Today, more than ever before, the beauty and cosmetics industry is starting to experience what it is like to have technological innovation at the heart of its value chain, contributing to higher performances, greater agility and flexibility. This not only applies to the consumer but also to the employees since it simplifies and facilitates their everyday and enables better ergonomics.
What does innovating mean? Not only means to be able to rely on the expertise of the teams but doing so while adopting the latest 4.0 technologies with cutting-edge capabilities, to create the most efficient solutions and conditions both for employees and consumers.
We have already mentioned several times how Industry 4.0 and technological innovation concerns all parties of the value chain and the different fields of an industrial group, such as: research and development, environment, design, production and digital, for example. It is also crucial for operations and performance management. This is an omnipresent component from design to distribution, product development and manufacturing.
Production processes in the cosmetics industry will only become more networked. Centrally controlled plants will be replaced by production systems which allow the communication between machines, plants and products. The ultimate goal of a smart factory is to have the perfect control over complex processes, resistant to outages and easy to adapt to changes in the production process.
Producers will now be ready to face the challenges of global competition, fluctuating markets and growing demand of individualized small-batch products.Through the results of the competitive edge – shorter lead times, for example – supply chains will become faster, based on technology 4.0. This is the way for a point in time where all business partners, suppliers and customers will be fully included in the digital value chain.
With a production control that is automatic, it will be possible to drop significantly outages and downtime, always making sure that the machines are operating to full capacity. This is great since it will allow for an increase in efficiency in different aspects: lower power consumption and decrease in material usage (lower scrap rates which means less rejects will occur). Not only does this save money but it also helps by preserving scarce resources by being more efficient! All in all, Industry 4.0 is helping us all to create value.
Smart Factories will, without a question, generate huge amounts of data. This makes the utilization of ERP systems – cloud-based – essential. These systems will ensure the consistent use of data across all stages: throughout the order fulfillment process, from customer relationship management and production planning to order picking and business intelligence. If you want to be able to operate a production plant independently then integrating the ERP can be a very important step towards that goal. This is what connects business management to production control, facilitating further machine-to-machine connectivity.
Nevertheless, it is important not to forget one thing: the process and approach to Industry 4.0 should be gradual. First of all, it is important, for each company, to understand where changing the processes and adopting new technologies would pay off. This is a far more promising and a sustainable strategy than going all in for Industry 4.0.
Embracing mobile technologies in production and logistics and implementing production-related IT solutions can be a good start. This would lay the foundation for a fully digital representation of processes. At the end of the day, any automation and implementation of a more networked IT system is another important step towards Industry 4.0.