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Industry 4.0: Navigating Disruptive Technologies In Manufacturing

In recent years, the Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) region made remarkable strides in accelerating Industry 4.0 adoption.

In fact, according to GSMA Intelligence, a definitive source of mobile industry insights, forecasts and research used around the world, “countries in the Asia Pacific have established frameworks on a national level, recognising the potential of Industry 4.0 to help prepare economic structures for greater productivity and resilience” with dedicated official task forces in various markets including Japan, Korea and Singapore.

The same report provides a summary of Industry 4.0 visions in several nations, listed below:

  • Australia has instituted an Industry 4.0 Taskforce that works through its Testlabs initiative to collaborate with the industry to improve the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry.
  • Japan’s Society 5.0 focuses on mobility, healthcare and caregiving, manufacturing, agriculture, food, disaster prevention, and energy.
  • Malaysia’s Industry 4.0 policy framework focuses on labour productivity growth, manufacturing contribution to the economy, innovation capacity, and high-skilled jobs.
  • Singapore’s key strategies include transforming facilities and operations, R&D partnerships to develop new talent, and collaborating with manufacturing communities.

Evident in many of the national Industry 4.0 priorities stated above, the manufacturing industry across the region is poised to benefit significantly from the Industry 4.0 vision, which places a great emphasis on innovation-driven manufacturing.

To efficiently capitalise on what Industry 4.0 technologies offer, design and manufacturing enterprises across the region are beginning to move away from legacy systems and traditional processes to take advantage of next-gen technology to automate, improve and streamline processes.

A study by Deloitte supports this transition, reporting that digitally mature companies enjoy a wide range of specific benefits from their digital transformations that go well beyond the bottom line.

As a substantiation, Deloitte’s 2020’s digital transformation study found that companies with higher digital transformation maturity reported 45 per cent net revenue growth.

Elevating performance in core manufacturing workloads

Cost, product quality, and productivity are the three core pillars in the manufacturing industry; greater efficiency across all three pillars will be a never-ending journey. Advanced technologies and services can have a transformative effect across all three pillars, substantially increasing the bottom line for manufacturing companies.

In a general sense, manufacturing firms are turning to High-Performance Computing to support various workloads within the manufacturing domain, including Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Electronic Design Automation (EDA) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) workloads.

High-performance computing can help manufacturers at every stage of product development, from running advanced design simulations to automating processes and predicting maintenance issues. There are multiple solutions with different capabilities to suit very specific workloads.

In AMD alone, customers can choose from our EPYC processor family, our Ryzen Threadripper PRO family, and the AMD EPYC 7003 processors with AMD 3D V-Cache technology.

Data centres powered by AMD EPYC™ processors help deliver incomparable performance and scalability for CAE and EDA workloads of virtually any size. AMD EPYC™ processors are designed to increase the computing throughput of engineering simulation workloads such as CAE and EDA by reducing latency impacting design cycle time and contributing to better, higher-quality product designs.

AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ PRO processors deliver up to 64 cores for multithreaded simulation and rendering, with the advantage of high-frequency capable cores for lightly threaded workloads, helping organisations rip through the most demanding design projects.

The best is only getting better with the launch of the AMD EPYC 7003™ Processors with AMD 3D V-Cache technology, raising the bar once more for breakthrough performance on targeted technical computing workloads relevant in the manufacturing industry such as FEA  and computational fluid dynamics (CFD):

  • CFD workload (analyses fluid dynamics faster): Up to 82 per cent maximum speedup on computational fluid dynamics with Ansys Fluent.
  • FEA workload (Finite Element Analysis): The 64-core, AMD EPYC 7773X processor can deliver, on average, 44 per cent more performance on Altair Radioss simulation applications compared to the competition’s top-of-stack processor.

That being said, to find the most optimal balance between cost, product quality and productivity, it is essential for business leaders to identify the various workloads in your specific manufacturing process, evaluate the extent to which each workload is used and invest in workload-specific tools.

However, as mentioned earlier, with a great many solutions and products out there, business leaders can easily be flummoxed as to what specific tool would be ideal for their unique business needs.

Evaluating the extent to which each workload is used in the organisation would enable business leaders to identify the right workload-specific tool to enhance overall business operations. This is where expert consultants would be an investment with significant ROI.

Other considerations

While the afore-mentioned points delved into the technical aspects of the manufacturing industry and the role of technology in elevating multiple workloads, various other considerations could lead to a better cost-quality-productivity balance, including energy efficiency and security considerations.

Reduced Power

The reduction of power is a key consideration with a significant long-term positive impact not just on the environment but also on the organisation’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

To illustrate, AMD EPYC™ 7003 Series processors with AMD 3D V-Cache use up to 30 per cent less power. They will enable you to save an estimated 123.53 Metric Tons of CO2 which is estimated equivalent carbon sequestration of 49 acres of US forests annually.

Not just that, the power efficiency provided by the AMD EPYC™ 7003 Series processors with AMD 3D V-Cache, uses up to 30 per cent fewer servers and reduces three-year TCO by up to 30 per cent compared to servers without V-Cache technology.


Enhancing security is an ever-evolving venture with no finish line, especially for the manufacturing industry. As smart factory initiatives continue to proliferate across the global footprint of manufacturers, cyber risks are expected to continue to increase.

In fact, according to a study by Deloitte and the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), forty-eight per cent of manufacturers surveyed identified operational risks, which include cybersecurity, as the greatest danger to smart factory initiatives.

The study also states that many manufacturing companies are seeing an increase in cyber-related incidents associated with the control systems used to manage industrial operations.

Since many smart factory use cases are still in the planning and early stages, now is the time to harmonise these projects with cyber risk programmes. Design and include the appropriate end-to-end security controls, and start from the processor level. Identifying the right security solution without performance compromise is key.

Built-in at the silicon level, AMD Infinity Guard offers the advanced capabilities required to help defend against internal and external threats and help keep your data safe with virtually zero impact on system performance.

Final thoughts

The COVID-19 pandemic initially slowed digitisation efforts not just in APAC, but on a global scale. About 38 per cent of manufacturers surveyed by Deloitte pressed pause on smart factory investments as of August 2020.

Nevertheless, by 2021, 80 per cent of manufacturers reported that smart factories are key to their future success, according to a Plex report.

The investment will likely continue to pour into the sector, and it is time now, more than ever, to invest in the right tools and resources to elevate the manufacturing sector in line with Industry 4.0 goals.

Source: e27


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