9 reasons for consumer electronics manufacturers to get on board with Industry 4.0

The market demands for smartphones, tablets and similar consumer gadgets have reached new heights. And when most brands aim to release one or several new models every year, time is precious. Factories are running 24/7 to meet the production targets and the assembly lines are constantly rebalanced to introduce new products. The problem is that there is little time for implementing new and smarter processes in the factories – processes that can take some pressure off by increasing efficiency and gaining a competitive edge from data processing. At Atlas Copco, we are certain that the consumer electronics industry will benefit immensely from Industry 4.0 practices over the years to come. Here are the 9 reasons why:

1. Quality

First of all, smart electric screwdrivers can increase productivity and reduce costs, thanks to the optimized speed and minimized downtime. From an increased tightening quality follows a reduction in end-product quality issues, leading to great savings from multiple sources

2. Traceability

Today’s processes are mostly manual in their nature. With smart and connected tools, there is a completely different kind of traceability available. And the data collected from the tools will reveal new improvement opportunities that weren’t visible before.

3. Efficient stations

With enough data and accompanying software, predictions become increasingly accurate. You can track the performance of each station, so you know if an operator is using the tools inefficiently. More efficient stations help increase your productivity.

4. Work-related cost reduction

MicroTorque tools are smart electric screwdrivers, ergonomically comfortable − and connected. There is less physical stress for the operator, while the data can help further optimize each individual’s work progress. Costly work-related injuries can be reduced.

5. Confidentiality

Confidentiality is a critical topic for the consumer electronics sector, surrounded by secrecy and market expectations. Secure networks and encrypted data flows are necessary parameters to ensure trust and reliability in a digitalized industry 4.0 factory environment.

6. Time saving

Data-driven insights make it possible to trace exactly which operator has worked on which screw, where the error occurred, with which tool, at what angle and with which torque. This saves a lot of time that used to be spent guessing and searching for errors. In many cases, automated error correction is available for implementation.

7. Automated decision-making

The development of AI, automation, and robotics is exploding in many areas of assembly and manufacturing, and consumer electronics is the next in line. Ensuring strong connectivity and data analysis is already in place and makes the shift far easier. Automated decision-making inside the tool to compensate from component variation is already a reality, and one of many important steps towards a Smart Connected Assembly in the Industry 4.0 era.

8. Reduced training hours

Since time is so limited in these factories, a Smart Connected Assembly solution is usually set up right next to the existing workstations. Our user interface and user experience teams make sure that tools and software applications are intuitive and easy to use. Reducing the number of hours needed for training is an important focus for us at Atlas Copco.

9. Service

Industry 4.0 is also revolutionizing the service and maintenance sector. In the near future, connected and smart tools will allow a supplier to provide customers with predictive maintenance and secure uptime, rather than just a tool. At Atlas Copco, we have the global service organization to support that future.