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Interview with Nicola Accialini


Who is Nicola Accialini? He is an Aerospace Engineer and a Tech enthusiast with several years of experience in product development and industrial engineering. In 2019, he founded Accialini Training & Consulting to support organizations in different areas of expertise. Accialini Training & Consulting is a consulting company with the goal of supporting organizations in their innovation process. In his professional career, he managed project in relation to the development and implementation of new products and technologies. This lead him to take an interested in 2016, in the world of Industry 4.0. With his broad knowledge on industry 4.0, we had an interview, and this was how it went:

Question: What is Industry 4.0?

Collection of technologies, mainly digital which are used by companies or people to improve productivity, reduce costs and meet a company’s technological needs. It is fundamental to increase awareness and spread real experience and practical knowledge about 4.0 technologies!

Question: How is industry 4.0 different from its antecedent?

Industry 4.0 implies the utilization of different technology trends, mainly digital, to offer solutions to future challenges such as:

1. higher productivity and

2. efficiency,

3. better and faster decision-making process,

4. mass personalization of new products,

5. higher transparency,

6. lower cost.

To understand the reasons that lead to Industry 4.0, it is fundamental to understand previous revolutions. The 1st industrial revolution (1760 – 1850) began in Great Britain, and many of the technological innovations were of British origin. The Second Industrial Revolution (1870 – 1914) was a period of rapid industrial development. Primarily in Britain, Germany, and the United States, but also in France, Italy, and Japan. The 3rd industrial revolution began in the 1960s. It is usually called the computer or digital revolution because it was catalysed by the development of semiconductors, mainframe computing (1960s), personal computing (1970s and ’80s) and the internet (1990s).

Question: What are the benefits of industry 4.0?

The overall benefit of Industry 4.0 is that you are getting the information you need to make the right decisions. It can help improve productivity, give you flexibility, automation (as the machine is learning, it automatically configures itself and the workers act as supervisor, who only monitor the whole process). It also help you predict your cash flow and tell you when you will need inventory.

Question: How will industry 4.0 be implemented in a company?

Implementation of Industry 4.0 basically means turning your company into a ‘smart company’. Using digital technology to make the work process, faster and easier through predictive analysis, predictive maintenance , etc. For example, before a machine breakdown, you are able to get the prior knowledge of the usability and strength of the machine. The implementation of industry 4.0 , give you a competitive advantage over your competitors because you are able to predict the behavior of your machineries.

Question: How much does it cost to implement an Industry 4.0 solution?

It all depends on your preference. For instance, if you want to implement it in a full functional facility with a lot of automation, you will need people who can collect data and algorithms to implement a system or a machine to produce final product. You can also use software and sensors and the cost of sensors is relatively cheap. You can also opt for Virtual Reality and develop 3D models which can help you develop new production line, see your layout or augmented reality to provide remote assistant and assemble new machines and all these are not capital intensive. The problem of industry 4.0 implementation is not financial, its more of a mindset. People are usually not open to use new innovations especially if they do not understand how it works.

Question: How will Big data analysis be managed so that it does not violate the principles of data privacy in B2B?

There are rules and regulations developed by the government to tackle such issues. Privacy is often an argument that is mentioned in a Big Data context, but for many it is unclear what Privacy regulations stipulate how they relate to Big Data and what measures could be taken to use Big Data without creating Privacy risks or even Privacy breaches. The government should ensure that these rules and standards are understood and adhered to by the users. As technology is a constant evolving industry, the rules and regulations also need to be constantly evolving and changing to meet with the current trends. The government needs to create rules and standard protocol for data to be analyzed and shared from different sources or machine.

In conclusion, we have seen how beneficial new technological trends are in our private lives(when we use smartphones, tablets, e-learning etc.) It is easy to identify these benefits when we are using them in our homes but when it comes to companies, it is very difficult to convince people of its benefits. We need to change our mindset and learn how to use these technologies so that our organizations can grow. Industry 4.0 is here to stay. Some Companies are utilizing this technology and having competitive advantage and edge over those that are not. So don’t be left out!

Image by ArthurHidden on Freepik

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