The fourth industrial revolution, commonly referred to as Industry 4.0, is transforming industries across the globe. Key components of Industry 4.0 include automation, data analytics, cloud computing, cyber physical systems and Internet of Things.
Australian leaders of heavy industry, including global miners and major ship builders, are embracing Industry 4.0 in order to be globally competitive. Following the same logic, Australian technology companies should not only participate in Industry 4.0 but contribute to its evolution.
A key component of rolling out Industry 4.0 is digital transformation. This transformation is by its nature disruptive—it relies on us closely examining the systems we use in everyday business and asking, “Is there a better way?”.
For Industry 4.0 technologies, some developments are moving so quickly that ideas for digitisation that would have seemed far-fetched only a few years ago have rapidly matured into solutions now available on the shelf.
In this rapidly shifting technological world, where should a company invest its effort?
For Mr Kailash Sriram, Managing Director and CEO of IPACS Australia, the answer is simple.
“The key thing to remember about digital transformation is not the digital part, it’s the transformation part”
IPACS Australia designs, manufactures and sells Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology for the industrial sector globally.
Mr Sriram says while technology has to make business sense, each time you invest in new technology you also need a clear understanding of where it’s going to create value.
“In Industry 4.0, you’ll need to be part of your customer’s digital model and strategy, and if you can’t be an input into that you’re not going to get very far,” he said.
For IPACS, this approach has already allowed the company to take its innovative IIoT real time asset optimisation technology to global markets.
“Australian Industry really needs to be looking global—you can only get so far selling locally, especially in a high-tech market like the one that IPACS operates in. You must keep breaking down those barriers.”
This barrier-breaking approach has led to IPACS showcasing its technology all around the world, with current projects in China and India and more international collaborations in the pipeline. Their participation in the Virtual Shipyard project was not just a way to transform their business, but to demonstrate how they could return more value to their clients.
“For us, the Virtual Shipyard was a way to show off our value to big international clients and show our unique capability to customers who can then take us global,” Mr Sriram said.
“Today, major shipbuilders and miners are incorporating IPACS technology as part of their Industry 4.0 strategy.
“The opportunity is there for Australian Industry.
“We need to take part and contribute to the evolution of Industry 4.0, in order to be effective in the modern, highly-competitive industrial world.”