In May 12 we discussed if the current Industry 4.0 developments are really reflecting a revolution. Mostly it is still manufacturing driven with significant improvements in the production of vehicles. But is this a revolution?
Indeed, key triggers for Industry 4.0 are for example the current computing power, miniaturized sensors, connectedness, storage and analysis of data, identification and positioning technologies, IT security, materials and manufacturing methods, and digital simulations.
But Apple would not start with the technologies. They start with the Customer Experience. How can this be translated to a factory? In Germany, OEMs would justify a build-to-order process as an experience to personalize an own car. But this is more sales oriented. Why not creating a further customer experience on concepts like “mercedes me” ?
Think “Designed by Apple” and translate it to car manufacturing. It is known that the Toyota Production System is a leading example. Then stay on build-to-stock but create a customer experience with a different kind of personalization. The short answer for the 4th industrial revolution should be:
- “Produced by Toyota”
- “Assembled by me”
That does not mean the customer is assembling the whole car as it was criticized for the 3d printed car. The final production of a current car takes a couple of hours. The experience would start virtual via web cams showing how your car is for example going through the paint shop. During the travel to the factory you will follow the production process of your car. In the factory tour the Toyota Production System will lead you to the right place where you will be guided (via future human oriented robots) how to assemble some parts of your car. The Industry 4.0 concepts need to further develop such customer experiences. Finally, Japan might drive the 4th revolution into another direction as Germany.