How Digitalization Can Help SMEs Jumpstart Their Journey to Industry 4.0?

Date:February 29, 2024

Author name:Gajendra Mohan Jha

Date:February 29, 2024

Author designation: Business Head, Phantom

Industries exist to cater to the needs of key stakeholders in the ecosystem – designed to facilitate and capture value exchange among the participants. Most of the existing industries of today were designed decades ago – capturing the predated essence of value creation and capture.

However, with the availability of modern technology altering the dynamics of key stakeholders in the existing ecosystem, industries are finding themselves at the forefront of ‘Industry 4.0’.

This evolution is expected to bridge the boundaries of the physical and digital world and is to shift the business context of today to an interconnected, interspersed ecosystem.


Why do we need Digitalization?

The world of manufacturing is getting complex, at the face of evolving customer needs and increased focus on quality, sustainability and environmental standards. With the current methods, it would be difficult to cater to these evolving needs. Hence, to operate at scale, businesses would need to adopt digital means to aid their managers and operators to achieve these goals.


How is Digitalization helping the manufacturing industry?

We read so much about the wonders of automation, AI, and machine learning. But what are the real-life benefits and applications that industry can hope to gain from adopting Industry 4.0?

For starters, manufacturing firms can manage their assets more efficiently, which takes the major share of their capital investment and operating expenditures. As per some estimates, machine downtimes cost the firms approximately $100000 per hour.

Pearson law states that, “That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported gets improved exponentially.” With the upcoming asset monitoring solutions in the market, supervisors and managers are able to get real-time information of the key metrics like machine OEE. With real-time alerts and predictive maintenance, machine downtimes can be greatly reduced and helps firm save significantly.

manufacturing industry


Challenges in adopting Digitalization

Even though the benefits of digitalization are very high, the adoption rate is much below the required need, especially in the SMEs segment. Some of the major challenges in adoption are:

  • High Upfront Investments: Even though the benefits of digital solutions are there for everyone to see, the major barrier in their adoption is the high upfront cost. Some of the solutions can cost in millions of dollars which the firms are reluctant to invest due to constrained budgets.
  • Lack of IT Infrastructure: Most of the digital solutions require complete overhaul of the IT infrastructure which is a cumbersome process which most firms want to avoid.
  • Legacy Systems: Most of the businesses are still running on legacy machines and systems which are not compatible with some of these new age digital solutions.


Bosch helps SMEs fulfill their Industry 4.0 vision

Bosch is committed to enabling SMEs jumpstart their Industry 4.0 journey with a state-of-the-art technology solution that is not only cost-effective but also very easy to deploy. Bosch’s smart industry metrics solution, Phantom is a non-intrusive, edge device that enables real-time monitoring of machines – anytime, from anywhere.

Phantom has AI algorithms running at edge, that analyze machine data in real-time. The result of this analysis is sent to the cloud, and factory supervisors can view this on their dashboards real-time.


How Phantom works

Phantom is an IOT solution with sensor, software application and services built-in to enable SMEs embark on their transformational journey. The sensor device is connected to a machine by clamping two wires to the cables supplying power to the machine. It sits quietly next to the device and monitors its performance and energy consumption patterns non-invasively.

When Phantom is connected to the machine, it samples the electrical signature, and AI running at edge interprets it to provide operational metrics (OEE) and energy consumption. Phantom connects wirelessly to the cloud and users can view this data via their dashboards. Advanced analytics help users view the real-time machine data, analyze the trend, set alerts &notifications, review losses and configure automated reports for users to take action on areas of improvement.

Phantom works



SMEs should allay concerns of significant investments in their infrastructure or massive changes to the manufacturing process to join the Industry 4.0 revolution. A solution like Phantom could help begin the journey of transformation and evolution!

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