What is Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 is an umbrella term for a group of emerging and already available digital technologies that, when combined, have the potential to usher in a more efficient era of manufacturing. Automation, comprehensive networking of all areas of production and the Internet of Things will drive a digital communication flow between machines, internal and external value chain actors. It facilitates the vision of a smart factory.
Smart factories, where human beings, machines and products communicate with each other as naturally as on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter, are capable of managing higher levels of complexity, are less prone to disruption and able to manufacture goods more efficiently. This networked production system makes it possible to build smarter manufacturing processes and supply chains. Industry 4.0 is not just about technology; it represents a new approach to manufacturing. The concept originated in Germany, but the realization of the transformational power of connected, digitalized manufacturing has inspired related initiatives in North America, China, and other Western European countries.8 Although these initiatives may have regional specificities, the advantage for upholstered furniture manufacturers remains the same: a concrete response to new consumer demands in terms of customization, speed and cost.
Furniture Manufacturing in the Industry 4.0 Era
However, many questions remain. What does it mean for upholstered furniture manufacturers? How can they begin integrating Industry 4.0 technology into their furniture production process?
“Furniture Manufacturing in the Industry 4.0 Era” aims to answer these questions. This white paper explores how Industry 4.0 can help upholstered furniture manufacturers respond to current market demand for custom and made-to-order furniture.