Monday January 30, 2023

Industry 4.0 in Pakistan

June 15, 2022

Industry 4.0 can be called the Fourth Industrial Revolution that introduces relevant improvements to be integrated into smart and future factories. This will lead to the fusing of the digital and physical world. Additionally, industry 4.0 will lead to improved productivity, efficiency, potential effects, economic opportunities, and social opportunities.

Global economic growth will mean that even production costs will decrease, and people will be able to access goods and services at an affordable price. People will advance in various aspects and be able to make sound decisions in an instant.

In Industry 4.0, IT is used to make work easier. This leads to great automation of production and has a huge potential to offer amazing improvements in manufacturing industries in Pakistan. The world is growing, and many changes are taking place. What seemed viable ten years ago may not be viable at the moment. Different stakeholders are looking at how new technologies will help to jumpstart their companies and even boost productivity. However, some stakeholders are still slow in adopting such technologies due to their different perceptions.

There are different components involved in it. However, they haven’t been developed fully; some are still in the initial stages. Those that have been in existence for some time have proven to be game changers in the industrial world. IT is going to take the world to another level. However, there is a need for a revolution in the educational system, so that students can learn how to take up various technologies. Also, companies should be able to train their workers on how to use the various technologies to improve their productivity.

First, there is the cyber-physical system, which comprises computerized and physical processes. It requires modification to ensure the input of relevant controls and images in the system. Thereby, the CPS will provide easier information access, prevention, maintenance, and easy decision-making. Second, there are cloud systems. In this, data will be stored in a virtual server. Therefore, information access will be able to be availed on different platforms at one’s comfort. However, this will be in a diverse form when it reaches the industrial level.

The third one is machine-to-machine communication. This will ease the process of direct communication between wired or wireless devices. This technology allows communication from one channel to another. There will be more revenue streams while maintaining the operational costs for the benefit of the business. Fourth is the internet of things. This is a concept that includes the combination of various technologies based on physical assets/things and the internet. Thereby, with IoT, there is the interconnection of physical devices such as vehicles, normal buildings, and other devices. On the other hand, the internet of services is a combination of internet and services.

The fifth one is smart manufacturing, which aims at how production is undertaken in the factories. Smart factories have processes of great importance to our future production. There is also big data and data mining. For utmost benefit, there will be a need for high processing power, good analysis, and management of data. There is also robotics that will help enhance the work environment. Artificial intelligence will play a role in the development of robotics teams. For example, humans won't undertake repetitive functions, producing high-quality products, and increasing competitiveness as compared to areas with cheaper labour. This is important because people can focus on new inventions and use their time to do more valuable things.

The seventh one is augmented reality. This is a technology that provides a composite view of an image; it can help promote products and services, launch great marketing campaigns, collect unique user data, boost productivity, and complex manufacturing. AR can then be used in glasses, the medical field, mobiles, the entertainment industry, tourism, education, and safety. It will bring great development to the world.

Additionally, through simulation, people will be able to view new realities in real-time. Augmented reality can help different industries such as health, schools, factories, etc. The eighth one is enterprise resource planning, in which the information systems are designed to bring together all kinds of processes and data in real-time. This will help integrate all the organizational processes. Most companies are embracing ERP for the smooth running of their activities. Also, new startups are readily embracing the ERP system to jumpstart and succeed in their different activities.

In Pakistan, digital transformation is greatly being embraced due to the interaction of users on various platforms. The industrial revolution will play a major role in the growth of Pakistan's GDP. This is because different industries like the manufacturing industry will be boosted to enhance production. Information transmission will also be easier as the relevant stakeholders can get the intended message.

Also, digitization is making it easier to perform some functions. Teams can collaborate on a project when in different areas. Therefore, efficiency is also increasing by a high percentage. Pakistan will be one of the major adopters of Industry 4.0 opportunities that will help build the area and make residents’ lives better. The organizational resources can now be used well for the full functioning of the factory.

For Pakistan to prosper based on Industry 4.0, there will be a need for some reforms, new startups, and inventions that will help it to be fully embraced in different sectors like manufacturing, production, products and services, supply chain, and value chain, and much more. The growth of a country’s GDP means the improvement of service provision in the country and regions. However, thorough research still needs to be done to ensure that the available opportunities are taken advantage of. Globally, Industry 4.0 is being embraced readily and Pakistan shouldn’t be left out.

The writer is CTO & director, Centre of Information Technology at IoBM. He tweets @imranbatada and can be reached at: