The potential of automation within Industry 4.0

In recent years is quite common listening and reading in media about Industry 4.0 and its potential inside Industrial sector as the objective to achieve in next years. However many times all attention is put into data management and Internet of Things diminishing automation.


Although these concepts are fundamental in Industry 4.0, automation is also part of it, and fundamental in order to get a workflow with all task fully digitalized with physical systems in current installations.

Nowadays there are a lot of jobs inside manufacturing chain that consists in repetitive tasks without any technology helping. Next graph shows how many industrial activities are among the ones with most chances to be automatized. Consequently many companies need to have more tasks doing automatically before digitizing all its data. Otherwise many tasks will not have any data inside company’s digital structure.

Profesiones que serán de los robots. Fuente: El orden Mundial

Tasks to be automatized are not just manual ones, there are also many other works inside different areas inside a factory (data extraction from physical format, budget generation, data management, report creation…). All these activities have a huge impact with respect to production times and value inside its company. Therefore automation will not only improve cost, also traceability of product or service. Once this traceability is done digitizing will be more efficient and easier to implement.

As next graph points out, all automation task will result in many hours of work saved by 2030. This will allow to prioritize on more complex jobs that are not feasible to automate right now. As a result, 15 % of working time could be saved, allowing companies to focus on more important activities.

Technical Feasibility. Fuente: McKinsey Research

From previous chart it is possible to check that 51% of working time is highly susceptible to automate using demonstrated technology. Obviously these activities are the most interesting to focus on in every company, as there exist technology which can execute these tasks without any evaluation. To sum up, those processes are the ones to tackle first during an Industry 4.0 implementation plan.

Cuando lleguen los robots. Fuente: Stadista


In conclusion, it is extremely important and beneficial to implement digitalization in companies to fulfill Industry 4.0, but it is important not to forget that there are many tasks which can and should be automatized, to achieve more efficiency in production, and are part of Industry 4.0.

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