Industry 4.0 | Business Automation using Technology & Software

Throughout the history of n-Coders we have specialised in business automation using technology and software. We are seeing more and more companies beginning to invest in automation. This trend for businesses to automate manual tasks and to rapidly improve and optimise using data analytics is often referred to as Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution.

Often this automation work involves integrating systems together, including physical systems and sensors. As our roots lay in servers, electronics and embedded systems, we are ideally suited to automate all kinds of business, from financial to call centres and factories and distributors.

Business Automation using Data and Analytics

The usual starting point for automating a business is to determine what data can be collected. This is then used to construct a data warehouse that can be used for producing reports and deep learning for future automated decision making.

Initially, this data can be presented on dashboards or reports to improve decision making within the company, and it is then possible to use data analysis tools to identify trends or use neural networks to look for patterns or correlation with other data.

In practice, this can be used for applications such as advanced stock level prediction for inventory management systems, or predicting how many agents will be needed in a call centre to deal with the volume of calls.

Business Automation using Intelligent Agents and Chatbots

The concept of an intelligent agent has been around for many years now, but we are now seeing exponential growth in their use as they are increasingly becoming alternatives to human workers.

Intelligent Agents are goal-driven, and use A.I. technologies including fuzzy logic and neural networks to make more human-like decisions.

Chatbots are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated and serve as an excellent way of serving many people with information at once. These are evolving into RPA (Robotic Process Automation) bots, that are becoming the new low / semi-skilled workforce of the future.

It’s likely that these bots will soon be able to provide specialist advice or recommendations before forwarding the person to the relevant expert.

Business Automation using Augmented Reality and Man Machine Interfaces

Augmented Reality (A.R.) systems and other types of advanced human-machine interfaces are increasingly being used in the workplace.

In manufacturing, automotive and retail environments, A.R. systems are giving employees relevant real-time information to assist them with their current task all whilst keeping their hands free. This allows generalists to perform specialist tasks with machine guidance.

In construction, it may be the case that builders wear exoskeletons allowing them to carry great loads, allowing that builder to do the work of ten men, with improved safety, whilst having great fun whilst doing it!

This man-machine integration will almost certainly continue, allowing people to work more efficiently with less effort and enjoy their jobs more.

Business Automation using Internet of Things (IoT)

We often work with data loggers, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), barcode scanners, servers and sensors for collecting and analysis of data in industrial environments.

There is an increasing demand for this as clients with manufacturing businesses want all of their machinery and systems integration, sometimes with tracking of items (using RFID) to be able to fully optimise their business.

By putting equipment, sensors and machinery online, then their utilisation can be determined and predicted, allowing for the business to run at maximum efficiency.

Business Automation using Robotics

Robotics have been used increasingly in the manufacturing sector since the 1970’s, and are certainly finding their way into smaller businesses as their cost decreases.

As robots are taking over the process of manufacturing and production, with autonomous vehicles and drones are beginning to replace delivery drivers and there is certainly the question about what people will do with increased levels of automation.

However, it is still the case (and will be for some time) that human workers in production are considerably more versatile than robotics, it’s just that when it comes to more repetitive tasks, this difference is being reduced every day.

Whilst robots are good at relatively simple tasks, they are still a long way from being able to do such things as diagnose and repair other robots. This means that the trend for human labour is to become more skilled, as humans can be trained to fix the robots.

A pizza-making robot can make 300 pizzas an hour with very consistent quality, just not necessarily able to deal with slight personal preference as a human chef would. There is no doubt that we are a long way from being able to replace a trained chef with a robot, but those pizzas made by a robot will be considerably cheaper.

Robots and automation will be taking the labour and repetitive tasks out of jobs, allowing businesses to operate with fewer people, but for those people within the business to become more specialist, and be more creative within their roles.

Automate your business now whilst you can, it will take time!

n-Coders can work with you to identify where your organisation can automate your business to improve processes and save time and money. We offer a free consultation with no obligation to identify wherewith the minimum cost we can make the maximum impact on your business automation.