Currently, we are leaving behind the achievements and significant changes brought by digital automation through electronics and IT. We are now at the beginning of the fourth and new phase of the Industrial Revolution: Industry 4.0 and Logistics 4.0. In today's rapidly changing logistic world, Logistics Reply positions itself as an active player by adopting the evolving technological and modelling innovations and
by accompanying clients through the digital transformation process. This process brings changes that are mostly technological, but there are also novelties in organisation and culture, as well as new paradigms in application conception.
The basic principle of Industry 4.0 consists of linking machines, task parts and systems to create intelligent networks across the whole value chain. These enable the mutual and autonomous control of each part. Here are a few examples: machines that can predict malfunctions and automatically trigger maintenance processes, or self-organised logistics systems reacting autonomously to unexpected production changes. Hence Industry 4.0 is the means of achieving a value chain organisation model based on the technological concepts of the so-called
cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things and
Internet of Services. While cyber-physical systems monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralised decisions, the Internet of Things enables them to allow real-time communication and cooperation between objects and people. Lastly, the Internet of Services offers internal services and cross-organisations to value chain players.
This model for understanding the new value chain management organisation is based on the following design principles:
Three maturity levels can be identified in the adoption of the Internet of Things:
Today, only a few projects can be classified as real IoT transformation plans. Most businesses are still facing the challenge provided by connecting their operational landscape to the world of sensors. First and foremost, it is necessary to reach the first phase of the transformation: “a connected world” where business value is given by “real-time transparency.” Logistics Reply can help and guide customers through these three progressive maturation and transformation phases.
Logistics Reply strongly recommends lean methodology when tackling an IoT adoption project. This methodology is characterised by the following steps:
We understood that the architectures of current information systems need to be redesigned to fully satisfy said requirements. Hence, we started building a new application platform – capable of responding to the demand – based on our future plant vision, where the system is the backbone for technology, providers and customers and, therefore, it must provide full scalability through Cloud, In-Memory and Big Data analytics, along with guaranteeing security and task division.