Cisco survey reports that 74% of IoT efforts fail. LNS Research goes even further, saying that only 8% of industrial digital transformation efforts achieve “real success.” Why?
 
“Industry 4.0 is so new, the story is being written while it’s unfolding,” says Jacob Loverich, Chief Technology Officer at KCF Technologies. “American manufacturers want to keep pace or outpace steep international competition. They know they need to maximize plant efficiency and output and eliminate unplanned downtime and that Industry 4.0 tools can help them, but it’s not that simple.”
 
Manufacturers have a lot of experience buying machines, which often last 20 years or more. Adding IoT solutions and executing a full digital transformation requires an entirely different process that takes into account the rapid pace at which technology is evolving.
 
“There is a wide array of possible solutions, and an ideal Industry 4.0 solution needs to integrate seamlessly with the existing legacy infrastructure in a plant. Plus, manufacturers need to make operational changes in order to practically benefit from Industry 4.0’s promised value,” says Jacob. “One of our key goals is to help educate manufacturers about the buying criteria they can use to help make good technology investments.”
 
Here’s an abbreviated look at some of KCF’s top tips for manufacturers looking for the right Industry 4.0 solution.

  • Don’t Buy a Tool — Buy a Solution. Buying from a company that sees its Industry 4.0 product as a tool and not a solution will leave manufacturers struggling to practically achieve improvement. Buying from an Industry 4.0 company that delivers a comprehensive, whole product solution and digital transformation services will have a huge positive impact on the bottom line.
  • Find the Right Partner. Enacting major change is not easy and usually doesn’t come organically from within. It comes by way of partnerships that include the pairing of a technical product with support from industry experts and enthusiastic individuals who thrive on improvement.
  • Get Frontline Workers Onboard. Successful implementation of Industry 4.0 solutions requires the business to make a fundamental shift by having workers and leaders change how they do their jobs to maximize effectiveness and efficiency. The greatest barrier to achieving the full potential of Industry 4.0 is not the technology itself; it’s real-world use of the technology.

For more tips like these, read the full buyer’s guide to Industry 4.0.