Operators confident of cost savings from Industry 4.0

Big name operators tipped manufacturing and quality control elements to reap the biggest rewards from the implementation of smart technologies in industry, with reductions in costs and production times among the main advantages.

“Taking into account complexities, machines used and the cost of products, the average saving is around 4 per cent of the total production cost, which takes into account raw materials, cost of equipment ownership, staff, supply chain costs and so forth,” commented Emmanuel Routier, VP of Industry 4.0 at Orange Business Services.

Speaking to Mobile World Live as part of an Operator Q&A for its ‘Smart Manufacturing’ Themed Week, Routier added: “If you take into account predictive maintenance, one of the most sought-after applications in smart manufacturing, cost savings can rise as high as 20 per cent on a specific process,” he added.

SK Telecom’s Ra Kyhong-hwan cited 5G and AI as capable of making the process of quality inspection “more cost-effective, fast and safe”.

“For instance, our 5G-AI Machine Vision is helping an auto parts company in Korea to achieve around 30 per cent of cost savings and two times higher productivity,” said the South Korean operator’s head of data business cooperation team. “We’re also introducing other solutions built with vision AI technology to further reduce costs for enterprise customers through a more efficient and accurate product inspection.”

But the benefits offered by 5G go beyond shedding cost from the manufacturing process itself.

Singaporean operator M1’s chief corporate sales and solutions officer Willis Slim noted there are also opportunities around centralised systems, while Vodafone Business head of manufacturing industry verticals Paul Taylor highlighted potential environmental gains through employing technology to cut wastage and power consumption.

He added Industry 4.0 could also deliver enhancements for customer experience, and increased efficiency by eliminating redundant processes.