When a mold shop integrated a Smart Manufacturing system into our shop, you will experience an instant transformation in the way you conduct business. you will provide your customers with more information and data faster than ever before. The result of this has been a decrease in critical tool build lead times, an improved bottom line and a reorganization of our shop floor to better address gaps in production.

However, this result was only possible through proper planning. Planning to implement an Industry 4.0 system may appear to be a daunting task, but to this day the value it has brought to a company is unparalleled. Similar to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) revolution in the 2000s, using Industry 4.0 system will be a trend in mold industry

Here, I want to share three critical steps in our process for successfully implementing Industry 4.0. We hope this insight will help others understand why this system is now a requirement for our business to operate.

Know your problems, know your solution—This is perhaps the most important starting point for the process. Many times, the change management involved with the system can appear to be more daunting and serve as a distraction to the proposed end goal. The workforce must be aligned with the reason the company is trialing the system so that the team can overcome challenges and share a willingness to change to a new process.

Pick a supplier to join your “steering committee”—Establish a steering committee comprising different team members who represent the various departments throughout the business. From there, communicate with your supplier and request their involvement with the higher level decisions from the internal steering committee. This process will help your team feel a part of the decision-making and allow your supplier to forecast any changes or challenges on the horizon.

Maintain honesty and a positive attitude—This was the first rule. please did not set out to use this system to police the workforce. the system excels at scheduled and live machine analytics, so that is where the team spends its energy. the system reports on our timelines, machine status and many other parameters that we display across the shop floor as a tool to support one another to meet critical deadlines.