop floor data collection. Moreover, this integration is highly automated.

Protolabs has embraced this concept since its very founding, with automation that streamlines the process of moving designs from through quoting, toolpathing and the production floor. According to research from CIMdata quoted in the paper, digital manufacturing efforts can improve time-to-market by 30%, reduce process planning efforts and equipment costs by 40% and increase overall production throughput by 15%. 

The paper also includes examples of companies like MEMEX Inc. and General Electric, that are successfully making the transition to digital manufacturing.

Check out the Protolabs white paper. It is available on the company’s website without registration.

In a Nutshell: “Data, Digital Threads, and Industry 4.0”

New white paper outlines how Industry 4.0 and digital manufacturing concepts can reduce costs and accelerate time to market.

Industry 4.0 had been enabled by cloud computing, digitization, artificial intelligence, mobility and low-cost data storage.

Manufacturers are shifting to a digital manufacturing model that relies on the integration of data across the product lifecycle, from design through production.

Protolabs rapid prototyping and manufacturing services were designed from the ground up to enable this type of modern manufacturing.

More Protolabs Coverage

Protolabs Company Profile

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